Evolution in the High School Science Class

John Hawks discusses the trouble with the lack of Evolution teaching in High School Biology classes.

What really does concern me is the absolute minimal amount of time that high school biology courses spend on evolution. Without evolution, biology really lacks any mechanism to talk about cause and variation — dissecting a fetal pig may help show you how the body works, but it can’t show you why different individuals should vary, or why drugs should have different reactions in different people, why genetic disorders shouldn’t happen very often, but why they sometimes happen anyway, why hybrid corn works but hybrid dairy cattle don’t, and why oil just broke $130 a barrel and is still rising. In other words, important stuff — the sort of basic consumer knowledge of biology that we want future citizens to know.

Physics is still searching for its grand unifying theory.  Biology already has it:  Evolution.  To not cover Evolutionary Biology is to pull the spine out of the “why” questions that make biology so interesting.

This is a deep division, which also exists at the university level. There are a large group of “science-friendly” people who do not understand evolutionary biology, and who do not have a practical idea of its importance. These people are without a doubt against teaching creationism in science courses, but they cannot be for evolution except in the most nebulous sense, because they have no more than a nebulous idea of what evolution is. Unfortunately, some professional biologists, geneticists, and other scientists are among this group.

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2 responses to “Evolution in the High School Science Class

  1. Very interesting…thanks for sharing!!

  2. So….what came first?
    The green eggs or the ham?
    The same questions still come up and biology class won’t answer and genetics stills says neither.

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