ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast
Topic

high school biology

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Is Evolution Taught Fairly in Textbooks? A High School Senior Investigates

Has the accuracy of teaching on evolutionary theory improved in standard biology textbooks in recent years? On this ID The Future, host Daniel Reeves, Director of Education & Outreach at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, speaks with a recent high school graduate named Natalie about her senior year research project. Natalie has had an interest in evolution and intelligent design for years, and she's noticed that textbooks don't always cover important or controversial topics fairly. So when she discovered her school was trialing a new biology textbook, she decided to evaluate the proposed textbook's approach to accuracy and fairness in light of the available scientific evidence. Focusing on the fossil record and genetics, Natalie organized quotations from the textbook into three categories - misrepresented, underdeveloped, or well-aligned - based on how well they conveyed the available evidence. From whale evolution to genetic differences among organisms, Natalie found that more often than not, the textbook was misleading to students in the way it presented or omitted important scientific ideas. "High school students are in such a pivotal time in their life because they're forming their worldview," says Natalie. "And evolution is a theory on the origin of life...that's huge to answering those questions." Natalie encourages her fellow students, and anyone interested in origins, to question and dive deep as they evaluate competing ideas. As biologist and Center for Science and Culture Senior Fellow Jonathan Wells puts it at the start of his latest book, Zombie Science, this book is "dedicated to the students who will need to discern the truth for themselves." Here's one young scholar who is doing just that. AN IMPORTANT NOTE In the interview, Natalie shares her personal view that intelligent design should be included in public school science classrooms. However, as a matter of public policy, Discovery Institute opposes any effort to require the teaching of intelligent design by school districts or state boards of education. Attempts to require teaching about intelligent design only politicize the theory and will hinder fair and open discussion of the merits of the theory among scholars and within the scientific community. Furthermore, most teachers at the present time do not know enough about intelligent design to teach about it accurately and objectively.  Instead of recommending teaching about intelligent design in public K-12 schools, Discovery Institute seeks to increase the coverage of evolution in curriculum. It believes that evolution should be fully and completely presented to students, and they should learn more about evolutionary theory, including its unresolved issues. In other words, evolution should be taught as a scientific theory that is open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can’t be questioned. Read more of our recommendations for science curriculum here: https://www.discovery.org/a/3164/ Read More ›
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Did the National Science Teaching Association Just Muzzle … Darwin?

What happens when someone tries to present to the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) Charles Darwin’s top arguments against his own theory? Herman Bouma, founder of the National Association for Objectivity in Science, knows from personal experience. As he relates to host Casey Luskin on this ID the Future, he recently had a poster presentation on the topic accepted for an NSTA conference, but then a defender of Darwinian orthodoxy rushed in and spiked it. Bouma describes the censored presentation and the Kafkaesque back and forth he says he had with the organizer, who ultimately shut him down. Bouma warns of what has been described as the “Censorship Industrial Complex,” but he also says he hasn’t given up trying to Read More ›

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Angry teacher in retro style with pointer on blackboard
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How a Teacher Wrecked Biology for Me, and How I Got Past It

On today’s ID the Future, Tom Gilson, a writer and editor for The Stream, shares his experiences in high school biology. Important mysteries (i.e., major problems) with evolutionary theory were hurried past and papered over, and yet his biology teacher could take an entire class period to tell Charles Darwin’s life story, and then repeat the same class, virtually verbatim, five more times that same semester. Tune in to hear how the class put Tom Gilson off of biology, but how he now finds the subject fascinating, thanks to the work of intelligent design researchers and the larger community of life scientists. Gilson’s commentary is taken from, and builds on, a recent essay of his, available at Evolution News.

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Father and son

A Plea to Parents: Don’t “Butt Out” of Your Kids’ Education

On today’s ID the Future, host Robert Crowther sits down with writer Andrew McDiarmid to discuss his recent New York Post article, “Word to the Wise: Progressives Forget that Parents are in Charge of Kids’ Education.” The two discuss recent dustups in the news in which parents were told to butt out of the public education of their children. This is profoundly wrongheaded and for a variety of reasons, McDiarmid argues. McDiarmid, a Discovery Institute senior fellow, advocates for greater parental involvement, rather than less, and he and Crowther then apply the principle to the narrower question of how evolution is taught in the public high schools. In many districts evolutionary theory is taught as unquestionable dogma, with none of Read More ›

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NCSE Pushes Unscientific Pro-Darwin Survey

On this episode of ID the Future, Robert Crowther interviews Sarah Chaffee, Education and Public Policy Program Officer for the Center for Science and Culture, on a recent survey conducted by the dogmatically pro-Darwin National Center for Science Education (NCSE), and published in Nature. The NCSE claims that the survey shows that science teachers “advocate evolution” even more now than in 2007. But as Crowther and Chaffe’s discussion suggests, the survey appears gamed to produce a pro-Darwinist outcome, so much so that even teachers who follow the Discovery Institute’s policy of promoting critical thinking skills by teaching biology students both the strengths and weaknesses of modern evolutionary theory could be counted as evolution advocates by the survey. Then too, as Read More ›