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Non-Darwinian biology teachers need to be targeted for “professional development”


According to a recent paper at BioMedCentral:

Striving toward a better understanding of how the global spread of creationist ideology may impact biology teachers and teaching worldwide, this study comparatively examines how biology teachers from three Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay) conceive the origin of humankind. It is reported that teachers from Uruguay (the most secular country) and Argentina (a country with intermediate religiosity) more frequently associated humankind origin with scientific terms Evolution, Natural selection, and Australopithecus. In contrast, Brazilian teachers stood out as those most frequently associating humankind’s origin to the religious term “God” alongside scientific terms. This study underscores the importance of the interplay of social factors (societal religiosity) and psychological factors (e.g., personal commitment) when considering the impact of teacher exposure to creationist ideology. It also highlights the need for biology teachers (particularly those in more religious countries) to undergo professional development.

Silva, H.M., Oliveira, A.W., Belloso, G.V. et al. Biology teachers’ conceptions of Humankind Origin across secular and religious countries: an international comparison. Evo Edu Outreach 14, 2 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12052-020-00141-91

Shades of Joshua Swamidass on the need to single out and punish creationists.

The paper is open access.

Casey Luskin responded to this paper:

[quoting from the paper] “It would seem reasonable to expect individuals who are knowledgeable about science and who have science-related professions to fully subscribe to evolutionary views (i.e., creationists simply lack the necessary knowledge). However, research shows that this is not necessarily the case. In a comparative study of life scientists in the UK and Brazil, Falcão (2008) found that Brazilian scientists believed in the supernatural more strongly than British scientists despite their common advanced scientific training. Brazilian scientists shoed [sic] to retain a firm attachment to a belief in God regardless of their university training level, e.g., scientific knowledge did not necessarily lead them to give up their belief in God.”

So what is the explanation for why scientists abandon Darwin? They don’t explicitly offer one, preferring to leave the situation in a state of the unknown, writing: “the relationship between scientific training / knowledge and religious belief is far from simple and straightforward. Being a knowledgeable and experienced member of the science profession does not necessarily guarantee one’s full embracement of evolutionary views or dismissal of creationist ones.” Perhaps there’s a simple explanation but they don’t see it due to a blind spot: scientists doubt Darwin because of the evidence.

Casey Luskin, “Academic Article Correcting Misconceptions about Evolution Promotes Misconceptions about ID” at Evolution News and Science Today

Note that the authors of the paper are quite clear that they want Brazilian scientists not just to embrace Darwinism whole hog but to give up their belief in God. So much for rot about “theistic evolution.” That’s for suckers.

I find this encouraging. It seems that there's a very definite controversy out there. hnorman42
Oh here we go again Whether this is due simply inadequate training Yes that adequate training in that extremely abstract thought required to apply reductionism to all of life. I mean, partial differential equations got nothing on 'evolutionary biology' in the difficulty department. Or maybe the training required to suppress all of reasonable doubt harbored by reasonable about "random mutations" and the proof somewhere that they are truly "random". Or doubt about the religious nature of scientism itself needing to win out over all other religions. or an unyielding opposition to the very concept of evolution is unclear. What is it about these people who speculate on others' "inadequate" thinking, when there is clear ignorance on their part of evolutionary evidence (directed mutation, e.g. John Cairns, Barry Hall) which does not depend upon mindless evolution. I think these people are scared of mind and consciousness, really scared. That's why they so desire for their conscious being to ultimately end. Their philosophical commitment requires it. They are counting on their ultimate obliteration. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg12717342-900-science-can-bacteria-direct-their-own-evolution/ groovamos
Darwinian teachers need to be targeted for mental development martin_r
Lol this can’t be more blatant about their position Global spread of creationism likes it’s a plague (even when it’s not) If they teach accuracy but have a different interpretation of what set it in motion I see no issue with this they are allowed. No differently when atheists teachers like coyne give his students the talk. He should targeted for professional development too. This also kinda shows how the push for secularity has the same but opposite effect and also should be addressed for the same reasons AaronS1978
Seversky claims, "some biology teachers seem to have a poor grasp of the subject they are supposed to be teaching" I was going to agree with that statement but then I realized that Seversky was not talking about the extremely poor grasp that professors of evolution have on biology. :) bornagain77
Note that the authors of the paper are quite clear that they want Brazilian scientists not just to embrace Darwinism whole hog but to give up their belief in God.
That's not how I read it. No one is demanding that biology teachers give up their personal religious beliefs. What is apparent from this study is that in the more religiose countries some biology teachers seem to have a poor grasp of the subject they are supposed to be teaching, rather like here in the US. Whether this is due simply inadequate training or an unyielding opposition to the very concept of evolution is unclear. What should be clear is that if their doctrinal opposition to the theory is so strong, they should not be teaching the subject at all. As teachers they have a duty to provide their students with a clear and accurate explanation of what the theory claims and the evidence and arguments that support it. As Christians they have a duty to observe the Ninth Commandment. Their students don't have to believe the theory but they should understand what it says. Seversky
Bear in mind that the government of Brazil is firmly pro-Christian, so this article probably won't have any effect there. It might influence governments in other countries, but they're already doing what the article proposes, so it wouldn't matter. polistra
"The global spread of creationist ideology" sounds like a virus. More precisely, our currently fashionable "virus" really means the global spread of all unorthodox ideologies. Heresy is the virus. polistra
What should matter is a teacher's understanding of biology regardless of anything else. BobRyan

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