Friday, August 3, 2007

Teaching Symposium, Day 1

Wow, long day. I was down at Biola all day attending a symposium which unveiled a new curriculum designed to be used in public school classrooms (both at the high school and college level) to expose students to the strengths and weaknesses of neo-Darwinian evolution.

Explore Evolution: The Arguments for and Against Neo-Darwinism (Hill House Publishers, 2007)

This is intended to be a supplement to a standard biology textbook. It presents the strengths and weaknesses of the evolutionary position and allow students to decide for themselves whether neo-Darwinism is, in fact, supported by the scientific record. The book does not promote Intelligent Design in any way, shape or form. However, it is written by leaders in the Intelligent Design movement and they don't seem to be making any secret about this.

I think I agree at least in principle in what they are trying to do. But I remain skeptical that using such a book won't cause all kinds of problems for public school teachers. The media guy from the Discovery Institute who was there assured me that informal curriculum similar to this approach is being used in some public school districts without incident. It's possible if you go about it in the right way.

In other news, I made a friend. It was nice to find a kindred spirit. I also got to meet Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution. He's a really interesting and nice guy. Very smart.

There is another day of meetings tomorrow. We'll see how that goes.

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