Evolution is a standard theory taught in many schools, though it is not without controversy. Because evolution is still a theory, there will most assuredly be critics that have concerns about the concepts that are taught. Creationism and intelligent design add to the debate by adding alternative viewpoints on the origin of the universe. Still, there are reasons that many schools have chosen to teach evolution. Here are a few thoughts on why this is the case.
Arguably, evolution is taught because it has been taught in prior generations. There are plenty of educational concepts that are taught because teachers develop their curriculum based upon what they themselves were taught in school. Because those teachers assume that their instructors knew what they were talking about, they employ and teach the same competencies. In addition, tools such as textbooks are assumed to written by experts who are presenting generally reliable or “proven” material. Granted, there is nothing wrong with passing down knowledge, but over time certain concepts can become slightly altered. For example, evolution is a theory, but many people treat it and label it as “fact.” This is arguably inappropriate, because even scientists do not universally use the terms “fact” and “proof.”
Faith and comfort
Evolution is also taught because humanity often feels compelled to put their faith in something. It gives people comfort to feel like their knowledge base has some assurance and backing. Ironically, proponents of evolution will lament people of “faith” who promote creationism as an different viewpoint. The reality of scientific discovery is that evolution is followed with the same type of faith in many respects. In other words, it is assumed that evolution is true, despite wide gaps in data and information. Critics of creationism will point to the statistical unlikelihood of creationism, but mathematicians will make the same judgments about evolution.
Trust in humanity
Finally, evolution is taught because humanity has a high degree of faith in their own intellectualism. In other words, humanity has “accomplished” many things and made some great discoveries and breakthroughs. This has caused many people, particularly in the academic community, to assume that humanity can figure out just about anything. Again, despite the large gaps in the evolutionary theory, people still defend their viewpoints because admitting that they might be wrong would be too painful.
Darwin himself confessed to shuddering when he thought about certain parts of the human, particularly the human eye. Despite the fact that followers will dismiss these statements, there still exists a viewpoint that Darwin himself was not entirely comfortable with his own theory. In addition, Darwin’s understanding of certain scientific concepts such as cell structure were much more rudimentary compared to what is known today. Still, people are stubborn and sometimes pride prevents individuals from admitting that their system of thought has holes.
Overall, evolution is unlikely to be solved soon. Despite continued discoveries in the fossil record, critics will still suggest that the “missing link” is closer to 50,000 missing links. In addition, evolution is often clouded by the fact that people use one term for evolution. The reality is that micro-evolution and macro-evolution are very different constructs and carry with them varied arguments. Given the fact that Darwinism only emerged in the 19th century, there exists the possibility that the entire academic community could, in the future, shift their general philosophy in a “relatively” short period of time.