It was a hard job, but someone had to do it. A few days ago, I sat down and watched a 15 minute video of Miss USA pageant contestants as they pondered the question: Should evolution be taught in schools?
Then I watched it again. And again. Until my eardrums bled I had a complete and accurate transcript.
So that you don’t have to do endure the same agony, I present the transcript below, as a service to the community, with timecodes relative to the video above. Enjoy. You can find the names and biographies of each state’s contestant at the Miss USA site.
“Should evolution be taught in school?”
AL: Evolution, no, I do not believe in evolution, I do not think it should be taught in schools, and I would not encourage it.
AK: I think it’s necessary that evolution is taught in schools because it is part of our history and the belief system that the west has held for a long amount of time, however personally I don’t believe in evolution, I believe that each one of us were created for a purpose by god and that just gives my life so much more direction and meaning.
AZ: I think it’s good to provide our students with both sides of the story and let them choose for themselves. I know that some people obviously believe in evolution and some people believe in creation. I think that teaching both of those and letting the students decide, whether it be on their faith or their personal belief I think that’s the best choice.
AR: I think evolution…personally I never was taught evolution in school, it was never a big focal point in our studies, but you know every school is different and if that’s something that they think they need to teach their children then that’s, you know, to each his own. And I can’t argue with that.
CA: Well, I was taught evolution in my high school growing up, and I do believe in it, I mean I’m a huge science geek, so I like to believe in like the big bang theory, and you know, the evolution of humans you know, throughout, you know, time.
CO: I think that we should definitely open up to offering differing ways to teach students about everything: different thought processes, different ideas, because it’s important to let students just decide their own ideas and what they want to believe in. So if it’s something that they do teach, I think they should teach evolution and just other concepts as well so that they can definitely decide what they believe in themselves.
CT: I do think evolution should be taught in school.
DE: I think evolution should be taught in schools, but in particular high school. It’s a growing process and I think everyone needs to learn these experiences on their own and not just based off of parents beliefs and if they can choose and opt to take it then that should be an option, so I think that’s definitely a great idea.
DC: I definitely think evolution should be taught in schools because I think it’s important to see a difference in perspectives to actually be able to formulate your own opinion.
FL: Evolution should be taught in school, it’s something that people do believe and it’s in existence and we really don’t know where the first level came, where the first person came from.
GA: I think that kids need a wide variety of things, not just be taught one or the other. I think evolution should be taught but I also think maybe the biblical stuff should be taught as well, you know. I think kids need to make their own decisions. We’re smarter than ever these days, so I mean why not teach everything and let people make their own decisions.
HI: I think evolution should be taught in schools, we have creationitism [sic] and a lot of other ideas and opinions that are taught to the children. I think everybody should be able to have their opinion taught, however I think it’s the parents and the family who should be able to be there for the children and to guide them in what their beliefs are as a family and as individuals.
ID: I believe that evolution should be mentioned in school. The thing is it’s all about what you believe in and it shouldn’t be pushed on you but again you should be knowledged about it I guess just different options. Because growing up in a family, you learn to live off of those values and morals and if you don’t have other options to believe in that’s what you’re gonna go by for the rest of your life.
IL: Uh, that’s fairly interesting, I think evolution should be taught in schools because it is information that should be available to students. It is a theory that people should know about.
IN: <shakes head> I don’t know. I think that we should leave that up to the government. I don’t think… I’m not sure, I think a lot of people would have an issue if evolution was taught in school, I think we should just leave that out of the equation.
IA: I took evolution in college and I really enjoyed it because it helped me gain perspective. I just believe that everyone should just have equal opportunity in education so if it is available it could be available as an elective I think.
KS: I think evolution should be at least introduced or exposed to students but I think it’s up to the student to either take it in and decide if they want to apply it to their life or not.
KY: I honestly don’t think you could ever have too much knowledge on any subject, that’s my personal view, but I do feel that evolution shouldn’t be taught in school just because there’s so many different views on it. So many different definitions like how do you teach a child the true meaning of evolution when so many different cultures have their different beliefs and scientists have their different theories, it’s just not a good subject that I feel everyone will agree on in classrooms, when kids come from all different backgrounds, different cultures, different beliefs, so I just personally don’t think it’s a good topic for school subjects, at all.
LA: I think so, um, you know it just, oh god, that’s kind of a tough one … Yeah, I think so.
ME: That’s a very difficult question. I feel that we should have evolution taught in schools, as well as a belief in faith, I believe that people should be able to choose what they believe in and that is something that I was taught in elementary school and it hasn’t hurt what I believe in and stand for today.
MD: I think that everything should be taught in school. I think the great thing about America is that we’re open to freedom of choice, freedom of religion, and I think if you’re going to teach one aspect of how you think the world has come to be, I think you should teach all the aspects. So evolution is definitely one, you know it’s a great theory, it’s something that has really helped us evolve as people, to use the word, but I definitely think it should be.
MA: I do think evolution should be taught in schools. I was personally taught evolution growing up even in a religious school, I think it’s an important aspect and I think it’s good because it broadens your horizons. I think any learning possibility is good. And I think people should learn as much as possible about different aspects of different … whether it’s religion whether it’s whatever it is, I think the more learning you can get, the more educated you are, the more educated you are, the better you come off.
MI: I do believe that evolution should be taught in schools. I think it’s silly to not know both sides and um it would be ignorant if it’s not, so yes, I do.
MN: Yes, I do, I think it should be. I grew up Catholic, so that’s a great question if evolution should be taught in schools, but I think it’s important that you understand all perspectives before making up your own decision, and I did learn from my priest growing up that evolution does not go against the Catholic faith and Pope John Paul II did accept the idea of evolution into your Catholic practice as well.
MS: I think evolution should be taught as what it is, it’s a theory so I don’t think it should be taught as fact, but I do think our children should know the theories that are involved in different sciences.
MO: That is such a tough one. I think that if it were to be taught in schools, that that would give kids a chance to decide what they want to believe for themselves, so that way if they learned about all sorts of different ideas, then they would be able to form their own opinions afterwards.
MT: I think that it should definitely be presented as an option and I think that both sides should be presented and that the student should be able to make their own choices and come to their own decisions.
NE: I think that in public schools you have to give all credited theories equal amount of time, so I think creation and evolution should both be able to be taught.
NV: I think evolution definitely should be taught in schools. I think there’s different ways to view evolution but as everyone can probably agree upon, everything evolves. We evolve as communities that build ourselves from scratch, and Nevada’s a good example of that, that we’ve evolved from a very small community to something much much bigger and much more successful so I think evolution can be taught in many different ways and doesn’t necessarily have to be about people and how people have evolved, but it can also be about communities as well.
NH: You know, I work in a hospital setting with children and families and I am constantly trying to provide interactions and interventions as a child life specialist that is culturally respective and sensitive to all points of view so I think that evolution is one of those things that needs to be incorporated but it shouldn’t be the only point of view taught.
NJ: I think everything should be taught in schools, every single aspect of evolution and anything you can think of. I think they should have the option of learning everything that there is to learn, and then kinda choose what they like to believe.
NM: I think evolution should be taught in schools because evolution is based off of science and I think science is a huge thing that we need to continue to enrich our schools with.
NY: I personally believe evolution should be taught in schools and I believe religion should be taught in schools. I think everything should be taught in schools and that knowledge is power and it’s good for all of our students to have a wider perspective of different beliefs and important things that a lot of people you know that’s scientific and as well as um what other cultures practice.
NC: I think it’s great to get both sides of the story. I’m personally a Christian so I believe the Bible’s version, but you can’t push opinions or beliefs on children so they need to know every side that’s out there, so yes, I do believe that should be taught. But so should the other side of the story.
ND: Sure, why not, evolution should be taught in schools. I think it’s good that people hear both sides of, I guess “the story” so to speak.
OH: You know what, I think, why not? Because I think it just gives young, the youth right now, in America, why not keep their options open. You don’t necessarily have to agree with it, but I’m not opposed to it.
OK: I do think evolution should be taught in schools. I think it’s important to teach young people kind of every version of everything and a little bit of everything so they can form their own opinions, I think that’s really important.
OR: I think that every theory of how we came to be here should get a shout out in education. So evolution definitely should be presented but I think other options should be presented alongside it, it shouldn’t be the only one.
PA: I think evolution should absolutely be taught in schools. I think we should explore all philosophies. So evolution should be taught and other theories should be taught as well, and then children should be taught as much as possible so that they can decide on their own what they think is the truth.
RI: I believe that evolution should be taught in schools because I think that kids need to know all different perspectives on how the world came to be.
SC: I think, you know, whether people believe in creation or evolution, everyone needs to know how we were made, why we’re here, and I think you know if the parents are fine with it then that’s OK.
SD: I think evolution is part of basic science and it should be taught, but I also don’t think that teachers or anyone should step on the toes of Biblical values either.
TN: I do think evolution should be taught in schools. Personally that’s not my belief but I do think that all ideas should be put out there for people to decide for themselves.
TX: I wouldn’t see why evolution couldn’t be taught in schools, I think it’s something that, again it would be the school’s preference, but I think it would be interesting to learn about and just have something extra for kids to know about
UT: Mmmm, it’s tough because everybody has their different beliefs, um, gosh, I don’t know, I, I would say yes, <pause> but I know some people are gonna be offended by it, it’s tough, it’s one of those things that I think you know either way somebody’s gonna be offended, so I would say yes, but you know, somebody’s mad now <laughs>
VT: I think evolution should be taught in schools, because not everybody necessarily has the same religious background and it’s important to have scientific facts about the world and we do know that evolution exists even on a small scale like with people and with bacteria that are becoming resistant to drugs and whatnot, so might as well learn about it.
VA: I think little bits and pieces of evolution should be taught in schools because it is a theory and after all we all need to know about different theories so that we can figure out what we want to believe is true.
WA: I think when it comes to evolution, I think science is great and that when it comes to teaching I think facts should be stated and we should know the facts as to how the world evolves because it does. But as far as when it comes to little theories and whatnot, I probably want to stay away from those. I believe in the truth and the truth only, not somebody’s imagination or hope or whatnot. So I think facts not theories should be taught.
WV: <pause> Yeah, I do think that evolution should be taught in schools, but I also don’t think that religion should be taken out. If you don’t believe in evolution, that’s fine, but you should at least be informed about it. And if you don’t believe in religion, that’s fine, but you should at least be informed about it. So I personally feel like they should incorporate both.
WI: I feel that evolution should be taught in schools only because it’s a great subject to touch base on.
WY: It’s ki… Uh, evolution’s kind of a touchy subject. I took a class called biological anthropology, though, and they taught the history of evolution and it’s very scientific, so I would think both should be taught in schools because you should probably know the whole story.