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The Teaching of Evolution...Sigh
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Even though we're in the 21st century, it often doesn't seem like it.

The open phones call-in question this morning was "Are you in favor of teaching evolution in public schools?"

It's demeaning to even have to ask this question nowadays. We should be beyond this.

But we're not.

Of course there were the standard arguments bandied about, and at least two callers call evolutionary thought "an atheistic religion".

For my Wikipedia link of the day, I refer you to the entry on evolution.

Other callers chimed in with such wisdom as "If I come from a monkey, how come I can't get a blood transfusion from one?" And there were the standard complaints of "coming from slime/monkeys/etc." and how randomness couldn't make anything.

Part of this comes from ignorance, but there's also a paucity of good analogies for evolution. It is counterintuitive in the sense that most of what surrounds us on a daily basis, as tool-wielding builders, is consciously designed.

I think biology classes need to use more analogies and talk more about those aspects of the universe where order forms naturally out of chaos. Planets form into near-spheres. Does this mean an all-powerful god sculpted them by hand? Hmm...or could it have to do with the natural shape that molten rock takes while spinning in the void of space? Crystals are great examples of naturally-formed, ordered configurations that weren't crafted by hand. There are a crapload of rocks in the ground, but far fewer diamonds, and even fewer large flawless diamonds. Were they designed, or formed by blind processes of pressure and time?

So natural selection isn't really that counterintuitive at just needs to be explained in a way that kids can grasp it. Oh yeah, and we need to get past this stupid argument about whether or not to teach it.

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