Why We Must Teach Evolution in the Science Classroom

By Lorentzen, Laura | Phi Kappa Phi Forum, Summer 2008 | Go to article overview

Why We Must Teach Evolution in the Science Classroom


Lorentzen, Laura, Phi Kappa Phi Forum


I don't remember when I first learned about the theory of evolution, but nowadays I find myself reading of it a great deal in the popular press and hearing it discussed in the media. As my daughter enters elementary school, I find myself anxious to discuss with her teachers what they will cover in science class and where in their curriculum they plan to teach evolution.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

OUR COUNTRY HAS LAWS THAT SEPARATE church and state. Public institutions like schools must be neutral on the subject of religion, as required by the Constitution's First Amendment. Our courts have mandated that creationism is not an appropriate addition to the science curriculum in public schools; yet supporters of intelligent design press to have antievolutionary discussions enter the science classroom. Creationists even advocate that, when teaching evolution, educators should add the disclaimer that it is "just a theory."

Let's consider why all of us as educated persons, scientists and nonscientists alike, should take note of what science is taught--and not taught--in our public schools. In common language, a theory is a guess of sorts. However, in scientific language, a theory is "a set of universal statements that explain some aspect of the natural world ... formulated and tested on the basis of evidence, internal consistency, and their explanatory power." (1) The theory of evolution meets all of these criteria.

On the opposite side of the argument, "intelligent design fails on both basic tenets of a scientific theory; design cannot be observed, and it cannot be tested," writes Mary Crowley in the New York Academy of Sciences Update magazine. (2)

The National Science Teachers Association (NTSA) argues the importance of teaching evolution in one of its own, most fundamental, writings--its position statement: "If evolution is not taught, students will not achieve the level of scientific literacy they need." The NSTA recognizes that evolution is a major unifying concept across multiple disciplines of science, and the National Science Education Standards, updated in 1996, recommend evolution as a means to "unify science disciplines and provide students with powerful ideas to help them understand the natural world." (3) Indeed, the evolutionary perspective is vitally important in modern molecular and cellular biology, not to mention biomedicine--for example, the nature of disease and targeted treatments--and other scientific disciplines. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Why We Must Teach Evolution in the Science Classroom
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.