, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 495-504
Date: 19 Feb 2009

Science and creationism: a response to Kenneth Tobin

Abstract

In his December editorial on Michael Reiss, Kenneth Tobin (Cult Stud Sci Educ 3:793–798, 2008), raises some very important questions for science and science teachers regarding science education and the teaching of creationism in the classroom. I agree with him that students’ creationist ideologies should be treated not as misconceptions but as worldviews. Because of creationism’s peculiarly strong political links though, I argue that such discussion must address three critical and interconnected issues, including the uncertain state of teaching evolution in public schools nationally, the political convergence of the creationist political beliefs with bigoted worldviews, and creationism’s inherent contrariness to science and human progress. I suggest that we as science educators therefore not consider all sides to be equally right and to instead take side against the politics of creationism. I also argue that we need much more serious discussion on how to better teach science to students who hold creationist worldviews, and that science educators such as Reiss need to be part of that.