10 Points what school kids need to know about evolution and rational thought.
What SCHOOL kids need to know are the following:
1) That evolution is about common descent and the basic processes around it.
2) And why it is one of the best proven scientific theories - that has been proven (to date) consistently and cumulatively.
3) And that (to date) there is no (zero) evidence for an alternative to common descent.
4) Tell them wishful thinking, dogma and revelation do not count as "evidence"
5) There are by now some 245 000 peer reviewed research articles in the world's leading scientific journals spanning over more than a century containing evidence by the millions.
6) They should be taught that is an extremely strong theory – meaning that common decent is very easily falsifiable (e.g. only one fossil in the wrong stratum, endogenous retroviruses in the wrong order, etc.)
Yet to date, not one (NOT ONE) piece of evidence has surfaced or has been presented to disprove common descent. An instant Nobel prize awaits the person with evidence that disproves common descent.
7) Teach them a range of fallacies in logic e.g. "argumentum ad consequantiam" : "I believe in X because I want it to be true."
The reverse: "I do not believe in Y (e.g. common descent) because I find it's consequences (e.g. for my belief system) unacceptable".
8) Then teach the kids that evolution (common descent) has been proven independently from evidence in 9 specialised areas in natural science:
* paleontological evidence
* Morphological evidence
* Molecular biological evidence
* Vestigial evidence
* Embryological evidence
* Geochemical evidence
* Paleoenvironmental evidence
* Paleobiographic evidence
* Chronological evidence
Demonstrate to them how this is applied for e.g. the evolution of the whale:
9) Tell our young impressionable minds that evolution does not deal with the beginning of life (abiogenesis).Neither is it for or against religion. It does not imply that your ancestor was an ape - or any other modern species. And debunk the other fallacies denialists tell (each other) about evolution until they believe it to be true of evolution.
10) "Believe a proposition because it is well supported by theory and evidence; believe it because it has been experimentally verified; believe it because a generation of smart people have tried their best to falsify it and failed; believe it because it is true (or seems so)." - Sam Harris