Teach the ControversyThose who believe God created the universe as it is today have taken more and more desperate measures to keep the teaching of creationism on school curricula. First, they wanted the teaching to consist of the creation stories told in Genesis. Then, when that failed because it was considered religion rather than science, they wanted it to consist merely of the teaching of ‘intelligent design’ (which was creationism without naming the designer ‘God’). Now, they say they just want schools to ‘Teach the Controversy.’ Teach kids about the debate, they say. Teach them that some people believe in creation and some people believe in evolution. Isn’t that fair?

The problem, of course, is that creation still isn’t science. It isn’t peer-reviewed, it doesn’t propose any testable hypothesis, it fails to explain the large volume of evidence for evolution, it fails to show any evidence of its own; in short, it just isn’t scientific. Nobody came to believe in creation in a laboratory: a small number of people came to believe in creation at church and subsequently brought it into the laboratory (and shockingly few biologists, geologists, geneticists, paleontologists or scientists in other related fields have even done that). Of course, there is room for creationism on the curriculum – in religious education – but science is science.

If you want to ‘teach the controversy’ between the scientific explanation of how things came to be and the things people believe for unscientific reasons, some say, then why not involve all kinds of alternative explanations, no matter how nutty? After all, Genesis by no means contains the only creation story.

Jeremy Kalgreen stirs the pot with a variety of T-shirt designs that you can order from his website, controversy.wearscience.com, which feature the words “TEACH THE CONTROVERSY” and a depiction of another unscientific belief: UFOs built the pyramids, the universe is ‘Turtles all the way down’, Greek gods built the world, and the earth is the center of the universe (another theory that took the Christian church 400 years longer than the scientific community to accept). Kalgreen offers a clever way of criticizing the ‘Teach the Controversy’ approach.

Why not come up with your own alternative to evolution to put on a T-shirt? After all, the evidence doesn’t matter! I believe we’re all living in a bead of sweat on Sarah Palin’s left breast during a national debate. Jeremy? Care to draw it up?