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Scoping for the Truth


A new study from Pennsylvania State University in University Park finds that 16 percent of high school biology teachers believe in creationism, according to NewScientist.

The researchers sampled 2000 high school biology teachers across the country in 2007 and found that teachers with less training in evolutionary biology are less likely to spend time teaching evolution. Of the 939 who responded, 2 percent said they did not teach evolution at all. While the majority of educators sampled spend between 3 and 10 classroom hours teaching evolution, almost a quarter of those educators focus some time on creationism. And almost half of those educators—12.5 percent of the entire group—said they teach creationsim as a “valid, scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of the species.”

Linda Froschauer, the former president of the National Science Teachers Association in Arlington, Va., did not appear to be shocked by the findings. Said Froschauer, “We do know there’s problem out there, and this gives more credibility to the issue.” The bottom line? Regardless of how states mandate the teaching of science, many classroom teachers believe that God created human beings within the last 10,000 years.


The basis of education is to be able to think critically and reason. It astounds me that so many educators do not want to include creationism in the "mix" of how the earth came to be. They do not need to bring religion into the discussion at all, but should be willing to offer alternative beliefs for their students to discuss and discern for themselves. Of course, science assumes that it can "prove" many things (and it can), however throughout history we can trace many scientifically proven tenets that have now been found to be false or questionable. An example of the mistakes that were taught as fact is the events in U.S. History....our forefathers were not paragons of virtue, our government ignored the human rights of native Americans, etc. Only relatively recently have we owned up to the false information that was taught as "fact" for so many years.

Our young people need to be able to defend beliefs that are contrary to popular, present-day teaching. Being able to hear the pros and cons to controversial subjects is one of the best ways to learn.

What is science afraid of that it needs to stifle theories contrary to its own?
I can't begin to tell you how many times I have changed my mind about controversial subjects because I have heard...and listened...to the "other side."

Fear of the unkown is the the worst fear that we encounter. I love science but can't understand why scientists continually try to prove God does not exist. Try as they will, they will never convert the masses, because some have seen the awsome power of God. Can science take a man/woman hoplessly hooked on drugs and change them in an instant.
What are we afraid of. Even if we came from apes or some other creature, what does that do for us now? There are so many things we could be teaching our kids that they need to know. Evolution is useless. The only reason I will mention it to my students is because they need this useless information to do well on tests in our glorious educational system. Lets think about teaching them what they really need to know.

There is a place for creationism and that is in a church, temple, synagogue or parochial school. Given that public schools are for the masses regardless of their religion, creationism should be left out of the curriculum. If you do not want your child to learn about evolution, put them in a parochial school.

Science teachers should stick to teaching science. Their is no scientific basis to creationism or intelligent design. It is all based on faith. You can not perform any tests with creationism or ID. Evolution is based on observation which is part of the scientific method. Is evolution 100% correct, no but there are many theories that are not 100% correct. Look at the theories of planetary motion, they have changed as our knowledge has increased. The theory of evolution is just the base and it is changing as we find more evidence. The theory of evolution is still evolving.

What is really astounding is that educators in the branch of science omit information that students have a right to hear....the evolutionary theory is exactly that....a theory...subject to testing and change.....it is part of the scientific history and incorporates tremendous amount of evidence that links to subjects such as genetics and ecology. Whether you as a teacher believe in creationism that is your personal opinion...but as a professional ...as far as I can tell...creationism is not part of the Biology curriculum. Oh and as a scientist I can say that: science does not assume to "prove" many things....it does not "prove". Science gathers evidence and develop conclusions...some of which together provide enough information to support a hypothesis and even a theory. Thanks.

I wpould like to see anyone, using the scientific method, prove evolution. If you can you are leaving out some steps.

Although I know that there are more, it scares me to my core to even see that there are this many individuals who so steadfastly disapprove of evolutionary science and who obviously have so little understanding of it teaching in our schools today. It does not surprise me that the two are present at the same time though. I have consistently seen that it is those who understand the concept the least that are the most vocal opponents.
Far too many people want to make this discussion into a dichotomy. Evolutionary theory does not preclude the existence of God.
Some people obviously very basic misconception about science that could have far reaching implications with regards to his or her understanding. This obviously could seriously impact the quality of education for our students. How can we expect our students to understand science and scientific processes when our teachers do not?
This only helps to illustrate the point that even though we do have a serious shortage of teachers throughout the country, we may still be better off raising our standards for graduation in order to have well trained and educated individuals as opposed to just another warm body in the class.

I am living in the deep South where we unfortunately have too many of the teachers that J. Mill mentions and also where religion is openly professed and voiced in the schools (illegally, of course).

I'm not a science teacher, but I was a special ed inclusion teacher in a 7th grade science class this past year. Evolution is not a part of the 7th grade level curriculum. However, the Scientific Method is the first concept introduced at the beginning of the course and it is reinforced all the way through to the end of the school year. Even if my students came away with nothing else....they understand the Scientific Method!

My students know that a scientific theory is NOT an idea, a guess, an inference, nor a hypothesis. A scientific theory is the result of a hypothesis that has undergone the rigorous scrutiny of the scientific method. A hypothesis that has been tested, peer reviewed, reproduced, and subjected to its relevance to the body of accepted science is only then considered to be a Scientific Theory. It seems to me that undereducated teaching professionals and laypersons alike confuse the meanings of the terms theory and hypothesis. It is a confusion that creationists or ID promoters are all too happy to exploit. They want those who will promulgate their views to think the Theory of Evolution is merely the hypothesis, guess, or question of evolution!

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Recent Comments

  • J. Graham: I am living in the deep South where we unfortunately read more
  • J Mill: Although I know that there are more, it scares me read more
  • TG Hensley, Science/Biolgy Teacher: I wpould like to see anyone, using the scientific method, read more
  • rebeca guerrero: What is really astounding is that educators in the branch read more
  • Chip: There is a place for creationism and that is in read more




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