, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 163-169
Date: 21 Apr 2010

Should Students Be Able to Opt Out of Evolution? Some Philosophical Considerations

Abstract

One new development in the ongoing creationism/evolution controversy has been the proposal to institute opt-out policies that would allow creationist parents to exempt their children from any instruction involving evolution. By way of an explanation of some of the philosophical issues at play in the debate over evolution and the nature of science, this article shows the educational folly of such policies. If evolution is taught properly, it should not be possible to opt out of it without opting out of biology. Moreover, if Intelligent Design creationist criticisms of evolution and scientific naturalism were taken as the basis for opting out, then the effect would be even more radical and would require opting out of science entirely.