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Study: High schoolers learn wrong stuff from “evolution”

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The logical solution would be to quit teaching it then, but our brains apparently didn’t evolve in such a way as to tumble to that.

Further to “Complex life forms on land in the pre-Cambrian era?” (When was there time for Darwinism then?), we learn from a study in Evolution: Education and Outreach:

Research has revealed that high school students matriculate to college holding misconceptions related to biological evolution. These misconceptions interfere with students’ abilities to grasp accurate scientific explanations and serve as fundamental barriers to understanding evolution. Because the scientific community regards evolution as a vital part of science education, it is imperative that students’ misconceptions are identified and their sources revealed. The purpose of this study was to identify the types and prevalence of biological evolution-related misconceptions held by high school biology teachers and their students, and to identify those factors that contribute to student acquisition of such misconceptions, with particular emphasis given to the role of the teacher.

Analyses revealed that students typically exit the Biology I classroom more confident in their biological evolution knowledge but holding greater numbers of misconceptions than they initially possessed upon entering the course.

These misconceptions range from minor misunderstandings to complete theory rejection.

Complete theory rejection? Any idea why that might be?

Oh, just whistled by while you were out: Cambrian shrimp’s heart more complex than modern one

Anyone remember ENCODE? Not much junk DNA? Still not much.

Stuff Darwin hates: School system improves without Darwin

The students probably don’t know this stuff, but if they did, would they be any more likely to believe the dogma spouted in the classroom? They are better prepared for life today if they don’t.

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One Reply to “Study: High schoolers learn wrong stuff from “evolution”

  1. 1
    awstar says:

    Because the scientific community regards evolution as a vital part of science education, it is imperative that students’ misconceptions are identified and their sources revealed.

    Before these findings are accepted as valid, perhaps we should see the results of a study that shows what exactly constitutes the scientific community, and to what degree they regard evolution is a VITAL part of science education. I’ll bet the results would be just as “surprising” as this one.

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