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The Growing Threat of Creationism

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How old is the Earth? Most people believe it's billions of years old, but more and more people think it's much younger. They think that the Earth was created only a few thousand years ago. These different viewpoints make up the debate between the theory of evolution and creationism. It's a very hot topic in the US.

The theory of evolution states that plants and animals changed slowly over billions of years. Helpful traits were given to offspring, and harmful traits disappeared. However, creationism explains that God created the Earth just a few thousand years ago. In addition, he created the Earth in just six days, exactly as told in the Bible. Another form of creationism says that God has influenced the development of the Earth instead of directly creating the planet and all its life.

In the US, many conservative leaders don't want teachers to teach evolution in the classroom. Other leaders have tried to get creationism taught with evolution. But courts have repeatedly ruled that creationism and intelligent design are religious teaching. Religion should not be taught in public classrooms in the US.

In Europe, the number of people who believe in creationism is also increasing. Therefore, the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly will debate the idea of creationism. An Assembly member said that there are different opinions about religion. But creationism isn't science, so it shouldn't be taught in the classroom.

Preview some of the lesson material:

Brainstorm: Brainstorm with a partner(s) words and ideas associated with "evolution" for 2 minutes. Spend another 5 minutes or less discussing the words and ideas together.

True or False? : Guess (before the article) or answer (after the article) whether the sentence is true or false. If false, correct the sentence.

  1. According to the article, the Earth is billions of years old.
  2. Creationism explains that plants and animals changed slowly.
  3. Intelligent design is a type of creationism.
  4. US courts regularly decide that religion shouldn't be taught in the classroom.
  5. According to the article, evolution is decreasing in Europe.

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. Which do you believe is right, evolution or creationism? Why?
  2. Is it possible that God(s) created the universe, and then plants and animals evolved? Why/not?
  3. Why do you think so many people in the U.s believe in creationism?
  4. Why do you think more and more people in Europe believe in creationism?
  5. Should creationism and evolution be taught side-by-side in the classroom?

Google Search: Type "creationism" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.

Download the lesson:



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