American Morning

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February 7th, 2011
10:18 AM ET

Perry's Principles: Creationism in the classroom

Are your children learning about evolution in biology class? A new study published by Penn State University says there's a good chance they're not.

According to the study, 13% of biology teachers advocate creationism, while the majority of biology teachers shy away from teaching evolution. CNN Education Contributor Steve Perry gives American Morning's T.J. Holmes his take on the new statistics and what he thinks schools should be teaching.

Filed under: Perry's Principles
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Chris TMC

    I saw this on CNN- and, as both a science teacher and a catholic, I could not believe how ignorant Perry sounds. His view that ALL views should be taught (in science class of all places) is intellectually appalling. He shows a complete lack of the scientific reasoning that he claims to advocate.

    February 10, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  2. CBFSC

    As a Catholic religious with a PhD in biology–I can say definitively that Catholicism has no problem whatsoever with the tenets of evolutionary biology. Regarding this, John Paul II noted that the "truth" of religion, and the "truth" of science attempt to answer two different sorts questions. One can believe that God created all things and is the "author of life," and still believe evolution is the best explanation for the origins of life on this planet. These two beliefs are not mutually exclusive.

    February 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  3. Dan

    @Nancy E. Germann, I thank God you are a Christian, as I to, am a Christian; however, the bible clearly states God "Created" the earth, he didn't evolutionize the earth.

    February 8, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  4. charlotte

    Steve Perry is a danger to public education. He presents himself as a professional caring for children. However, he is more interested in privatizing education, crippling public education and busting teachers' unions . Whenever he is on CNN, there should be representative of a teacher's union, side by side, to counteract Mr. Perry's insidious views. Moreover, his view that creationism should be taught in public schools is intellectually appalling; and shows muddled thinking. Whenever he is presented on CNN, there should be a counterweight because there is a danger that his mellifluous words re caring for children will unduly impress the less sophisticated.

    February 8, 2011 at 8:13 am |
  5. Scott

    Enough already. I'm tired of people who keep using the excuse of their religion to try to defend willfully keeping their children ignorant. IF every religion wants to behave like the Amish and keep their children separate from the real world that is fine, but it is time that we stop saying that in issue such as creationism is "Controversial". It isn't controversial, what it is is disputed with absolutly no proof by people who say that their religion disputes it. Sorry, not good enough, we can view the actions of evolution with simple fruit fly studies, it is time to stop making all our children suffer just because some people want to, against the constitution, force all the peeople in the nation live by the rules of their religions.

    February 8, 2011 at 7:34 am |
  6. sellig

    In his comments Steve Perry suggests that teachers who want to teach creationism should go work in a catholic school. I'm no defender of the catholic church myself but I want to say this: Perry is misinformed about the catholic church. The catholic church accepted the Big Bang theory back around 1960 and accepts Darwinism (a.k.a. evolotion by natural selection) as the most likely explanation for the origin of human kind and all living things. The catholic church advocates a metaphorical reading of the bible, not a strict word-for-word interpretation of the scriptures like the evangelist churches do.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  7. Nancy E. Germann

    I am 78 years old and began my consideration of evolution vs. creationism as a freshman in college. It was such a relief to hear Dr. Perry beautifully express the very conclusions that I have come to. I am a born again, Bible-believing Christian yet I don't believe that the subject is important. The Bible has much symbolic language. If God made the world by evolution or in 7 days isn't God's focus. The focus is what do we do with Jesus Christ and his tough or wonderful teachings, depending on the chioce of every person.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  8. tony corallo

    Mr Perry,Your general judgements concerning education are well balanced.
    Please consider teaching students the definition of "induction" and "deduction. Without a good understanding of these two different thinking processes students will not be able to evaluate the validity of any twosubjects,statements, or ideas. The argument between creationism and evolution is one concerning the use of induction vs deduction. So many people don't know how to think.

    February 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  9. Jared Ryan

    Evolution has nothing at all to do with religion or faith. It is based on facts that have been accumulated, documented, confirmed and improved upon with each new archeological finding.

    Public schools are the domain of state and federal laws and the concept of the "Separation of Church and State" applies to the public school system. Thus, a teacher's personal religious beliefs have no place in the classroom. A teacher would not consider being forced to teach algebra or biology and should not be considered forced to teach other sciences such as evolution.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  10. Adrienne Gabriel

    To Steve Perry,
    I listen to American Morning everyday driving to work, and I often listen to your opinions. I almost always agree with them. However, this morning you stated that "teachers who only will teach Creationism should teach at a Catholic school". This statement was offensive to me and a comment I wouldn't have expected from you. I attended Catholic schools from K-12th grade, and I was taught about Darwin, evolution, and natural selection practically every year since 7th grade. Many of my classmates are working in science-related fields, and there was never a conflict between creationism and darwinism. In fact, I received my Bachelor's and Doctorate degrees in biology and clinical science. My Catholic education gave me the foundation to pursue this path. Please, in the future, refrain from making such an offensive comment. Just because someone didn't attend a public school, doesn't mean that they were taught ignorance and religious extremism. Thanks and I look forward to hearing your opinions in the future.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  11. RUReal

    Hey Steve, you are a bigot. My children go to Catholic school and learn about evolution, not creationism. The Catholic Church has accepted evolution as a likely reality. Just wanted you to know before you shoot your mouth off again.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  12. B. Sorin


    You made a very sexist comment this morning that deserves retraction. In talking about the need for effective science teachers, you made the comment that science teaching needs to be a separate subject in the elementary schools. You then went on to comment that most elementary teachers are women who teach all the other subjects including bathroom breaks. The implication was clear: only men are qualified to teach science. Male elementary teachers teach all the subjects as well. You and Larry Summers certainly have a lot in common when it comes to perceptions of women in the sciences and math. If you are motivational speaker, I hope you never come to any groups that I am a part of.

    B. Sorin

    February 7, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  13. Denver Durham

    The study of origins is fundamentally a religious question. Naturalistic evolution is both faith-based and dogmatic, and if taught in public school classrooms should be presented as such. Teachers should be equally encouraged to teach their faith concerning origins within the framework of testable science, not forced to teach evolution and penalized for teaching creation.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Mike

      Evolution says nothing about the origins of life, the universe or anything else. It explains the biological diversity of life. It's not based on faith if it has evidence to support it. I'm sorry you feel as though the teaching of evolution goes against your religious beliefs.

      February 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  14. Biology 101

    I was shown evolution before my very eyes in Biology 101 lab. Yes, we evolve, as do trees (fairly quickly) and such. I think this guy (Perry) is using a bad example to make a point. Yes, we want kid to learn to use their brain...not everything that you read in a book is right. And education has lead us all to believe they are truth, but it's not true...they mislead a lot of people and they stunt the growth of a lot of people. This guy at times is an example of a person that has some power, enough to cram his idea down someone's throat...even though it might not be quite right. That's how he comes across to me anyway.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  15. Si Daugherty

    The Scientific Method – Galileo, Bacon, Boyle – that we all should have learned back in the 8th Grade says that a scientific theory is the explanation for a scientific law. Laws and theories have the purpose to predict what would happen without having to do the experiment. So they must be reliable – they always work. The Theory of Evolution is a scientific theory. Always works and is based on fact. Atomic theory. Theory of gravity.
    Creationism is an everyday theory. Not based on experimentation or fact. "Contemplation or speculation , guess or conjecture". Very different from evolution and a scientific theory.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:40 am |