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Should evolution be taught in the public schools? - Essay Example

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Education
Pages 10 (2510 words)

Summary

Perhaps no school lesson is more fraught with controversy then the theory of evolution. On the one side are the parents who believe that the theory of evolution is a necessary part of a child’s biological education, and, without this knowledge, children cannot possibly understand more complex biological and medical theories…

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Should evolution be taught in the public schools?

The theory of evolution, which states that species have evolved over time, is a theory which must be taught in public schools. Lerner (2000) states that there are good standards for what school children should know about the theory, depending upon the child’s grade. He states that children from grades kindergarten to third grade should understand that living things reproduce, and that the offspring may not be exactly like their parents. They should also understand that a living things must grow up or change before reproducing. Another fact that they must learn is that the earth is over four billion years old. When children are between the ages of nine and twelve, they should be taught about how evolution results in competition and survival between and within species, and the factors that go into species survival, such as environmental, predatory and temperature factors. They should also learn that species adapt to different environments, and that genetic variation results in mutations that may help species adapt to this environment. Also, the theory of natural selection should be understood. When a child is between middle and high school, they should know about such concepts as genetic drift, sexual selection and the complex interactions of ecosystems (Lerner, 2000).
Evolutionary theory should be taught, despite the objections of religious individuals who object to the theory being taught, for a variety of reasons. The first set of these reasons address why the theory should be taught, despite the objections of religious individuals. The second set addresses why the theory is important, in general, to learn. ...
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