Allowing students to opt out of evolution
A controversial Alberta bill will enshrine into law the rights of parents to pull their children out of classes discussing the topics of evolution and homosexuality.
The new rules, which would require schools to notify parents in advance of "subject-matter that deals explicitly with religion, sexuality or sexual orientation," is buried in a bill that extends human rights to homosexuals.
IMO the idea of an opt-out policy for dogmatically-taught evolution education is good. The religious implications of evolution are now stronger than ever, with Darwinist cafeteria Christians bragging that they believe the gospel story but not the bible's creation story, even though both stories are supernatural. William Jennings Bryan said,
If those who teach Darwinism and evolution, as applied to man, insist that they are neither agnostics nor atheists, but are merely interpreting the Bible differently from orthodox Christians, what right have they to ask that their interpretation be taught at public expense?
Moreover, what right have they to insist that their interpretation be dogmatically taught to all students in the public schools?
The courts have not even allowed evolution-disclaimer statements. Such statements were struck down in three fairly recent cases -- Kitzmiller v. Dover, Selman v. Cobb County, and Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish.
If I were a student, I would opt out just to protest the dogmatic teaching of evolution. Also, IMO whether to opt out should be the student's decision, not the parents'. And students should have a right to object on scientific as well as religious grounds to the dogmatic teaching of evolution.
An evolution opt-out policy would require that evolution be concentrated and confined in just a few lectures at most and one small part of the textbook. Unfortunately, evolution is often sprinkled throughout some textbooks and some teachers' lectures. For example, Dover school board member Bill Buckingham complained that Miller & Levine's textbook "Biology" was "laced with Darwinism" [link] --
In looking at the biology book the teachers wanted, I noticed that it was laced with Darwinism. I think I listed somewhere between 12 and 15 instances where it talked about Darwin's theory of evolution. It wasn't on every page of the book, but, like, every couple of chapters, there was Darwin, in your face again. And it was to the exclusion of any other theory.
Of course, under any reasonable opt-out policy, students who opt out would not be tested on evolution.
If the schools and the courts won't make reasonable accommodations for some students' sensibilities regarding evolution, then let those students opt out. And which is worse -- allowing evolution opt-outs or teaching both the scientific strengths and the scientific criticisms of evolution theory?
Labels: Evolution education (new #5)