Thursday, April 05, 2007

Last class: teaching evolution

I won't be teaching evolution in this class. Instead I want to address the problems raised by the sophisticated war being waged against evolution by Christian and Islamic fundamentalists. Nobody else I know covers this in their biology classes, but we can't just blame the high-school teachers for doing an inadequate job of teaching evolution, when we're the ones responsible for teaching the next generation of teachers.

Last year I taught this in the middle of the term, at the end of the Evolution section, but this year I've moved it to the last class. I'm also going to cut down on the mass of examples of fronts in this war, both to allow more time for introducing the resources available for biology teachers, and because we need to allow time for end-of-term teaching evaluations.

It's important to not put all the blame on the Christians. The richly funded Islamic fundamentalist group operating under the name Harun Yahya is not well known in the West, but they produce an enormous amount of very slick anti-evolution propaganda.

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