Three Tips for Students Going Back to School to Study Evolution

After attending public schools from kindergarten through my masters degree, I learned a few lessons about staying informed while studying a biased and one-sided origins curriculum. My large, inner-city public high school was rich in diversity, and I learned to appreciate a multiplicity of viewpoints and backgrounds. Unfortunately, this diversity did not extend into the biology classroom. There I was told there was one, and only one, acceptable perspective regarding origins: neo-Darwinian theory. As students head back to school this year, I want to share some tips I’ve learned to help students stay informed on this topic: Tip #1: Never opt out of learning evolution. In fact, learn about evolution every chance you get. Evolutionary biologist Patrick J. Keeling claims Read More ›

Helping Students Answer a Professor’s Challenge to “Find a Fact” That Supports Intelligent Design (Part 2)

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, some students from a university biology class have e-mailed us trying to answer a challenge from their professor to “Find a fact (observation, data) that supports” intelligent design or evolution. These students wanted to find facts supporting intelligent design, and as I mentioned in my previous post, I told them that ID meets their professor’s definition of a theory: something that is “supported by a large amount of data (observations in the physical world)” and has a “broad application to explain a wide range of phenomena” and “a framework that allows the development of novel hypotheses (questions about nature).” In this second installment I’ll provide the rest of my response to Read More ›

Helping Students Answer a Professor’s Challenge to “Find a Fact” That Supports Intelligent Design (Part 1)

We’ve recently received a number of e-mails from students asking for help. A university biology professor has apparently challenged his class to “[f]ind a fact (observation, data) that supports” evolution or intelligent design. The students e-mailed us asking for help answering his challenge with regards to intelligent design. My response, which I’ve now sent to a few of the students in the course, has been, “Where to begin?” Below I post Part 1 or my reply to one student, with names and quotes removed to protect the innocent: Dear [Snip], Greetings and thanks for your email. I think that someone else from your class already emailed me with the same question. According to the document you sent me, your professor Read More ›

Answers to Student’s Questions about Evolution and Intelligent Design

I was recently e-mailed by a student who is an evolutionist and skeptical of intelligent design. This student asked various questions about intelligent design, but they were honest questions from an inquiring mind. The student had many misconceptions about ID, and this is unfortunate, because in a different political environment it might be possible for such misconceptions to be dispelled by science educators. I felt it might be helpful to put these questions, along with my answers, in a post here: You asked: “Do you think evolution exists at all?” I reply: Yes. Every ID proponent I know acknowledges that random mutation and blind natural selection are real phenomena that can cause at least some changes within species. Moreover, they Read More ›