Teaching evolution

The McGill Journal of Education has a whole issue on the teaching of evolution. It includes a good article on why teaching science and evolution is important and how to do it. Here’s the article, “The Evolution-Creation Wars: Why Teaching More Science Just is Not Enough” (PDF file), by Massimo Pigliucci of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Abstract:

The creation-evolution “controversy” has been with us for more than a century. Here I argue that merely teaching more science will probably not improve the situation; we need to understand the controversy as part of a broader problem with public acceptance of pseudoscience, and respond by teaching how science works as a method. Critical thinking is difficult to teach, but educators can rely on increasing evidence from neurobiology about how the brain learns, or fails to.

En français:

LA DISCORDE ÉVOLUTION-CRÉATIONNISME : POURQUOI UN ENSEIGNEMENT ACCRU DES SCIENCES NE SUFFIT PAS RÉSUMÉ. La « controverse » création-évolution existe depuis plus d’un siècle. Je soutiens que le seul fait d’enseigner plus de sciences n’améliorera probablement pas la situation : nous devons appréhender la controverse comme faisant partie d’un problème plus vaste lié à la réception de la population vis-à-vis des pseudosciences et nous devons y répondre en enseignant le fonctionnement des sciences en tant que méthode. La pensée critique est difficile à enseigner, mais les éducateurs peuvent compter sur l’augmentation des preuves issues de la neurobiologiequi montrent comment le cerveau apprend ou échoue à apprendre.

I quote from last year’s Reason Retreat:

Dr. Pigliucci is a Professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he teaches evolutionary biology and philosophy of science. His research is on the evolution of genotype-environment interactions, i.e. on questions of nature vs. nurture.

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