ASU Darwinfest offers Arizona teachers support for science
I’m quoted in a press release regarding a teacher training workshop (the “Evolution Challenges Workshop”) we’re giving at ASU to help middle and high school teachers teach evolution. Money quotes:
Studies have shown that “16 percent of high school biology teachers are essentially young earth creationists who deny human evolution, with only 28 percent accepting unguided naturalistic evolution of humans,” says John Lynch, a lecturer in ASU’s School of Life Sciences and an Honors Faculty Fellow in Barrett, the Honors College. “While this latter number is higher than the general public’s 13 percent, it is still very low.”
Lynch believes that at a time where state and local school boards are being pressured by creationist groups to “teach the controversy” over “Darwinism,” teachers and their students need to be clearly aware of the scientific nature of evolutionary biology and how scientists frame and test claims about the evolution of life’s diversity.
“Evolutionary biology is no different than any other scientific field,” Lynch points out. “And modern evolutionary biology – while having its roots in Darwin’s ideas formulated over 150 years ago – is not ‘Darwinism,’ but rather a rich field of inquiry that Darwin himself would perhaps not clearly recognize.”
“We at ASU are committed to helping Arizona’s high school biology teachers develop lessons that clearly show evolutionary biology for what it is – an exciting, engaging, and fascinating field, one that shares all the characteristics of modern scientific inquiry.”
I’ll be leading a section on evolution and common creationist talking points. Yes another thing I’m doing in February! For more on ASU’s Darwinfest, see here.