While the debate over the validity of each argument is best left to scientists and the clergy, the question for politicians has become how the controversy should be dealt with in the classroom.
For many educators, the Theory of Evolution fits very well into science classes such as biology and anatomy, but the Creation Theory is a little more difficult to include because it is inherently religious in nature.
The separation of church and state has often been a sensitive issue for conservatives, but no more so than with the issue of Mankind's origin. Conservative politicians, particularly those in line with the Christian Right, tend to believe the Theory of Creation isn't a theory at all; they see it as an historic fact and want to see it implemented into the classroom as the Theory of Intelligent Design. This theory states that only an intelligent "creator" could design a universe as complex as ours, or a being as complex as ourselves.
Their conservative opponents, however, embrace the evolution theory, claiming that it explains Mankind's desire for personal possessions and social governance and the roles men and women naturally play in society.
Latest DevelopmentsTensions within the conservative movement over the issue of Intelligent design were exposed earlier this year during a debate between the group of candidates running for president on the Republican ticket.
Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo all said they did not believe in Charles Darwin's theory of Evolution. While all three are long-shots at becoming president, a subsequent poll conducted by USA Today indicated that about two-thirds of people believe in Creationism in some form.
FussMany religious conservatives believe that by accepting evolution, they are cashing in their faith in God for science. From there, it is a hop, skip and a jump toward embracing other, equally unappealing aspects of science such as stem cell research and abortion.
Politically, the question for many religious conservatives (and pro-evolution conservatives, as well) isn't whether the theory of creation is valid. The question is whether or not it should be included in school curriculums and taught as part of the debate over Mankind's origins.