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Teach 'Both' Sides

Teach Both SidesWhile reading a story in the Houston Chronicle on the recent naming of three ID proponents to the six member Texas Science Standards Review Panel, I read the following quote, "Close-minded efforts to ban students from (hearing both sides) is dangerous and a clear detriment to students."

It used to be that when I heard this argument about teaching 'both' sides regarding evolution, I'd sarcastically wonder to myself if that meant the right side and the wrong side. However, once I got to thinking about it a little more, I realized how biased the statement actually was. Using the word 'both' implies two sides, but what are these two sides? On the one hand, there's obviously the side of evolution, the pro-science side, backed by overwhelming evidence and endorsed by the scientific community. But what, exactly, is the other side? That Tepeu and Gucamatz created all plants and animals through their thoughts; that Pangu created the earth after emerging from a cosmic egg, and after dying his body became the sun, moon, stars, creatures, and plants; that Ra, alone and lonely, masturbated to create two more gods, and those gods went on to have children gods, who eventually created everything, including the plants and animals; that Yahweh created plants and animals a couple days after he created the Earth, or that some unspecified intelligence has been tinkering with life throughout the ages?

The problem is, there are many more than two sides concerning what the various peoples of the world believe and have believed concerning how life got here. Now, if any of those stories were actually true, that would be one thing. After all, science is about following the evidence wherever it leads. It just so happens that all of the evidence supports evolution. Unless you're a proponent of Last Thursdayism, there's really no question that evolution has occured.

When someone says to teach 'both' sides, what they usually mean is evolution, and their particular interpretation of the Bible. They're not interested in actual fairness. They want to see their religious view elevated above all other religious views to be taught in school.

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