Darwin Day. Seems like a good time to raise a glass to that other old man with a white beard of our textbooks (okay, him and another) given that there are some alarming statistics about how (read: how little) of this science is taught in this country and what it may mean to your progeny.
Human evolution is included in the National Science Education Standards and the Benchmarks for Science Literacy, our national statements of the fundamental science concepts for grades K-12. The Standards and Benchmarks describe the basics for scientifically literate citizens. At the state level, politics overtake science education. Human evolution is included in only 8% of the state science standards, and is therefore not required in almost all American elementary, middle or high school science courses.
Fossil records showing actual living things that aren't here anymore are so intriguing. As a kid I imagined every bit of rock I dig up around my tropical neighborhood was some piece of a dinosaur bone. Man, dinosaurs rule--millions of years rule. How's that for a successful political party? They had their detractors, not timid little furry creatures underfoot, some of them had a hankering for the same thing that tips Fred's car at the drive thru in Bedrock (here).