Teach all theories? Yes, if it’s actually a theory

There was an article in the Hamilton Spectator a few days ago about how evolution not being taught in Ontario schools until Grade 12 biology, a course which is not mandatory. As a result, we have students in Ontario universities that have never learned about evolution or natural selection and think that it means “people came from monkeys”. In today’s Spec, there is a letter to the editor in response to this article, which states:

Evolution may be a valuable lesson but it is still a theory. The title seems to imply that Darwinian theory equals truth.

The teaching of ‘intelligent design’ and ‘creationism’ are theoretically just as valid.

The teaching of all three in a science curriculum would help students to learn, analyze, discern and decide for themselves what data is relevant and to find their own truth.

Isn’t that the best education?

I just finished writing a response and emailed it to the Spec. My response:

The writer is confused about the use of the word “theory” with respect to the theory of evolution. Evolution is a fact — scientists have observed it happening. The theory of evolution describes why and how it happens, not whether it happens.

A scientific theory is not just a guess. The theory of evolution is no more a guess than the theory of gravity. We may not understand all the details of how evolution works, but there is no question that it is happening.

Intelligent design, on the other hand, is pseudo-science that is not supported by any facts, only religious faith.

We’ll see if it gets published.


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