Teaching "Intelligent Deisgn" (was: [Plant-education] <no subject>)

David R. Hershey dh321 at excite.com
Wed Nov 9 20:48:48 EST 2005


Over the years, American Biology Teacher (ABT) has had a lot of
articles on creationism versus evolution. The October issue has a
feature article on "The Teaching of Evolution and Creationism in
Minnesota" by plant educator Randy Moore and high school teacher Karen
Kraemer. The issue also has a color poster on "Fossil Evidence and
Evolution." The poster shows fossil animals but no plants. It
advertises live webcast lectures (Dec. 1 and 2) on evolution sponsored
by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute: http://www.holidaylectures.org

The ABT article has many troubling statistics, here are just three:

1. About 20% of U.S. high school biology teachers teach creationism as
if it were a valid theory despite the 1987 Supreme Court ruling making
it illegal to teach creationism in public school science classes.

2. More MN high school biology teachers report pressure on them not to
teach evolution (19% in 1995 and 48% in 2003). The pressure comes
mainly from parents and administrators.

3. Teachers who teach creationism spend more time on it in 2003 than in
1995. In 1995 only 1% of teachers spent at least six hours on
creationism. In 2003, 10% spent at least six hours on creationism.

Some good news, in yesterday's election all the Dover, PA school board
members up for reelection were voted out. The Dover school board had
required a statement promoting intelligent design in biology classes.
That statement prompted a recent lawsuit in federal court (Kitzmiller
v. Dover).

A few excellent evolution websites are:

Understanding Evolution from UC Berkeley
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

National Center for Science Education:
Defending the Teaching of Evolution in the Public Schools
http://www.ncseweb.org/

PBS series on Evolution:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/

David R. Hershey



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