Evolution is always a tough unit to teach in Biology. Course, it shouldn’t be, just talk about fossils and Darwin and relative dating and show the Kahn Academy video, “Evolution, it’s a thing”, assess the kids for understanding and call it a day. This year I went deeper because I believe very strongly that not only is Science being questioned but Truth as well. As you know, I’m always looking for answers to how we can all get along and I think this might be it.

 

About 40% of America does not believe in Evolution which got me thinking maybe that’s why so many think the COVID vaccines are dangerous or not effective (they are very much not dangerous and very effective). Maybe that’s why so many believe the Big Lie (there were zero examples of voter fraud). Maybe that’s why so many believe that January 6 promoted freedom (really, freedom to hang the vice president and trash the center of American Democracy!?!). And isn’t there some question about climate change? (Not if you look at rising temperatures, more violent storms and rising CO2 levels or ask any climate scientist).

 

When I teach Evolution, I always start by explaining that if there are any students who don’t agree that’s fine but my job as an educator is to educate and I’m happy to explain Creationism or any other theory but that they are based on faith which is different than science. The solution: be OK with people who believe in other things.

 

Not to say that I should teach creationism but I’m going to bet that if a student went to elementary at one of the local parochial schools their view would be that of course the world was created by God 6000 years ago and who am I to say any differently? Immediately, I’m the bad guy and sides are drawn.

 

So why not let people believe what they want? Of course, I’m going to follow science in the classroom but how about if outside of the classroom we agree to disagree and that’s OK. How about we just accept that people are people and different views and ways of life actually benefit society because diversity opens our minds and makes us smarter.

 

How about instead of labels and sides we start with the idea that we’re all miracles just fumbling our way through 85 years of life doing the best we can with what we have. And part of that journey is finding what you believe in and if you land on a faith that contradicts science that’s OK because it brings you comfort. Too simple? Maybe.

 

But faith is great for many people, it provides answers and comfort and often promotes values which help us evolve. Ideas like “do unto others as you would like them to do unto you” is the way we should all live and maybe if we can agree on some simple values, we can continue to evolve in a way which will keep Science classrooms around for a good long time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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