Should Evolution be Taught in Schools?

By Michael Edmonds 30/06/2011


This question was asked of the 2011 Miss USA contestants. The answers are “revealing” for want of a better word.

Okay – in some cases, the answers are just plain scary! I hope some of them AREN’T considering a career in education!

0 Responses to “Should Evolution be Taught in Schools?”

  • Some, like, do give semi-literate answers which attempt, like, you know, reason and stuff.

    “I think evolution should be taught in schools because not everybody necessarily has the same religious background so it’s important to have scientific facts about the world. And we do know that evolution exists even on a small scale like people and with bacteria that are becoming resistant to drugs and whatnot, so I just want to learn about it.”

    I dare you to watch all 14.8 teeth-grinding minutes of it..

  • Don;t you just, like, love the “let’s teach both sides of the story” comments.

    I think I will have to watch it in segments, I got to 8 minutes and, like, felt, like, my smartness was, like, I dunno, getting lesser or sumthink.

  • Actually to be fair, there were a few quite reasonable answers tucked away in there. Perhaps we should have a vote on who we think gave the best answer?

  • I remember Nevada having a reasoned opinion about it, and, rarely, not mentioning ‘both sides’ like the rest. Something to do with evolution of people/communities etc. Don’t know when her answer is however. (I watched this a few days ago, and I’m not going to punish myself again).

    “judging miss universe contestants on their talent is like judging Stephen Hawking on his looks.”

  • I gather from PZ’s post on the issue that a handful came out on the side of evolution, although in some cases their grasp on what they were agreeing with seemed a little, well, shaky 🙂

    But I am not buying into this vote thing, Michael. That would entail a fair bit of neuronal apoptosis, I fear!

  • For those who can’t cope with watching the whole clip

    TWO contestants (from Alabama and Kentucky) said that NO, evolution should not be taught in schools
    TWENTY FOUR contestants said yes, without qualifying it by saying that ALL views or BOTH sides of the story should be taught
    TWENTY TWO said yes, but quakified it by saying that BOTH/ALL sides of “the story” should be taught.

    ONE (Indiana) said leave it up to the government.
    (perhaps this is the most frightening answer of all??)

    The others came out with comments that were hard to characterise.

    As Alison mentioned, it appears that many do not have a very good understanding of what evolution is. Perhaps this is a good reminder that outside of those who have had scientific training or who read science books, there are probably an awful lot of people who do not understand what evolution is

  • I think I like Miss Vermont’s statement. If you want to find it the clip presents them in alphabetical order.

  • Miss Kansas: “I think evolution should be exposed to students…” Why? To make it try harder in the area of human intelligence? To make it give up, curl up in a ball and weep?

  • I think I remain more perplexed by way this question was considered relevant by the pageant organisers in the first place.