Before I studied biology in college, my thoughts on the evolution debate were “It’s not a big deal. No one can 100% prove what happened before recorded history, so let some people believe what they want, contrary to all evidence.”
Years later, it’s become clear to me that, without evolution, nothing in biology can make sense. If you reject evolution as “just a theory,” then you have no framework with which to understand entire biological fields – genetics, ecology, developmental biology, for just a few examples – and gaping holes in the other fields – like anatomy and molecular biology.
Teaching kids lies sounds like a fun idea at first, but if we want them to have a chance to succeed in these fields and if we enjoy the benefits we’re receiving from them, then we should probably consider making it clear to them that various myths that dominated human discourse before the Industrial Revolution are just that, myths.
It’s truth for the sake of truth on one level, on another it comes down to brass tacks: ignorant people can’t do cool stuff for the rest of us.