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Teaching evolution in K-12, NOT.

Rich Young young at serum.kodak.com
Thu Dec 16 13:26:59 EST 1993

In article <1993Dec15.004815.7294 at emba.uvm.edu> brianf at med.uvm.edu (Brian Foley) writes:
>Dear Researchers:
>	As a graduate student in molecular genetics, I am quite interested
>in molecular evolution, and evoltuion in general.  I was not taught much
>about evolution before entering college (1978), so I recently became
>interested in finding out how much evolution is taught in the K-12 school
>years now.
>	I tried finding out by asking teachers who use the Usenet
>newsgroup called K12.ED.Science about evolution.  I was quickly told by
>several members of the group (including one who seemed to be the
>moderator) that discussion of evolution was not allowed in the K12.ED.Science
>list because "there are other groups for discussing that".  I followed up
>saying that in my humble opinion biology is now based on evolution to a
>large degree and that it is a true science.  I noted that religious
>debates about evolution may not be pertinent to the group, but I felt that
>sticking to proven facts about evolution, without getting into theories
>about exactly what the driving forces might be, would be appropriate for 
>K-12 students to learn about.
>	The group responed with another "No way".  Here is one personal reply
>to my followup letter.
>>Hi Brian,
>>for evolution from a scientific perspective in Internet:
>>   Sci.Bio.Evolution
>>for evolution from a religious perspective in Internet:
>>   Soc.Religion.Christian
>>   Soc.Religion.Bible.Study
>>In FidoNet, see C_VS_E for Creation vs Evolution
>>and there are some echoes with titles like CREATION, 
>>BIBLE_TOPICS, GTNET_SCIENCE that are appropriate.
>>I hope that helps,     regards,    Terry
>>  aka   bowden at sydvm1.vnet.ibm.com
>>Via FidoNet/AARNET gateway - 3:632/400 at fidonet and Pro-Net Australia
>>within Australia, call for more information on joining Pro-Net (03) 349-2266
>	I was upset with this answer for a number of reasons:  1) I cannot 
>find any such group as Sci.Bio.Evolution, I found the this BIONET group,
>but this group is sure not to reach high school students and teachers because
>due to network load they do not download the BIONET group of groups.  2)
>the argument that the Christian religion has more to say about evolution
>than the Taoist, Sioux, or any other religion does not sound right to me.
>	Now I am left with the impression that most science teachers at the
>K-12 level believe that evolution is just a single "theory" that competes
>directly with religious views of creation.  THis was what I was taught in 
>grade school in the late '60s.  I thought we had progressed since then.

	The Usenet group most famous for Creationist/Evolution discussions
	is "talk.origins", but there is a great deal of heat there along
	with the light, as you might imagine.  My personal feeling is that
	most science teachers are limited by their school boards who, in
	turn, are loath to incur the wrath of fundamentalist parents, thus
	promoting a policy of "If we don't talk about it, maybe it'll go
	away."  One of the finest examples of why the abolishment of
	organized religion should proceed apace that I've seen.

-Rich Young

(The views expressed herein do not reflect those of Eastman Kodak Company Inc.)

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