Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Human Evolution, Science Based, or Religiously Based?
Can you believe there are still people who refuse to believe in evolution? Though saddening, it’s very true, and even worse, the teachers who are against the theory of evolution try to do away with teaching their students about it and instead want to teach them about creationism and religion (not very scientific!). In this article they took a look into why it’s so crucial for teachers to teach the theory of evolution and why its important to teach it from a certain stand point. They have also come across some new theories/ideas that can be taught alongside evolution. By "evolution" in this article, they mean both neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory in biology and chemical evolutionary theories for the origin of the first life from non-living chemicals. Over the years, school boards have been forced to address concerns about good science education as well as conflicting claims about constitutional limitations. So, a new approach was developed called, “Teach the Controversy.” The idea is to use scientific disagreements over evolution to help students learn more about evolution, and about how science deals with controversy. According to this approach, students should learn the scientific case for evolution, but in doing so they should study the scientific criticisms of various aspects of evolutionary theory. This new approach also allows students to practice important questioning and critical thinking skills as well as analysis over a very controversial topic; and most importantly, it allows each student to develop their own beliefs and stance on evolution- instead of just learning about the teacher’s viewpoint.

          In 1995 a broad range of over 30 legal, religious and non-religious organizations signed a statement called "Religion in the Public Schools: A Joint Statement of Current Law." The joint statement agreed, "any genuinely scientific evidence for or against any explanation of life may be taught." After the U.S. Supreme Court had made a number of landmark decisions, the teaching of the Judeo-Christian story of creation at all or alongside evolution was banned from schools. In the Constitution the teaching of evolution as well as the teaching of scientific criticisms of prevailing scientific theories is permitted, but refusing or banning the teaching of evolution was deemed as going against the First Amendment. In 2013, the standards were changed again, and now indicate that students should be able to “communicate scientific information that common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.” So, if the teachers today are teaching evolution ‘correctly,’ after they have been taught all about it and all the controversies that go along with it, they should be able to put together their own viewpoints on evolution and be able to defend whatever their stance may be.

One of the biggest problems in the education system today is that states get to develop their own standards that they have their teachers teach by, that means students end up learning completely different things than other students their age just because they grew up out west rather than down south or in the northeast, and that problem is magnified in the controversy of how evolution should and can be taught. Even today, students in some states still aren’t getting properly educated on and about how human life got here and evolved; a sad truth.

Article: Teaching Evolution in Public Schools: A Short Summary of the Law
Website: http://www.discovery.org/a/2543

-Kelsey Morrison (2)

7 comments:

  1. It's hard to come to a consensus on such a controversial topic. I am not surprised that some schools aren't properly educating their students. However, I think everyone is entitled to their beliefs and if they grow up where this is the social norm, then it is the proper way to educate them. Imagine if we were all told the sky is blue, and evolution is real our whole life and then a teacher came to teach us that it's actually all because of religion and the sky is yellow. It would definitely cause confusion and the teacher likely wouldn't last long in their position.


    Dasha Agoulnik (1)

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  2. I'm not very religious but I respect the fact that some people who are may choose to believe in creationism. That is there choice but the fact that they aren't even being taught about evolution in the first place and being allowed to decide between the two is the real issue. Not to mention those who aren't religious but go to schools that don't teach evolution and are having others religions forced upon them with no alternative. I personally don't think creationism should be taught at all in public schools but if it is the theory of evolution must be taught alongside it so students can make an informed decision for themselves.

    Cole DiStasio (Group 2)

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    1. I feel like at this day and age we need to be supporting the youths learning of all kinds of knowledge and view points and then allowing them to decided whats logical to them and what they want to believe in, but providing the cold hard facts, like it just being proven that we have DNA in our genome that matches neanderthals DNA... should guide their brains and minds in a certain direction, if not to agree with evolution but to become aware that its an important topic to be educated on!
      -Kelsey

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  3. I'm shocked to think that some public school teachers are able to keep their jobs despite refusing to acknowledge certain agreed-upon facts within their discipline. I'm even more shocked to know that public educators in certain states have no problems designing a curriculum which ignores fundamental facts of biology, particularly evolution. It may be hard to accept, but those who work in the public education system must not disregard scientific advancements simply because they contradict their personal religious beliefs. It is simply morally wrong for educators to mislead and misinform students in such a manner.

    Bradley Sarasin (Group 3)

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  4. This is a very interesting article because wow you are so right. It's amazing that some people don't "believe in evolution" like it's something that hasn't been proven with actual facts. I'm enrolled in evolution this semester and actually have found it to be the most interesting class thus far in my college career, a lot of information, but very interesting and TRUE. I mentioned a couple of things to my friend the other day while reading the text book and he commented that he "doesn't think thats correct." Ridiculous. Evolution is a scientific fact, not something to debate about anymore!

    Stephanie Aboody

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  5. Couldn't agree with you more!! It's silly to think kids are being deprived of such crucial knowledge because a teacher has the control to avoid the whole topic in certain states. The scientific proof and facts are there.. embrace them! I was just reading an article the other day about how they finally proved we have matching DNA as some neanderthals and even cooler I'd say, they proved white and black people have the same DNA and the only reason everyone isn't black is because the cold temperatures in Europe and other countries were a lot harsher than the temperatures experienced in Africa, which caused our skin and hair to get lighter.. Fascinating and scientifically backed up. How can teachers still be arguing that evolution is not a thing!!!!?
    -Kelsey

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