…Evolution on trial….
Today in my evolution class we were watching the documentary about Dover, PA and how the school board tried to institute the teaching of Intelligent Design into the curriculum. It is quite an amazingly absurd argument that was played out only five years ago in a city two hours away.
Teaching in a private school affords me the ability to be flexible with my curriculum, in fact I have designed and tailored classes that fit with my passion (evolution) and good research. Being the department chair for science allows me to influence how science is taught in grades 1-12 at our school. My current class “Evolution and Comparative Anatomy” is a testament to our freedom as teachers.
As we watched the documentary play out I listened to rationale science teachers try to defend evolution and the absurdity of intelligent design to irrational people. I felt for them. But the amazing part was that most of this debate revolved around misinterpretation of a word….
In layman’s terms a theory is an idea that someone has. Simple as that, however in science terms, a theory is something that has been tested over and over again and has proven to be true.
Darwin’s theory of evolution to the layman means Darwin’s Idea.
However to a scientist it means Darwin’s testable hypothesis that has been continually tested and proven.
I find it amazing how people not educated with a science background will try to dictate what is and what is not science. A severe lack in science education is killing our culture.
If I had my way, evolution would be taught from 1st -12th grade, this would explain so much to a developing child. Why we look the way we look, why we behave the way we behave, why some people’s skin is darker or lighter than others, why we may look different, but our differences is what led us to be individually successful.
Watching my students, seniors mind you, learning for the first time our connection to the living world around us is bittersweet. It was great that they now know their place in the world, but sad that it took them this long to learn it.
After watching Becoming Human with them they had a moment of clarity where they truly felt like they knew where they came from. They weren’t being told a higher being designed you, we have no proof, and you can’t understand why they did it, but just accept it. No, they were shown why and how they got to where they were today. What I liked best about the class was how they had this very straightforward response to the documentary….”Well that makes sense, why hasn’t anyone told us this before?”