Currently students are taught the theory of evolution as if it is a fact not a theory. What is wrong with teaching the competing theories with all the evidence on both sides of the arguements and then letting the students make their own better educated decisions?
At face value this does seem like a noble idea: teach both creationism and evolution in schools, and let the kids decide. However, in my view, the problem lies in the fact that the primary aim of school is not to necessarily teach children what to believe, but to teach them what they need to know.
For example, every student who plans to enter the medical field needs to know the germ theory of disease in order to be a successful doctor or nurse. Likewise, in order to become a successful biologist, botanist, microbiologist – or any other occupation that falls within the life sciences – you need to know and understand the theory of evolution, simply because evolutionary theory describes how nature works.
A microbiologist, for example, who needs to understand how the Tuberculosis bacterium evolves to become immune to treatment, needs to know the elements of natural selection. She can use her knowledge of evolution in this case to solve the practical problem of developing a more effective drug against the disease. What value does the ‘theory’ of creationism add this endeavour? How can it be useful as a tool?
What I'm arguing is that creationism shouldn't be taught on equal footing with evolution simply because it won't add value to the future work of school kids who might become biologists, anymore than alchemy will add value to a chemical engineer’s ability to do the job well. For a biologist to be successful she needs to know evolution, but she doesn’t need any knowledge of creationism at all. So why waste time teaching it in science class where it isn't needed?
I’m not saying that we should throw out creationism entirely. Maybe it can be mentioned in an historical review of humankind’s changing beliefs about origins, or taught alongside other creation stories in a class on philosophy or religion. But it should not be taught as an alternative to evolution, simply because, as an alternative, it doesn't contribute any value to the practical field of biology.