The Theory of Evolution Should Not Be Taught in Canadian Classrooms
By Rodrigo Barroso and Ronaldo Sousa
Have you ever stopped and thought about, if schools may not teach any form of religion because it might request faith and ignore its possible flaws, why then are schools allowed to teach the so called theory of evolution? One of the biggest unsolved questions of mankind is how life arose on earth. In fact, there are many explanations around the world, from the most surreal to the most acceptable. The scientific, atheist community does not admit the creationist theory because it considers the existence of a superior being who created all things supernaturally, God. Therefore, they accept the theory of evolution, which do not consider His existence. A National Public Opinion Poll conducted by Angus Reid Strategies in 2007 reported that Three-in-five Canadians (59%) believe in evolution (para. 2). That has even affected Canadian schools, and religious has been excluded from them. The theory of evolution should not be taught in Canadian classrooms because it is a faith-based theory, has various flaws, and infringes the Canadian educational regulations.
Evolutionism as a theory for the origin of life has numerous parts that cannot be proven by the scientific method, which requires faith, and can be classified as religion. Evolutionists believe that the evolution is an unquestionable fact. In addition, the non-existence of a God is strongly emphasized, and as they found a method to explain the origin of life on earth without Him, they believe this is only true, possible way to explain how everything exist. “Beliefs in either the theory of evolution or creation are concepts people accept as true but neither has been proven” (Coles, 2014, p. 1). Many religions around the world found various explanations for the same question, but regarding different deities or natural elements. The theory of evolution is nothing more than a theory among others, a belief. Equally important, as well as evolutionists claim that is impossible to prove there is a God, it is also impossible to prove the opposite. Regarding the scientific method, it is impossible to say that God does not exist. “Even doctrinaire-atheistic evolutionist Richard Dawkins admits that atheism cannot be proven to be true. ‘Of course we can’t prove that there isn’t a God.’ Therefore, they must believe it, and that makes it a religion” (Morris, 2001, p. 2). Not to mention the lack of witnesses to support the theory. One important part of the scientific method is observation. According to Denise Coles (2014), as a theory based on history, evolutionism cannot be considered as a scientific fact because there is no eyewitness to prove it (p. 1). Thus, the theory of evolution cannot be completely subjected to tests. In other words, it requires faith and can be seen as a belief, the fundament of religions.
Also, the evolutionist assumptions based on the radiometric method, which is used by evolutionists to find out the age of earth, are faulty. In fact, it is impossible to assure that the current radiometric method indeed holds over long periods since all information about earth’s conditions in the past are mere assumptions. Another important thing is the uncertainty in the data and of the laws concerning geological aging and radioactive decay. Harold S. Slusher (1981) points out that each law is based on observation, so every measurement has an uncertainty of the wholeness of the data. He also mentions the extrapolation back in time, which is done (p. 1). Equally important, recent researches have shown that the fossil record presents stasis among the findings and not transitional forms. To face this problem, the authors solved the contradiction “by imagining—without fossil evidence—that ancient creatures failed to evolve for millions of years. Dating fossils with fossils seems quite subjective” (Thomas, 2014, para. 11). Under those circumstances, it is remarkable that in many occasions evolutionists make use of presuppositions and assumptions. In other words, faith is used as support for the theory.
It can be seen that evolutionism is heavily biased and founded on principles in opposition to another ideological current, the Church. The roots of evolutionism can be related to other ideologies that were present at the time that it arose. In detail, these ideologies are naturalism and humanism, which have a common philosophy: substituting God for the human being in all matter of life, a strong attack to the religious power of that time. “Since both naturalism and humanism exclude God from science or any other active function in the creation or maintenance of life and the universe in general, it is very obvious that their position is nothing but atheism” (Morris, 2001, p. 2). In addition, atheism, no less than theism, is a religion. One of the founders and leaders of evolutionism was Charles Darwin. Also, the history can tell us that Darwin was a disgusted with the Church and its dogmas. Therefore, he spent his life trying to confront some religious teachings such as the creationist theory. In 1844, Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, which brings up a broad view of the theory of evolution. However, he made it clear in his book that a great part of his work was assumptions subject to failures.
Darwin acknowledged that his theory that calls for the acceptance that complex organisms develop only gradually, would be completely discredited if it could be proved unsound. Biochemistry professor Michael J. Behe posits that modern molecular biology has already proven this. For example, the human eye, with tens of thousands of molecular components, would have had to develop through copious anatomical variations, a development which cannot be proven. (Coles, 2014)
One more time, we can realize that, besides being founded upon other ideologies, evolutionism always make use of assumptions and regards that somehow require faith.
The theory of evolution has also many flaws to be considered as a scientific pattern of origin of life on earth. In fact, those flaws are ignored by the atheist, scientific society to maintain their theory as a scientific standard. First, humans and apes might not be as close as expected. An article from the Brazilian creationist magazine Revista Criacionista “homens e chimpanzés não tão próximos assim” (2004) reported the results of the first accurate sequencing of DNA from a chimpanzee chromosome, and concludes that even our genetic code is very similar, the proteins they produce can be very different. Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Genomic Sciences, Japan, sequenced the chimpanzee chromosome 22 and compared it to its equivalent in the human genome, our chromosome 21. After, discovered that the DNA bases of the two are different only 1.44% (para. 76). Even though this information confirmed some previous assumptions of scientists, the big surprise in this regard came from the fact that scientists expect to find no differences between humans and chimpanzees in this part of the genome. Second, the fossil record of degeneration does not match the natural selection, one of the fundaments of the theory of evolution, which says that the strongest prevail over the weakest in nature. As can be seen, the contrary is true concerning the fossil record of degeneration. In detail, Wayne Jackson (n.d.) says:
The January, 2000 issue of National Geographic magazine reports the discovery of a huge depository of fossils in a large cave in Brazil. It contained, for instance, the skull of a spider monkey that was twice the size of modern spider monkeys. The fossil of a twenty foot ground sloth was also discovered. These discoveries literally shout, “Digression!”—not progression. (para. 11)
Finally, in accordance with the theory of evolution, dinosaurs should be developing larger brains needed for evolved beings in their time, but regarding the fossil register, this did not happen. According to Denyse Coles (2014), “Dinosaurs were not developing larger brains needed for more advanced creatures. The longer they roamed the earth, in fact, the opposite actually occurred” (p. 1).
An error at the theory of evolution is the problematic of prolonging “microevolution” into “macroevolution.” Laboratory studies have verified that beings are capable of adaptation. In other words, organisms have the capacity to change their biology to better fit their environment. However, those same studies have revealed that such variations can only go so far, and those organisms have not essentially changed. These minor alterations are called “microevolution.” Microevolution can end in some radical changes, such as those found in dogs. For instance, all dogs are the same species, and one can see how much distinction there is. But, even the most violent breeding has never turned a dog into something else. There is a limit to how huge, small, smart, or hairy a dog can become through breeding. Experimentally, there is no cause to suggest that a species can change beyond its own genetic limits and become something else. Long-term evolution, nevertheless, involves “macroevolution,” which refers to those large-scale alterations. Microevolution turns a wolf into a Chihuahua or a Great Dane. Macroevolution would turn a fish into a cow or a duck. There is an immense difference in scale and effect between microevolution and macroevolution. This mistake in the theory of evolution is that experimentation does not support the aptitude of many little changes to transform one species into another.
An author at the Crying Voice in the Wilderness website was seemingly mentioning the same experimentation when they wrote: "Some fragments of DNA were found in supposedly 80 million year-old dinosaur bones. This means that the dinosaur bones are only a couple of thousand years old” (Robinson, 2003, p. 4). A vestige of dinosaur was found lying in a bed of leaves and plant debris, but there is wood from trees mixed between the bones, some of which contains petrified and unpetrified components in the same portion of wood. If this creature were millions of years old, the proof would look quite different. The wood, leaves, plant debris, and dinosaur bones are all from the same time. This must have been in the recent past; otherwise the wood would have been fully petrified, and the leaves would have completely decayed. It would prove that the dinosaur was alive much more recently than 75 million years ago, since DNA could not possibly persist intact for that long.
Furthermore, teaching faith-based theories infringes Canada’s educational regulations. First, Canada’s education system must be religiously neutral. Coles (2014, p. 1) pointed out that no form of direct or indirect objectives to majority principles may be imposed as declared by the Canadian and Quebec Charter. Second, teaching one belief over another destroys religious freedom. “Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms prohibits religious discrimination” (Coles, 2014, p. 1). Finally, the potential personhood and bias of religions may affect children’s worldview and behaviour. Therefore, the Religion and Diversity Project report brings some of the regulations such as:
- The school may sponsor the study of religion, but may not sponsor the practice of religion. The school may expose students to all religious views, but may not impose any particular view. The school's approach to religion is one of instruction, not one of indoctrination. (Hoverd, LeBrun, & Arragon, n.d., p. 6)
- Religious education in the public schools has been commonly interpreted as biblical instruction or interpretation, this policy has created energetic controversy, especially where children of diverse religions and convictions are in the same classroom, necessary courses in sectarian religion throughout regular school hours have been commonly barred in Canada. Although, the theory of evolution still being taught in Canadian schools. In addition, if we look at the rules of schooling in Canada, notably, the teaching of the Theory of Evolution is going clearly to face some of the guidelines of the document "Education About Religion in Ontario Public Elementary Schools" written in 1994. As we can see in this stretch " The function of the school is to educate about all religions, not to convert to any one religion.The school should study what all people believe, but should not teach a student what to believe.The school should seek to inform the student about various beliefs, but should not seek to conform him or her to any one belief" (Hoverd, LeBrun, & Arragon, n.d, p.6).
- Regarding all concepts that make this theory a religious explanation, its flaws ignored by the atheist scientific community to make it a standard, and how the use of this theory may infringe some regulations, teaching evolution should not be accept in Canadian classrooms. The exaltation of one belief in classrooms may be harmful. Perhaps, a possible solution for teaching an explanation of the origin of life on earth in classroom could be the exposure of the some and/or, at least, the main acceptable theories such as evolutionism and creationism, instead of claiming one superior and others excluded from the curriculum.
(n.d.). Retrieved from gotquestions?org: http://www.gotquestions.org/flaws-theory-evolution.html
Coles, D. (2014). Evolution Does Not Belong in the Classroom. Canadian Points Of View: Teaching Evolution, p. 1.
Do Canadians believe in evolution or creationism? (2007, June). Retrieved July 19, 2014, from Angus Reid Strategies: http://www.angusreidglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/archived-pdf/ARS_Evo_Cre.pdf
Education About Religion in Ontario Public Elementary Schools. (n.d.). Retrieved from Ontario Ministry of Education: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/curricul/religion/religioe.html
Homens e chimpanzés - não tão próximos assim. (2004). Planejamento Inteligente e Catástrofes. Brasilia, Brazil: Sociedade Criacionista Brasileira.
Hoverd, W., LeBrun, E., & Arragon, L. (n.d.). Religion and Education in the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Retrieved from Religion and Diversity Project: http://religionanddiversity.ca/media/uploads/religion_and_education_in_the_provinces_of_quebec_and_ontario_report.pdf.
Morris, H. (2001). Evolution is Religion - Not Science. Institute for Creation Research., pp. 1-4.
Robinson, B. A. (2003, February 17). Religious Tolerance. Retrieved from religioustolerance.org: http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_disp.htm
Slusher, H. (1981). Critique of radiometric dating . San Diego: Creation-Life Publishers.
Thomas, B. (2014, April 21). How (not) to date a fossil. Retrieved from Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/fossils-stasis/
Wayne, J. (n.d.). Problems for the Theory of Evolution. Retrieved from Christian Courier: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/147-problems-for-the-theory-of-evolution