I do sometimes wonder, when people debate with me about evolution (it happens way more often than you might imagine, or that I would like), if they realize the implications of what they're saying. The debates get tiresome. I get weary from repeating the same points to different people (or, sometimes, the same people), and it's frustrating to know that the only reason they're questioning modern science is because it doesn't jive with their religion. The Bible says the earth is flat too, but nobody puts up much of a fight about that one. "Oh, that's just a metaphor" is the typical weasel refrain of theological accomodationalism.
This is why talking about evolution with creationists is really, really important. Evolution is not just some "best guess" to explain human origins – it is the cornerstone of all modern biology. There is even a field of study called "evolutionary medicine" in which our knowledge of evolution is directly applied to the understanding and treatment of disease. If any of our children ever want to help the world by becoming, say, molecular biologists, they are going to have to accept the fact of evolution. Has anyone ever heard of "creationist medicine"? (And no, laying on of hands does not count.) What practical applications have ever been proposed of young-earth creationism or intelligent design? Neither has ever contributed one iota of scientific research.
That's the difference between scientific explanations and bullshit explanations. Scientific explanations add to our knowledge of the world in ways that are real and useful to us, like the way Einstein's theory of relativity allows us to use GPS systems. And that why, the more we allow creationists to erode our scientific education, the more we harm our own future. It's not merely a matter of addressing those who are able to finagle their way on to school boards, but addressing the kind of people who would vote for them, too. I don't think I should have to point out the recent gubernatorial campaign ads in Alabama to show that scientific ignorance in favor of religious crackpottery is still alive and well here in the United States.
We can teach the controversy when there is actually a controversy to teach. When creationists are able to develop research that shows real, practical applications of their theory that both explain everything that is already explained by evolution and add to our understanding of the world, we might have something to talk about. But I don't think that is going to happen any time soon, because creationism is founded on false premises. Evolution is the unifying theory of all modern biological sciences; it truly is the only game in town, and denying the fact of evolution is no different than denying the fact of our spherical Earth*.
I challenge any creationist to watch the following video, and then counter with similar practical applications of creationism:
* Oblate spheroid, to be exact.