From comments at the website of the New York Times today, on the story, “A Teacher on the Front Line as Faith and Science Clash”:
I teach biology and I would like to add a story in encouragement to other biology teachers. About 15 years ago I was teaching a botany course to college sophomores and started discussing the evolution of land plants. Expressions began to harden. Students stopped taking notes. So I stopped and asked if my discussion of evolution was bothering them. Many nodded and one said, “Why do teachers act like evolution is a fact?” At the time I had little experience and had assumed they had a working knowledge of evolution from previous classes at college as well as from high school biology. They did not. I didn’t have much time left that day, but I did explain some of the lines of evidence that support evolution.
The next day, one of my students came in and slammed a stack of books onto her table. She said, “I am so mad! I am so angry!” She looked near tears. She said, “My parents never let me even hear the word, evolution! They said it was all lies! I went to the library last night and got out books about it!” (and here she held up Origin of Species) Then she said, “It makes so much SENSE! I am so angry I never got to learn about it before!”
Now I teach a class entirely about evolution and I think of her often. She still gives me inspiration to keep on trying to open up minds.
— Bio prof, Ohio
- “Teaching science is hard, made harder by religious claptrap,” at the Bathtub
- Texas Freedom Network, Stand Up for Science campaign
- Texas Citizens for Science