Evolution has been unquestionably supported by scientific evidence, and is universally accepted in the scientific community, While it may run contrary to personally held religious beliefs, it is not the purpose of our publicly funded education system to teach religious dogma as fact, or even controversy, in a biology class.
It makes as much sense to teach creationism in a science class as it would to teach that the sun rotates around the earth in an astronomy class, or that lightning and storms are created by the the gods in a weather science lecture.
Evolutionary theory is the basis for much of modern biology, and to accept creationism is to reject modern knowledge of geology, carbon dating, genetics, and history. Depriving or confusing students about Evolution is unacceptable.
Response to Petition
By Roberto Rodriguez
Thank you for your petition regarding the teaching of evolution in America’s schools.
States and local school districts are responsible for setting the academic standards that guide student learning in our schools. While it is not the role of the Federal Government to develop or approve specific school curricula, our government can and should support state and local leaders and educators as they prepare students for college and successful careers. That support can include financial aid to enhance educational opportunities for students; the creation of incentives for state-level reforms where they are needed; and support for research into the best ways to teach and learn.
When it comes to the important discipline of biology and its sister disciplines—including genetics, biochemistry, behavioral science, and medicine—there is no more foundational concept than the theory of evolution. There is broad scientific consensus on the theory of evolution, built on an enormous mass of evidence, from taxonomic comparisons of fossilized bones to molecular analysis of ancient and modern genetic material.
That said, our Constitutional freedoms of religion and speech—and specifically the fact that every American has the right to say and believe what they want about religion, the origin of the universe, creation, and evolution—is part of what makes our democracy so profoundly successful.
As an active participant in our democracy, you have the important role of voicing your opinion at every level of government. Your engagement in improving America’s education system can help encourage our schools to best prepare all of America’s children for the future.
Roberto Rodriguez is Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy