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Great Idea: Let Students Debate Evolution!

David Klinghoffer

students

In an ID the Future podcast with Robert Crowther, Sarah Chaffee makes a GREAT point about science education. One of the malevolent untruths spread by Darwin defenders is that we seek to strip evolution out of school curricula. The truth is that the Center for Science & Culture advocates improving education on evolution by increasing coverage of the subject through adding the element of critical analysis. There are lots of ways to do that. As Chaffee suggests — let students debate!

Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Sarah is Program Director for Education and Public Policy at the CSC but also a veteran of high school debating who currently coaches high school debaters. As I can confirm from my own high school experience, debate is a fantastic way of sharpening intellectual and communication skills while deepening your understanding of a serious subject. The best teacher I had in high school, who taught Western Civilization, made debate a signature feature of his class. The idea, of course, is to have young people take opposing views, having researched them first, and then, in a formal manner, present contrasting arguments, with opportunities to respond substantively. Imagine the same approach in a biology class when it came time to talk about evolution!

This would be a wonderful way to train students in scientific thinking — which is not about passively absorbing approved ideas but about analyzing data, weighing strengths and weaknesses of one interpretation versus another, in search of the truth. If standard Darwinian theory is really as ironclad as we are commanded to assume, then the exercise should reinforce belief in evolution. What are you afraid of?

Image credit: geralt, via Pixabay.