Sunday, January 30, 2011

Teaching Evolution in Public School

If this study is accurate, Christian parents have a 1 in 3 shot that their high schooler's biology teacher is a creationist. They also have about the same odds that their teen's teacher will actively teach evolution.

"Science Creationism Still Advocated in H.S. Biology Classes, Study Finds" (Fox News)

Here is a link to a discussion of the research in this week's Science mag: "Defeating Creationism in the Courtroom, But Not in the Classroom."

This research was published last fall, Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America's Classrooms (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

From the standpoint of secular scientists, the victory over Intelligent Design is incomplete. Despite their best efforts, a pesky 30% of high school biology teachers still cling to "creationism." Some supposedly even still teach it in the classroom. (Unfortunately, the news story didn't differentiate between nuances in creationists. I'm not sure about the original research. Personally, I'm kind of skeptical that all of these so-called "creationist" biology teachers believe the Earth is 6,000 years old. I suspect there are a range of views.)

The tone of the story on the Fox News web site basically implies that the problem here is ignorance: If teachers better understood the evidence for evolution, then there wouldn't be any hesitation about teaching it. Personally, I think that shows a pretty profound lack of understanding about the key issues. The real problem, I think, is that people have become more informed about some of the problems with common descent and refuse to just roll over for propaganda.

1 comment:

Breezy Point Mom said...

It is always so frustrating to me when all Christians who believe in Creationism are lumped together as young-earthers. It drives me crazy. So many people are so misled into thinking that the 6,000 years thing has to be part of the Christian package.