Creationists, after all, are just as sure that they are right about Darwin as evolutionists think themselves to be.Phonics-based instruction is controversial because the data are mixed. Evolution is controversial because some people reject the fundamental premises of scientific inquiry.
Of course, in education, Darwin is just the beginning: Is phonics-based instruction the right or wrong way to teach reading? Should American history be taught in a “traditional” way that focuses on the nation’s great achievements, or is it right to focus on the country’s flaws? What amount of time should students spend studying fine art instead of, say, physics? Is it wrong for a student newspaper to run an article critical of the school’s principal? And so on…
Clearly, when it comes to countless disputes in education, what is truly right or truly wrong is very difficult to know. With that in mind, we must answer the question: Is it better that government impose one idea of what’s right on all children, or that parents be able to seek freely what they think is right for their own kids?
Now, parents can, if they so choose, pull their children out of the public school system and impose upon them any manner of ridiculous notions by sticking them in alternative educational environments. The government, however, has no obligation to subsidize such behavior. This is particularly true in the case of the evolution controversy, as the only reasons to reject evolution are religious.
But really, it's the relativism that's the problem - you just can't take it seriously. I, after all, am just as sure that I am right about school choice as libertarians think themselves to be. Is it better that the government impose one idea of what's right - in this case, school choice - on all children? It cuts both ways.
Well, actually, it doesn't cut at all.
P.S. - Why all these references to Darwin? The debate isn't about Darwin, it's about evolution. Darwin was a man; evolution is a set of ideas. Darwin contributed many of those ideas, but the only reason I can think of to frame the debate as about him is that you don't want to engage the actual ideas.