I keep hearing from creationists that instructors in public schools are teaching Evolutionary Theory as though it's fact. Keep in mind, I'm talking about AP Creationists, not the ones best identified by their Invasion of the Body Snatchers style shrieking about scientists under demonic influence and the supernatural battle for our children's souls. Those creationists, among who's ranks I was once counted, aren't typically capable of the polysyllabic utterances necessary to express anything more nuanced than the vapid "Hitler was a Darwinist" fallacy.
By "AP Creationist", I mean the kind of creationist that concedes that the term "evolution" encompasses both fact and theory but somehow misses that the second relies on the first, the kind that utilizes sciency sounding terms like "micro-evolution" and "the Goldilocks principle" but can't properly define them in anything approaching a rational manner, the kind that spouts supposed geologic evidence for the Noadic flood but dodges the obvious fact that everything on the ark would have drowned in a sickly pile of animal shit, the kind that attempts to use our modern understanding of genetics to explain the concept of original sin but doesn't consider the theological implications of our ability to manipulate genes, the kind that abuses statistics like a sadistic fiend in a pathetic attempt to feel special but couldn't accurately calculate the odds of drawing a winning poker hand, the kind that joyfully points out supposed gaps in the fossil record but blindly ignores the gaps in the biblical genealogy of Christ, the kind that understands Pascal's Wager is hopelessly flawed but blithely regurgitates Kalams Cosmological Argument, the kind that is entirely dedicated to the notion of so-called Universal Truth but picks through science to pull out bits that don't contradict the bits they've pulled out of the Bible that don't contradict their situationally derived ethics and intentions...
But I digress.
As I mentioned, AP Creationists are willing to concede that the term "evolution" encompasses both fact and theory, but by their insistence that Evolutionary Theory is being taught as fact in public school classrooms I'm forced to conclude they don't have a flea's nut of an idea where the line between fact and theory is drawn.
Let me help illuminate that line with a couple of links:
The first link contains a multimedia lesson on the subject of natural selection in which specific adaptations can be made to virtual finch populations in order to demonstrate how adaptation affects survival in response to environmental change.
The second link is an in depth examination of the phylogenetic relationships among 13 of 17 extant pseudocheirid species based on protein-coding portions of the ApoB, BRCA1, ENAM, IRBP, Rag1, and vWF genes; in which support is found for the monophyly of Pseudocheirineae (Pseudochirulus+Pseudocheirus), Hemibelidinea (Hemibelideus + Petauroides), and Pseudochiropsinae (Pseudochirops + Petropseudes), respectively, and for an association of Pseudocheirinae and Hemibelidinae to the exclusion of Pseudochiropsinae.
The first link is an example of evolutionary fact.
The second link is an example of evolutionary theory.
Now, ask yourself - how likely is it that second link would be presented to students in a public school setting? I'm guessing it's only slightly more likely than that dog giving birth to a cat scenario you guys vomit up every time someone serious mentions speciation. Public school students are not being taught Evolutionary Theory as fact because the details of Evolutionary Theory are beyond the scope of most public school biology courses.
Public school students are taught that humans, apes, and every other living thing on the planet share a common ancestor; like it or not, this is fact. Yes, fact. Piss, moan, scream, wail, gnash your devout pearly teeth - common descent, the assertion that all life is biologically related, is a fact. Public school students are not, however, taught the intricate arguments regarding Australopithecus sediba's potential ancestry to either Homo habilis or Homo rudolfensis, nor the speculation that sediba is actually a surviving variant of Australopithecus africanus; the details of those arguments are both related to Evolutionary Theory, not fact, and well over junior's head. In my fevered dreams, those arguments are briefly outlined in public high school biology classrooms by instructors that are confident their students can grasp the tentative nature of those speculations based on their firm understanding of the underlying evolutionary and scientific principals involved ... but I'm constantly reminded by the "I ain't no monkey" crowd that my fevered dreams are far from reality.
The problem, my dear AP Creationists, is not that Evolutionary Theory is being taught as though it were fact. The problem is that your grasp of reality is so tragically stunted that you can't properly identify fact. You've been duped by decades of furiously repetitious dendrite reinforcement into actually believing that reality is determined by its superficial similarity to the heavily interpreted scribblings of a smattering of ancient desert-wandering nomads. You've succumbed without resistance to a reality of your own creation in which facts are determined, not by their merit, but by their effect on your over-inflated egos.
Theory isn't being taught as fact in our public schools. FACT is being taught as fact. Learn to differentiate between the two or move aside so the grown-ups can continue educating our nation's children.