Why Teach Evolution

Scientists, authors, academics, and classroom teachers describe the beauty of evolution and the critical importance of evolution education for our nation's young people as part of our #WhyTeachEvolution campaign.

January 9, 2020
It’s become pretty common to hear people call our current times “post-truth.” By which I think people mean we nowadays make up our minds about things based on what our friends think, or what we hear from people we trust—in short, we believe what feels right, and even, perhaps, that there really is…
January 7, 2020
Biology is the science of life, and it is arguably the most challenging of all the sciences. Not only does biology build upon the principles of chemistry and physics, it also adds new layers of complexity requiring an entirely different form of scientific analysis. Adding to this is the immense…
February 11, 2020
Growing up in the South, I understood that evolution was not something discussed in proper company. As part of a deeply religious, literalist, creationist family, I knew evolution was something that was not to be considered for fear of losing one’s place in Heaven. This experience is not mine alone…
February 11, 2020
As community college professors, and current and former National Association of Biology Teachers leaders, we teach evolution because an understanding of this critical concept and process helps our students not only to comprehend the historical context of life, but also to interpret current topics…
February 11, 2020
It’s not only important to teach evolution; it’s important to teach all of evolution. It’s not only true that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” as Dobzhansky said. It’s that so much more in biology makes sense when all of evolution is taught. Here’…
February 11, 2020
I spent a lot of years studying the 1918 influenza virus. I was part of the team that deciphered the genetic sequence of the virus from preserved lung samples. These samples came from U.S. soldiers who died of the flu and from a native Alaskan woman buried in permafrost who died when the virus…
February 11, 2020
Over 20 years ago, I first read the book Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science, published by the National Academies Press. While I had already been a teacher for several years, my teaching lacked coherence, which I immediately recognized as I studied this book. Even though I…
February 10, 2020
Why teach evolution? This is a wonderful question to ask about any topic in science. The curriculum has always been crowded, so it is vital that science classes focus on important subjects of interest and importance, always pruning and adding to the syllabus. As other writers in this series point…
February 9, 2020
“What does evolution have to do with anatomy?” This was a regular question from the students in my introductory anatomy classes. We used a textbook by Kenneth Saladin, which is one of the very few that provides any evolutionary context at all for human anatomy and physiology. Saladin’s book lists “…
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