Earlier today I had an article published on Listverse, 10 Reasons Creationism Should Be Taught In Schools, as you can probably tell from that title alone, it’s been quite popular to say the least.
At first glance, it would seem like the list is written to argue that Creationism should be taught in lieu of evolution or alongside it, which I can understand, however, if you actually read it, I’m making a different point entirely. That’s why anonymous comments on the article itself look like this,
The article, as I intended it to be read, in no way suggested that Creationism be taught as fact, or in lieu of science. How do you know I’m not lying to cover my tracks now that all those well spelled and thought out rebuttals have shown how retarded I am, well, read the first fucking paragraph of the article, something a lot of people seemed to not want to do in favour of sending me death threats.
The rest of the article is referencing that exact situation, because that’s how a list fucking works. Each subsequent entry follows on from the one before it. The list isn’t trying to convince people that we should be teaching creation instead of evolution, it’s trying to convince people that teaching both isn’t a bad thing.
Now that article wasn’t written by me off the cuff, the site editor asked the collective group of Listverse writers to pitch for the idea because he personally felt that the article needed to be written, I agreed with this sentiment and pitched the list you can read on their site right now. I wrote it because over here in Blighty, we have a thing called RE (religious education) it’s openly taught alongside science, history and maths, it’s openly taught alongside evolution.
It gave myself a basic understanding of the 6 major world religions as well as some of the others. It by no means gave me the knowledge to discuss any of them in depth, but it means that now, as an adult, when I see stories like this one. Which discusses the awesomely named Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar, the first Sikh to ever guard the queen while wearing the symbol of his faith. I’m able to understand that the turban is an unshakable several hundred year old tradition strictly followed by all Sikh men. The belief is so strong that they’re even exempt from wearing fucking motorcycle helmets. I’m fully aware that asking a Sikh man to remove his turban is the greatest of insults and understand that he’s trying to find a balance between his faith and serving his queen and country, unlike these fuck wits.
For the sake of fairness, here’s a similar story that happened in the US last year involving, the again, awesomely named, Tejdeep Singh Rattan, another Sikh who didn’t want to abandon a life long devotion to his faith and remove his turban, but also wanted to serve his country. Again, the comments were a combination of good for him and, well …
Teaching creationism in school isn’t about making children believe in religion, it’s about making them understand it. Even the father of evolution himself Charles Fucking Darwin warned against the dangers of ignorance. Is it really a bad thing for children to learn about something 20 god damn percent of the world believe rather than them know nothing about it and simply make snap judgements.
But, wait, “wah, if people want children to learn about religion, teach them at home, separation of church and state, Carl Sagan, Reddit *FART NOISE!” I wish I was making that up, but it’s pretty much the summation of the emails I’ve received today. Because yes, let’s end people being cripplingly uninformed about religion by having them taught at home by one person with biased opinions, instead of by a state funded professional. Progress!
If you hate religion, if you think that the people who believe in it are “sheeple”, that they’re morons blindly following and quoting something they can’t possibly understand, that you’re so much smarter, shouldn’t it fall to you to be the bigger person and at least try to understand why it is they believe what they do? If only to stop ignorance from causing hostility, which it always invariably does.
My father always told me that school isn’t just about academics, it’s about the hidden curriculum. Though school is where you’re taught to read and write, it’s also where you learn to bond with others, develop a personality and basically, how to be a human being. Though maths, English and science are incredibly important, subjects like theology, critical thought, sociology and media studies, though perceived as soft options, are incredibly useful at breeding discussion, debate and opinion forming.
The other important thing to note is that even if you don’t agree with religion, the effect it has on your life is undeniable. Our modern concepts of right and wrong, law, order and justice, which you’ll notice as the basis of civilised society, stem from religion to an extent.
My article was never written to argue that religion replace science, is was written to argue that we should all be a little more understanding of other people’s beliefs and that we should start with the younger generation, because the older one is pretty fucked.