This paper reflects the research and thoughts of a student at the time the paper was written for a course at Bryn Mawr College. Like other materials on Serendip, it is not intended to be "authoritative" but rather to help others further develop their own explorations. Web links were active as of the time the paper was posted but are not updated.

Contribute Thoughts | Search Serendip for Other Papers | Serendip Home Page

Story of Evolution, Evolution of Stories
Bryn Mawr College, Spring 2004
First Web Paper
On Serendip

Keep Evolution in Our Schools

Rosalyn Schorr

Recently, in Georgia, the persisting question 'does evolution have a place in our schools?' was again brought up. The state wants to remove the theory of evolution from the curriculum. The children would still be taught mathematical theorems, classical literature, chemistry, and biology; but the teachers would be depriving them of a scientifically accepted theory of how the world began. The children cannot be made to believe anything that they do not want to, therefore teaching them the valuable philosophy of evolution would help to expand their minds, rather than shrink them. Evolution as a science is particularly beneficial. Most young children, stereotypically boys, are very much into playing with dinosaurs, and watching TV shows and movies about dinosaurs. As they get older they learn about fossils and how many archeologists believe that modern birds are descendents of enormous winged birds of the Mesozoic era. This might strike them as strange if they were not taught about how all things evolve. Learning about animals from billions of years ago would not destroy their belief of God, it might, in fact, glorify Him even more; because God is so talented and powerful that he is still coming up with new ideas for species on our planet. Evolution fits into the biological category of the sciences. This is significant due to the fact that without at least one class in biology, a high school student would not be able to graduate and move onto higher learning. I remember my biology class my sophomore year of high school. My teacher, a first year teacher, blatantly said to the class, "I don't believe in Evolution, but I have to tell you at least a little about what it is, because I guess it matters." I was horrified at this statement. The dictionary definition of evolution is: A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form. According to this, everything around us is constantly evolving. Trees for example, grow a new ring of bark every year. Is this not evolution? I believe that growing a new ring of bark is evolving into a different and better form. The tree has changed, and it is now better protected and more stable from the elements. Another legitimate example of evolution is a developing fetus. Within nine months, a fetus evolves from nothing but a minute egg to a fully developed child. Evolution is useful in all areas of science, medicine, philosophy, and many other topics. "Evolutionary thought, and in particular an understanding of the new concepts developed in evolutionary biology, such as population, biological species, co evolution, adaptation, and competition, is indispensable for most human activities" (Mayr 267). The evolution of medication and the perfecting of such chemistries as alchemy have led our world in a direction of better controlling disease and creating materials. When it comes to teaching a person new things, they are fully equipped to understand the facts, but not accept them. This denial of acceptance does not have to be violent, it could simply be a dismissal of it being true; but the person would still be educated in the subject. When in a debate, the surest way to win, is to know, understand, and utilize both sides of the argument to one's advantage. "To put it bluntly but fairly, anyone today who doubts that the variety of life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply ignorant..." (Dennet 46). Although this statement is entirely too harsh, closed-minded, and not at all fair, it does have some viability. If I were Dennet, I would have changed the beginning to 'to put it bluntly but fairly, anyone today who refuses to even consider...' No one has control over what they believe but themselves, and that is based on their education, upbringing, and morals. Therefore, they have the ability to consider changing their minds or just the ability to remember what they were taught and use it to benefit their side of the argument. In conclusion, evolution should not be taken from our school systems. It is a very useful science and can help explain many previously unanswered questions that students, and adults alike, may have had. Evolution is also a very important branch of the biological sciences. Our modern school system is not as good as it should be, and refusing to educate children is all areas of instruction would result in an ever-present decline. Dennet, Daniel C. Darwin's Dangerous Idea. Simon and Schuster. New York, NY. 1995. Mayr, Ernst. What Evolution Is. Basic Books. New York, NY. 2001.

| Course Home Page | Forum | Science in Culture | Serendip Home |

Send us your comments at Serendip

© by Serendip 1994- - Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-May-2018 10:51:51 CDT