Creationism vs. Evolutionism: What should schools be teaching children?


Brian Yuss

Should schools be teaching creationism, evolutionism, or a mixture of both? Credit: Michael Morales/The Foothill Dragon Press
Should schools be teaching creationism, evolutionism, or a mixture of both? Credit: Michael Morales/The Foothill Dragon Press

For almost an entire century, there have been debates about whether to teach creationism or evolutionism in schools simply because people think that these two ideologies contradict each other.

As a former private school student, I was taught only creationism until I began attending public school in seventh grade where I was given a wider scope and learned about evolutionism. Only after that did I consider that there was a possibility that evolution could be true to some extent.

At private school, the biology book that I had in sixth grade taught evolution, but I was told to ignore these words as well as the fact that the Earth had existed for billions of years. I was taught that the Earth had only existed roughly 4,000 years, which seems absurd to me right now.

One reason that both of these beliefs are very different is that evolutionism means that animals adapted and became a new species over time such as a bacteria eventually becoming a human after millions of years of changes. However, in creationism I was taught that God simply created each animal for its own purpose and that every single animal existed at the same time.

As I learned more about evolutionism, though, I started to comprehend it more, and realized that it made more sense than I had originally thought. I started thinking that maybe both creationism and evolution could go together if God created animals and allowed them to evolve.

I would like to see schools teaching both evolutionism and creationism to students so that teens get an opportunity to decide for themselves whether they believe in one idea, the other, or a combination of both.

Public schools’ students shouldn’t be forced to learn that evolution is the only way that animals became the way they are. Perhaps instead of neglecting creationism completely, teachers could say something like, “Another popular theory of how animals ended up the way they are is that God decided to create all of the animals at the same time, and some people believe that God created the process of evolution.”

You’re not wrong if you believe in creationism; you’re not wrong if you believe in evolution. It really is about taking the material and formulating your own conclusions. That’s where I am in this pattern of exploration. Was I created by science or in the pages of someone’s manuscript? At this point it really doesn’t matter. Maybe both beliefs are correct. Nobody can quite say for sure. 

What do you think?