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Biology Teacher Survey Authors Want Darwin-Doubting Teachers “To Pursue Other Careers”

A survey in the journal Science hopes that teachers who doubt Darwinism will “pursue other careers.” Is this proof of institutionalized discrimination at work?

“Honey, why are you seeking this promotion? Do you really want to swim with us big boys in management? You just stay in your place, sweetie.” If such words were spoken to a female employee in any American corporation, she would immediately be entitled to file a lawsuit alleging gender discrimination — and rightfully so. Such words would also reflect a corporate culture that seeks to marginalize certain employees.

This form of institutionalized discrimination would seek to implicitly — or explicitly — discourage unwanted individuals from pursuing certain jobs. With that in mind, what do we make of the fact that a recent survey of science teachers in the journal Science quite explicitly admitted that they hope to discourage Darwin-doubting student teachers from pursuing careers teaching biology? They write:

More effectively integrating evolution into the education of preservice biology teachers may also have the indirect effect of encouraging students who cannot accept evolution as a matter of faith to pursue other careers.

(Michael B. Berkman and Eric Plutzer, “Defeating Creationism in the Courtroom, But Not in the Classroom,” Science, Vol. 331:404-405 (January 28, 2011).)

There you go sweetie: if you don’t accept Darwinism, we hope you’ll “pursue other careers.”


Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.