Not Teaching Evolution Would Handicap Many Pupils for Life

Cape Times (South Africa), November 15, 2010 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Not Teaching Evolution Would Handicap Many Pupils for Life

Evolution is not to be taught to Grade 7s because it is "cognitively too demanding" for teachers and students (Cape Times, November 11). This is like saying that road safety should not be taught to juniors because they cannot be expected to understand Isaac Newton's three laws of motion.

Evolution is fundamental to understanding why we are what we are, why the Earth is what it is.

Road safety preserves life and limb. A grasp of evolution and other basic concepts of science preserve sanity and enable sane decisions to be taken on anything from boiling a kettle, baking a cake, preserving our planet, putting a screw into a piece of wood, or looking after our health.

With South Africa's appalling drop-out rates in basic education, hundreds of thousands of children are being denied an essential skill. Social Surveys SA recently polled 4 400 households and found nearly 12 percent of children in the age group 16 to 18 were not in school.

That evolution is taught only in Grades 10 to 12 biology means those pupils who drop biology in favour of other subjects (perhaps biblical studies) are going to enter life permanently at a disadvantage, unable to deal with challenges in an increasingly demanding South Africa, and in a world where such truths as evolution are accepted and taught.

One cannot dump a subject because it is a little challenging.

Teaching evolution can be exciting, especially for young adults - perhaps because of a fascination with primitive, extinct dragon-like creatures bred into human beings by, wait for it, evolution. Look into any toy shop window and you will see superb plastic models of extinct creatures. Many children develop a passion for collecting these.

And what is difficult about this?

"Evolution is the way new kinds of plants, animals and other living things come into being as a result of many small changes over a long period of time. Evidence from fossil ... shows that over millions of years new kinds of creatures have appeared.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Not Teaching Evolution Would Handicap Many Pupils for Life


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?