To deny the importance of teaching evolution is to fail to grasp a basic truth about children.
Why do I feel so strongly that evolution should be a part of every child’s education? In large measure it is because Darwin enables us to see ourselves in a new light. For all that we are the most special of species – with our unrivalled capacity for language, for thought, for morality and for reason – we are not wholly distinct from the rest of creation. We share a common ancestor with every mammal, with every animal; indeed, with every organism.
And then an evolutionary perspective on life can help us more rigorously assess our strengths and our weaknesses. We are the product of a mechanism that puts us first – that’s what natural selection is all about – but we also have the evolved capacities to seek after truth, beauty and goodness: that’s what being human is all about. This should start in the primary classroom.