Letters

If you teach introductory biology, you've probably heard this refrain at least once: 'I had to learn it, but I don't believe it.' The 'it,' of course, is evolution. The admission usually comes at the end of the semester, when grades are safely in. Invariably, when you ask why, the student cites religious belief. Somebody once said, if you're not prepared to have your basic ideas challenged, you don't belong in college. I don't expect students to accept everything they learn, but in this case

Barry Palevitz
Mar 9, 2003

If you teach introductory biology, you've probably heard this refrain at least once: 'I had to learn it, but I don't believe it.' The 'it,' of course, is evolution. The admission usually comes at the end of the semester, when grades are safely in. Invariably, when you ask why, the student cites religious belief.

Somebody once said, if you're not prepared to have your basic ideas challenged, you don't belong in college. I don't expect students to accept everything they learn, but in this case, I'd like to think the logic of evolution is as simple as apples falling from trees. Yet, despite my best efforts at marshalling mountains of hard data and explaining the consistency in scientific reasoning between disciplines--be it chemistry, biology, or geology--some students simply won't accept Darwin. The germ theory of disease and the cell theory are okay, but evolution is still "just a theory."

Evolution...

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