A 2005 study conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reported that 64% of Americans support teaching creationism alongside evolution in U.S. public schools while only 26% opposed this idea (1). Moreover, 38% of Americans preferred that creationism be taught instead of evolution. The decisions of several court cases explain that there is no room for teaching intelligent design and creationism in high school biology or other classes. Intelligent design, creationism, and many of its alternative theories should be excluded in public school science education because it serves to legitimize religious based ideologies as though they were scientifically grounded theories. In addition to the legal rulings, State governments emphasize evolution as a central theme in the instruction of science, but vary in the amount of detail and importance the offer schools and teachers (2). Yet despite the emphasis on evolution from State boards and court rulings, U.S. science teachers seem cautious when teaching evolution.
In 2007, two political scientists Drs. Michael B. Berkman and Eric Plutzer in the Department of Political Science at Penn State University published a landmark study examining the teaching of evolution and creationism in U.S. public schools. Of the 938 teachers that participated (48% response rate), 17% did not cover human evolution (as opposed to covering evolution of non-human animals) while 60% spent one to five hours of class time. Of the teachers that discussed evolution as part of their pedagogy, only 23% strongly agreed that evolution is a unifying theme in their biology or life science classes (2).
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