Science & Education

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 23–46 | Cite as

Foundational issues in evolution education

  • Mike U. Smith
  • Harvey Siegel
  • Joseph D. McInerney
Article

Abstract

There is a great need for effective evolution education. This paper reviews some of the evidence that demonstrates that need and analyzes some of the foundational semantic, epistemological, and philosophical issues involved. This analysis is used to provide a functional understanding of the distinction between science and non-science. Special emphasis is placed the scientific meaning of the terms theory, hypothesis, fact, proof, evidence, and truth, focusing on the difference between religious belief and acceptance of a scientific theory. Science is viewed as theologically neutral and as not mutually exclusive from religion. Finally, a number of practical recommendations to the classroom biology teacher are presented.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alexander, R. D.: 1983, ‘Evolution, creation, and biology teaching’ in J. P. Zetterberg (ed.), Evolution versus creationism: The public education controversy, Oryx Press, Phoenix, AZ, 90–112.Google Scholar
  2. Almquist, A. J. & Cronin, J. E.: 1988, ‘Fact, fancy, and myth on human evolution’, Cultural Anthropology 29, 529–532.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, O. R.: 1989, The teaching and learning of biology in the United States. International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Anonymous: 1991, ‘Americans and the Gallup creationism poll’, NCSE Reports 11(4), 19.Google Scholar
  5. Armstrong, D. M.: 1985, What is a law of nature?, Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Asimov, I.: 1981, June 14, ‘The ‘threat’ of creationism’, The New York Times Magazine, 1–4.Google Scholar
  7. Begley, S.: 1992, September 14, ‘Is science censored?’, Newsweek, 63.Google Scholar
  8. Bennetta, W. J.: 1985, ‘Looking backward’, Pacific Discovery 38(4), 23–28.Google Scholar
  9. Berry, R. W.: 1983, ‘The beginning’, in R. M. Frye (ed.), Is God a creationist?, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Bishop, B. A. & Anderson, C. W.: 1990, ‘Student conceptions of natural selection and its role in evolution’, Journal of Research in Science Teaching 27, 414–427.Google Scholar
  11. Blois, M. S.: 1988, ‘Medicine and the nature of vertical reasoning’, New England Journal of Medicine 318(13), 847–851.Google Scholar
  12. Boles, D. E.: 1983, ‘Religion in the schools: A historical and legal perspective’, in D. B. Wilson (ed.), Did the devil make Darwin do it? Modern perspectives on the creation evolution controversy, Iowa State University Press, Ames, 170–188.Google Scholar
  13. Bonner, J. T.: 1993, ‘Development’, in Developing biological literacy: A guide to developing secondary and post-secondary biology curricula, BSCS, Colorado Springs, Co.Google Scholar
  14. Brown, W. M.: 1982, ‘Mitochondrial DNA Sequences of Primates: Tempo and Mode of Evolution’, Journal of Molecular Evolution 18, 225–239.Google Scholar
  15. Buckner, E. M.: 1983, ‘Professional and political socialization: High school science teacher attitudes on curriculum decisions, in the context of the “scientific” creationism campaign’, Dissertation Abstracts International 44, 294A. (University Microfilms No. DA 8311671).Google Scholar
  16. Cho, H. H., Kahle, J. B. & Nordland, F. H.: 1985, ‘An investigation of high school biology textbooks as sources of misconceptions and difficulties in genetics and some suggestions for teaching genetics’, Science Education 69, 707–719.Google Scholar
  17. Clough, E. E. & Wood-Robinson, C.: 1985, ‘How secondary students interpret instances of biological adaptation’, Journal of Biological Education 19, 125–130.Google Scholar
  18. Darwin, C.: 1887, The life and letters of Charles Darwin (Vol. 1), Murray, London.Google Scholar
  19. Darwin, C.: 1958, The autobiography of Charles Darwin, N. Barlow (ed.), Collins, London.Google Scholar
  20. Dawkins, R.: 1986, The blind watchmaker, W. W. Norton & Company, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Demastes, S. S., Good, R. G., Sundburg, M. & Dini, M.: 1992, March, ‘Students conception of natural selection: A replication study and more’, Paper presented at the meeting of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
  22. Dobzhansky, T.: 1983, ‘Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution’, in J.P. Zetterberg (ed.), Evolution versus creationism: The public education controversy, pp. 18–28, Oryx Press, Phoenix, AZ.Google Scholar
  23. Dobzhansky, T.: 1967, The biology of ultimate concern, Rapp and Whiting London.Google Scholar
  24. Dretske, F.: 1991, Explaining behavior: Reasons in a world of causes, MIT Press, Cambridge MA.Google Scholar
  25. Edwards V. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 1987.Google Scholar
  26. Edwords, F.: 1980, ‘Short items’, Creation/Evolution, 2, 45.Google Scholar
  27. Eldredge, N.: 1985, Time frames: The evolution of punctuated equilibrium, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
  28. Ellis, W. E.: 1986, ‘Creationism in Kentucky: The response of high school biology teachers’, in R. W. Hanson (ed.), Science and creation: Geological, theological, and educational perspectives, Macmillan, New York.Google Scholar
  29. Eve, R. A. & Dunn, D.: 1990, ‘Psychic powers, astrology & creationism in the classroom?’, American Biology Teacher 52, 10–21.Google Scholar
  30. Eve, R. A. & Harrold, F. B.: 1986, ‘Creationism, cult archaeology, and other pseudoscientific beliefs: A study of college students’, Youth and Society 17, 396–421.Google Scholar
  31. Eve, R. A. & harrold, F. B.: 1991, The creationist movement in modern America, B. K. Hall and Company, Boston.Google Scholar
  32. Feynman, R. P.: 1985, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, W. W. Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  33. Flam, F.: 1992, ‘Cosmic God squad comes under fire’, Science 257(5066), 29.Google Scholar
  34. Freedberg, L.: 1992, March 30, ‘Honig's woes give critics an opening’, San Francisco Chronicle, p. 1, 8.Google Scholar
  35. Freud, S.: 1928, The future of an illusion, (W. D. Robson-Scott, Trans.), Horace Liveright, Edinburg.Google Scholar
  36. Fuerst, P. A.: 1984, ‘University student understanding of evolutionary biology's place in the creation/evolution controversy’, Ohio Journal of Science 84, 218–228.Google Scholar
  37. Gilkey, L.: 1983, ‘Creationism: The roots of the conflict’ in R. M. Frye (ed.), Is God a creationist?, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 56–70.Google Scholar
  38. Good, R. G., Trowbridge, J. E., Demastes, S. S., Wandersee, J. H., Hafner, M. S., & Cummins, C. L. (Eds.). (1992). Proceedings of the 1992 Evolution Education Research Conference. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University.Google Scholar
  39. Gould, S. J.: 1990, The individual in Darwin's world, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, UK.Google Scholar
  40. Gray, T.: 1987 ‘Educational experience and belief in paranormal phenomena’, in F. B. Harrold & R. A. Eve (eds.), Cult archaeology and creationism: Understanding pseudoscientific beliefs about the past, University of Iowa Press, Iowa city, 21–33.Google Scholar
  41. Grose, E. C. & Simpson, R. D.: 1982, ‘Attitudes of introductory college biology students toward evolution’, Journal of Research in Science Teaching 19, 15–24.Google Scholar
  42. Hallden, O.: 1988, ‘The evolution of the species: Pupils' perspectives and school perspectives’, International Journal of Science Education 10, 541–552.Google Scholar
  43. Hanson, R. W. (ed.),: 1991, Science and creation: Geological, theological, and educational perspectives, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York.Google Scholar
  44. Harrold, F. B. & Eve, R. A.: 1987, ‘Patterns of creationist belief among college students’, in Harold, F. B. & Eve, R. A. (eds.), Cult archaeology and creationism: Understanding pseudoscientific beliefs about the past, University of Iowa Press, Ames.Google Scholar
  45. Henderson, C. P.: 1973, God and science: The death and rebirth of theism, John Knox Press, Atlanta.Google Scholar
  46. Holton, G.: 1992, ‘How to think about the “anti-science” phenomenon’, Current Contents.Google Scholar
  47. Hyers, C.: 1984, The meaning of creation: Genesis and modern science, John Knox Press, Atlanta.Google Scholar
  48. Jacob, F.: 1977, ‘Evolution and tinkering’, Science 196, 1161–1166.Google Scholar
  49. Kirkpatrick, M.: 1992, August 9, ‘Faith is a choice’, Sermon presented at the First United Methodist Church, Madison, WI.Google Scholar
  50. Kitcher, P.: 1982, Abusing science: The case against creationism, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  51. Kline, A. D.: 1983, ‘Theories, facts, and gods: Philosophical aspects of the creation-evolution controversy’, in D. B. wilson (ed.), Did the devil make Darwin do it? Modern perspectives on the creation evolution controversy, Iowa State University Press, Ames. 37–45.Google Scholar
  52. Kottler, M.J.: 1983, ‘Evolution: Fact? Theory?... or just a theory?’, in J. P. Zetterberg (ed.). Evolution versus creationism: The public education controversy, Oryx Press, Phoenix, AZ, 29–36.Google Scholar
  53. Kuhn, T. S.: 1970, The Structure of scientific revolutions, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  54. Laudan, L.: 1983, ‘Commentary on Ruse: Science at the bar — Causes for concern’, in M. C. La Follette (ed.). Creationism, science, and the law: The Arkansas case, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 150–160.Google Scholar
  55. Lawson, A. E. & Weser, J.: 1990, ‘The rejection of nonscientific beliefs about life: Effects of instruction and reasoning skills’, Journal of Research in Science Teaching 27, 589–606.Google Scholar
  56. Lawson, A. E. & Worsnop, W. A.: 1992, ‘Learning of nonscientific beliefs about life: Effects of instruciton and reasoning skills’, Journal of Research in Science Teaching 29, 143–166.Google Scholar
  57. Levin, B. R. & Eden, C. S.: 1990, Selection and evolution of virulence in bacteria: an ecumenical excursion and modest suggestion, Parasitology V100 Supplement, N, S103–S115.Google Scholar
  58. Mann, C. C.: 1991, ‘Extinctions: Are ecologists crying wolf?’, Science 253(5021), 736.Google Scholar
  59. Mayr, E.: 1988, Toward a new philosophy of biology: Observations of an evolutionist, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  60. Mayr, E.: 1991, One long argument: Charles Darwin and the genesis of modern evolutionary thought, Harvard/Belknap Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  61. McInerney, J. D.: 1990, July, ‘Comments’, Paper presented at the Biology Textbook Adoption Hearings of the Texas Education Agency, Austin, TX.Google Scholar
  62. McInerney, J. D.: 1991, ‘A biologist in wonderland: The Texas biology textbook adoption hearings’, The American Biology Teacher 53, 4–5.Google Scholar
  63. McInerney, J. D. & Moore, R.: 1993, Voting in Science: Raise your hand if you want humans to have 48 chromosomes, The American Biology Teacher 55(3), 132–133.Google Scholar
  64. Miller, J. D.: 1983, ‘Scientific literacy: A conceptual and empirical review’, Daedallus 112, 29–48.Google Scholar
  65. Miller, J. D.: 1987a, ‘The scientifically illiterate’, American Demographics 9(6), 26–31.Google Scholar
  66. Miller, J. D.: 1987b, ‘Scientific literacy in the United States’, in D. Evered & M. O'Connor (eds.), Communicating science to the public, Wiley, New York, 19–40.Google Scholar
  67. Moore, J. A.: 1984, ‘Science as a way of knowing: Evolutionary biology’, American Zoologist 24, 467–534.Google Scholar
  68. Moyer, J. A. H.: 1955, ‘The Oxford Universal dictionary on historical principles’ (third ed.), Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  69. Murray, J. A. H.: 1955, ‘The Oxford universal dictionary on historical principles’ (third ed.), Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  70. Muther, C.: 1985, ‘What every textbook evaluator should know’, Educational Leadership 42(7), 4–8.Google Scholar
  71. National Center for Science Education & People For the American Way: 1990, Biology textbooks 1990: The new generation, People for the American Way, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  72. National Research Council: 1990, ‘Fulfilling the promise: Biology education in the nation's schools’, National Academy Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  73. National Commission on Excellence in Education: 1983, ‘A nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform’ U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  74. National Science Foundation.: 1989, ‘Scientific literacy: New survey finds levels still low in U.S., U.K.’, Skeptical Inquirer 13, 343–345.Google Scholar
  75. Neiman, A. and Siegel, H.: 1993, ‘Objectivity and rationality in epistemology and education: Scheffler's middle road’, Synthese 94, 55–84.Google Scholar
  76. Nelkin, D.: 1982, The creation controversy, W. W. Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  77. Nelson, C. E.: 1991, ‘Creation, evolution, or both: A multiple model approach’, in Hanson, R. W. (ed.), Science and creation: Geological, theological, and educational perspectives.Google Scholar
  78. Numbers, R. L.: 1982, ‘Creationism in 20th-century America’, Science 218, 538–544.Google Scholar
  79. Popper, K. R.: 1976, Unended quest. An intellectual autobiography, Open Court, LaSalle, IL.Google Scholar
  80. Popper, K. R.: 1978, ‘Natural selection and the emergence of mind’, Dialectica 32, 339–355.Google Scholar
  81. Popper, K. R.: 1987, ‘Natural selection and the emergence of mind’ in G. Radnitzky & W. W. Bartley, III (ed.), Evolutionary epistemology, rationality, and the sociology of knowledge, Open Court, La Salle, IL, 139–156.Google Scholar
  82. Raup, D. M.: 1991, Extinction: Bad genes or bad luck?, W. W. Norton & Company, New York.Google Scholar
  83. Ruse, M.: 1983, ‘Creation-science is not science’, in M. C. La Follette (ed.), Creationism, science, and the law, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 150–160.Google Scholar
  84. Rutherford, F. J. & Ahlgren, A.: 1991, Science for all Americans, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  85. Scott, E. C.: 1987, ‘Antievolutionism, scientific creationism, and physical anthropology’, Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 30, 21–39.Google Scholar
  86. Scott, E. C. & Cole, H. P.: 1985, ‘The elusive scientific basis of creation ‘science’’, Quarterly Review of Biology 60(1), 21–30.Google Scholar
  87. Sheler, J. L. & Schrof, J. M.: 1991, December 23, ‘The creation: Religion's search for a common ground with science’, U.S. News & World Report, pp. 56–64.Google Scholar
  88. Shideler, J. L. & Schrof, J. M.: 1991, December 23, ‘The creation: Religion's search for a common ground with science’, U.S. News & World Report, pp. 56–64.Google Scholar
  89. Siegel, H.: 1981, ‘Creationism, evolution, and education: The California fiasco’, Phi Delta Kappan 63, 95–101.Google Scholar
  90. Siegel, H.: 1984, ‘The response to creationism’, Educational Studies 15, 349–364.Google Scholar
  91. Siegel, H.: 1988, Educating reason: Rationality, critical thinking, and education, Routledge, New York.Google Scholar
  92. Smith, M. U.: 1989a, ‘Implementing a conceptual basis for teaching and learning classical genetics’, in l. Crow (ed.), Enhancing critical thinking in the sciences, Society for College Science Teachers, Washington, DC, 65–74.Google Scholar
  93. Smith, M. U.: 1989b, ‘Problem solving in biology — focus on genetics’, in D. L. Gabel (ed.), What research says to the science teacher (Vol. 5, pp. 67–82), National Science Teachers Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  94. Smith, M. U. & Siegel, H.: 1993, ‘Comment on “The rejection of nonscientific beliefs about life”, Journal of Research in Science Teaching 30, 599–602.Google Scholar
  95. Sonleitner, F. J.: 1986, ‘What did Karl Popper really say about evolution?’, Creation/Evolution 18, 9–14.Google Scholar
  96. Tiede, S.: 1984, March 26, ‘Textbook critics ask for delay’, Dallas Times Herald, pp. 1, 2.Google Scholar
  97. Tooley, M.: 1988, Causation: A realist approach, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  98. Tsui, L-C.: 1992, ‘The spectrum of cystic fibrosis mutations’, Trends in Genetics 8(11), 392.Google Scholar
  99. Volpe, E. P.: 1984, ‘The shame of science education’, American Zoologist 24, 433–444.Google Scholar
  100. Wills, G.: 1990, Under God: Religion and American politics, Simon and Schuster, New York.Google Scholar
  101. Zimmerman, M.: 1991/1992, ‘A survey of pseudoscientific sentiments of elected officials: A comparison of federal and state legislators’, Creation/Evolution 29(4), 26–45.Google Scholar
  102. Zimmerman, M.: 1986, ‘The evolution-creation controversy: Opinions from students at a ‘liberal’ liberal arts college’, Ohio Journal of Science 86, 134–139.Google Scholar
  103. Zimmerman, M.: 1987, ‘The evolution-creation controversy: Opinions of Ohio high school biology teachers’, Ohio Journal of Science 87, 115–125.Google Scholar
  104. Zimmerman, M.: 1990, ‘Newspaper editors and the creation-evolution controversy’, Skeptical Inquirer 14, 182–195.Google Scholar
  105. Zimmerman, M.: 1991, ‘The evolution-creation controversy: Opinions of Ohio school board presidents’, Science Education 75, 201–214.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mike U. Smith
    • 1
  • Harvey Siegel
    • 2
  • Joseph D. McInerney
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineMercer University School of MedicineMacon
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of MiamiMiami
  3. 3.Biological Sciences Curriculum StudiesColorado Springs, COUSA

Personalised recommendations