There’s probably no better indicator of the United States’ slide into irrationality and a world clouded by religion than the controversy over the teaching of creationism (aka, “Intelligent Design”) in American schools. While the legal rulings are clear (that Creationism and ID are religious views that should not be taught in public schools), the ignorance of teachers seems to dominate what’s really being taught. LiveScience.com reports in Creationism Creeps into U.S. Classrooms
One in eight U.S. high school biology teachers presents creationism or intelligent design in a positive light in the classroom, a new survey shows, despite a federal court’s recent ban against it.
And a quarter of the nation’s high school biology teachers say they devoted at least one or two classroom hours to the topics, with about half presenting it favorably and half presenting it as an invalid alternative.
Those results are part of a nationally representative, random sample of 939 teachers who filled out surveys between March 5, 2007, and May 1, 2007 on questions concerning the teaching of evolution. The figures have a 3 percent margin of error.
The research, funded by the National Science Foundation, also revealed that between 12 percent and 16 percent of the nation’s biology teachers are creationists, and about one in six of them have a “young Earth” orientation, which means they believe that human beings were created by God in their present form within the past 10,000 years.
Scientists, on the other hand, agree that humans evolved from a common primate ancestor in a process that stretches back tens of millions of years. The theory of evolution on which this is based is one of the most well-supported theories in science.
The remainder of the statistics and information paint a scary picture. For example, 38% of adults believe that superstitious theories should be taught in schools. It’s sad that, despite the clear outcome of the Dover Trial, so many Americans remain in the Dark Ages. It all makes a return to rationality and reason to seem more distant than ever before.