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RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

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  • Pamela Ford
    It s so much fun to read about others experiences with these issues in the classroom and our various approaches. We do teach in a conservative area of
    Message 1 of 19 , Sep 6, 2006
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      It's so much fun to read about others' experiences with these issues in the
      classroom and our various approaches. We do teach in a conservative area of
      southern California, in fact a region that has been relatively isolated (the
      Inland Empire, aka the "IE" on LA news.) So, here, I always have students
      who tell me that they won't "believe it."

      I spend the semester of Physical Anthropology describing SCIENCE. We
      discuss natural selection as a working hypothesis/tentative explanation for
      evolutionary change. I don't use or encourage the use of the word "theory"
      because it always comes with the prefix "justa-" and is therefore fraught
      with meaning in students' minds but meaningless in my mind. (We use
      "hypothesis" a lot.) And this theme weaves its way through the entire
      semester.

      In Cultural Anthropology, I've come to use the term "supernaturalism" for
      the heading of religion, magic, witchcraft and more (as per Jacob Pandian at
      CSU Fullerton). It's a helpful concept because it also allows discussion of
      how things may be accepted on FAITH but they are not testable so not
      scientific. If it's needed in the Physical class, I go back to describe how
      supernaturalism is used to explain things for which we have limited
      understanding (why did my neighbor die in that particular traffic accident?)
      and that supernaturalism provides value-laden explanations that are so
      important for keeping culture on the right track. But those are not the
      explanations that bring us antibiotics, or new traffic lights, or the return
      of the extinct dinosaurs.

      I actually enjoy the challenge of helping students to both understand
      science and appreciate the value of supernaturalism. (Even though there are
      occasionally those who get hot about the issue. Those are usually recent
      converts, I think.) I always refuse to "debate" ID and Natural Selection.

      Oops, I didn't mean to "talk" so much....professional hazard. Have a great
      teaching day!

      ~Pam

      Pamela Ford
      Chair, Department for World Studies
      Mt. San Jacinto College
      1499 N. State Street
      San Jacinto, CA 92583
      951.487-3725


      -----Original Message-----
      From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      Philip Stein
      Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 2:58 PM
      To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

      There are those students whose rejection of evolution is based upon
      religious training that they have received from their parents and religious
      practitioners. Often this is explicitly anti-evolution and presumes to teach
      what evolution is in order to be able to show where its fails.

      I am indeed fortunate, perhaps, to be teaching in a suburban southern
      California community college. In all my years of teaching I have never come
      up against a religion versus science controversy or a verbal creationist in
      my classroom. And as far as I know, neither have my colleagues. Why? Part is
      demographics. Part is the fact that in the 1970s we renamed the course Human
      Biological Evolution. Thus the title may serve the purpose of warning
      creationists away from the course. However, our enrollments remain high
      because we do satisfy the natural science requirement.

      I believe that a significant portion of our students do not reject
      evolution on religious grounds. They are exposed to anti-evolution rhetoric
      all the time on television, radio, print media, and so forth. "Where there's
      smoke there's fire! I have not trouble with the concept, but with so many
      people questioning evolution, there must be something wrong! Anyway, isn't
      intelligent design science?"

      Last year my department adopted new student learning outcomes and course
      objectives. Our number one outcome deals with knowing science. Our first two
      objectives are:

      Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
      1. Apply the process of science to problem solving situations and
      formulate procedural steps necessary for a scientific investigation.
      2. Analyze and evaluate the arguments of creationism and intelligence
      design theory and demonstrate the fallacies of these points of view as a
      scientific theory.

      Next week, when I hand out my syllabus, these objectives will be printed
      for all to see. It will be interesting to see what happens.

      The problem is poor science education and critical thinking skills. People
      believe in all sorts of strange things. (See the Skeptics Society for more
      information. It's a great organization!) The disputes in the area of
      evolution are symptomatic of much more. For example, we are ignoring global
      warming. It won't affect me, but I'm very worried about the world my
      grandson will live in as an adult. The average person, and certainly the
      typical politician, simply does not know how to evaluate scientific
      information.

      Thanks to all who are responding on the SACC web site. This is a great
      conversation!

      Phil


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



      Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
      ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
      Yahoo! Groups Links
    • Lynch, Brian M
      Renee, You say that you tell your students “scientists have never, to my knowledge, worked to discredit faith.” Of course, the potential challenge to
      Message 2 of 19 , Sep 6, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Renee,
        You say that you tell your students “scientists have never, to my knowledge, worked to discredit faith.” Of course, the potential challenge to “faith” from the evolutionary perspective is not just a matter of scientists’ conscious, personal efforts to credit or discredit others' belief systems. (Nonetheless, I have known many scientists who either implicitly or explicitly presented science as a necessary antidote to religion, and this is not a minor strain in the social history of western science.) Even our surprise that more Americans don’t show up in the surveys as accepting evolutionary theory, reflects a set of assumptions like--- “you’d think Americans would be smarter than that” or “ you’d think Americans would be more scientifically based than that,” “…more rational than that,” “…more advanced than that” etc. that reflect a set of implicit judgments about “faith” and “science” (and U.S. American “superiority” based on these?)

        At the same time, as anthropologists, can we afford to be less nuanced about our understanding of the relationships between “knowledge” and “belief systems” when we are looking close to home, than when looking at far-away “others?” We wouldn’t, for example, feel comfortable expressing wonderment or surprise, that some traditionally-studied culture also possessed significant pharmacological or technical skills; we wouldn’t be asking ourselves “Hey! If they are so adept at discovering cures for their ills based on materials in their surrounding environment (science!) why do they still hold those irrational beliefs in supernatural forces and beings?” We accept that the two "ways of knowing" can coexist in the same society/culture, and that the two are not mutually exclusive, nor does one necessarily preclude or supersede the other. And can’t we likewise expect to find them co-existing in our own culture? Then the interesting question become things like: how do they co-exist, and why do they co-exist (and I mean here not “co-exist” as in “get along well together,” but exist, as “social facts” at the same time, in the same culture, for better or worse).

        I don't intend to suggest here that as anthropologists we should just accept that one explanation is just as good as another--that they somehow all should just be accepted as equally valuable (...sounds like an awfully familiar mischaracterization of cultural anthropology's cultural relativism!) In political battles over textbooks and school curriculums we certainly have roles to play, among other things to say, "if you want to teach SCIENCE, 'intelligent design' isn't it!" But in understanding this all from an anthropological perspective, we have to challenge ourselves to use the same tools of comparative, historical, economic, cultural analysis toward our own society that we commonly expect in studying "others."

        I once had a professor who prided himself as a "Renaissance Man." He studied anthropology and geography, and could teach just about anything from what we now know as the "five fields" of the discipline. I admired him greatly and learned much from him about physical anthropology, paleo anthropology, archaeology, and so much more. When he learned at some point that I was involved with the local campus "Newman Parish" (a Catholic Parish for students hosted just to the edge of our state-college campus) he wondered (many times, out loud) how I could reconcile this with "real anthropology." But that didn't strike me as much as the fact that in his discussion of this he made reference to a famous Catholic scientist/theologian/anthropologist/priest who he conflated with "The Catholic Church" as an illustration of how "The Church" (as he imagined was embodied by this learned scholar) "rejected evolution." This esteemed professor of mine had the story wrong on all counts, and to my knowledge never went back to check his historical accuracy. He was so convinced that "The Church" was "against evolution," (back in the 1970's) that he filtered his historical understanding through this erroneous "fact." And it all came out wrong.

        To over-simplify it just a bit (!!) the theologian/anthropologist/philosopher/priest was Teilhard de Chardin, and in fact he embraced evolutionary theory "to an extreme," moving from the physical to the metaphysical. He saw the model of change that it reflected, and carried the model out beyond the realm of science, into theology. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, didn't reject him (or evolution) as far as he/it went scientifically. Officially the Church accepted that as long as "science" in its materialist explanation didn't simply conclude "that's all there is," it would be perfectly compatible with "faith." On the other hand, it initially rejected Teilhard because he carried out the logic and the model of evolution beyond the limits of the observable, and entered into territory that the church felt came dangerously close to challenging some of its fundamental theological explanations of God, sin, and "human nature."

        I guess it was probably easier, with a bunch of undergraduate anthro majors, to conflate all this, say "the church rejects evolution," and move on to our human osteology manual, or to the latest notes on Koobi Fora, or to the outlines of contemporary cultural theory. It certainly served the purpose of highlighting ("for heuristic purposes," he would often say!) that professor's message about the primacy of science. It is interesting, at the same time, to see where "scientists" (my anthro professor and Teilhard included) are ready to settle in their pursuit of study of cause-and-effect chains in their world.

        Brian


        -----Original Message-----
        From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Renee Garcia
        Sent: Wed 9/6/2006 11:59 AM
        To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

        I too teach in Southern California, Saddleback College in Mission Viejo
        specifically. Dangerously close to Saddleback Church. I have to say that I
        have never encountered the number of students who are creationists by
        training as I have here. I would say at least 6% of every class is a
        creationist, this includes my online students who admit more freely that
        they are creationists. They however specify a belief in microevolution but
        not macroevolution.

        I would suggest that if you believe you don't have creationists in your
        classes they are simply not admitting that they are and choose to fulfill
        the course requirements. They can pass the bio. anthropology without
        "believing" in evolution. However, I think the more sinister aspect of this
        issue is that both Intelligent Design and Creationism work to discredit
        science in general. In this regard, for the last few years I have taken more
        time explaining the scientific method its value and the steps specifically.
        I have also shown the evolution series doc entitled "What about God?" and I
        explain that unlike the popular arguments of both Id'ers and Creationists,
        scientists have never, to my knowledge, worked to discredit faith. In fact,
        most of us I think would rather never even discuss it as this would be the
        poorest example of the use of scientific methodology.

        I have tried to express to my students that the point is not that science
        discredits the Bible, the point is that science and faith are two completely
        different systems. I also explain that there is a necessity to understand
        the underlying issues involved in creationism and Intelligent Design namely
        political agendas. This of course takes us into other discussion
        possibilities, but it allows them to understand perspectives they may not
        have recognized previously.

        However, I must confess that I am considering not teaching Bio Anthro 1
        online in the future. This venue makes discussion difficult for me to really
        explain the issues. I know that I reach a level of frustration after I've
        explained the concepts over and over, but lack the ability to go further.
        Does anyone have suggestions from personal experience teaching online A1
        courses?

        Renee

        Renee Garcia, MA
        Saddleback College
        Dept. of Anthropology
        Universite de Bordeaux I
        Anthropologie Biologique

        -----Original Message-----
        From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of
        Hare II, William E
        Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 8:20 AM
        To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

        Hi,

        I have avoided any heated debate about this issue by establishing the
        following guidelines:

        1. Respect everyone's world view (including science)
        2. Understand that my job is to present the scientific point of
        view and the student's job is to be able to explain it.
        3. I will correct any misuse of logical thinking or scientific
        argument.

        I am currently working on the course objectives for Intro to Anth and
        will probably have to include something similar to what Phil has written
        below.

        Will Hare
        Three Rivers Community College

        -----Original Message-----
        From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf
        Of Philip Stein
        Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 5:58 PM
        To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com <mailto:sacc-l%40yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

        There are those students whose rejection of evolution is based upon
        religious training that they have received from their parents and
        religious practitioners. Often this is explicitly anti-evolution and
        presumes to teach what evolution is in order to be able to show where
        its fails.

        I am indeed fortunate, perhaps, to be teaching in a suburban southern
        California community college. In all my years of teaching I have never
        come up against a religion versus science controversy or a verbal
        creationist in my classroom. And as far as I know, neither have my
        colleagues. Why? Part is demographics. Part is the fact that in the
        1970s we renamed the course Human Biological Evolution. Thus the title
        may serve the purpose of warning creationists away from the course.
        However, our enrollments remain high because we do satisfy the natural
        science requirement.

        I believe that a significant portion of our students do not reject
        evolution on religious grounds. They are exposed to anti-evolution
        rhetoric all the time on television, radio, print media, and so forth.
        "Where there's smoke there's fire! I have not trouble with the concept,
        but with so many people questioning evolution, there must be something
        wrong! Anyway, isn't intelligent design science?"

        Last year my department adopted new student learning outcomes and course
        objectives. Our number one outcome deals with knowing science. Our first
        two objectives are:

        Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
        1. Apply the process of science to problem solving situations and
        formulate procedural steps necessary for a scientific investigation.
        2. Analyze and evaluate the arguments of creationism and intelligence
        design theory and demonstrate the fallacies of these points of view as a
        scientific theory.

        Next week, when I hand out my syllabus, these objectives will be printed
        for all to see. It will be interesting to see what happens.

        The problem is poor science education and critical thinking skills.
        People believe in all sorts of strange things. (See the Skeptics Society
        for more information. It's a great organization!) The disputes in the
        area of evolution are symptomatic of much more. For example, we are
        ignoring global warming. It won't affect me, but I'm very worried about
        the world my grandson will live in as an adult. The average person, and
        certainly the typical politician, simply does not know how to evaluate
        scientific information.

        Thanks to all who are responding on the SACC web site. This is a great
        conversation!

        Phil

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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        Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
        ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
        Yahoo! Groups Links





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      • Philip Stein
        Brian and all, You make a very important point about knowledge versus belief systems. I always wait for the question: Do you believe in evolution? This
        Message 3 of 19 , Sep 6, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          Brian and all,

          You make a very important point about knowledge versus belief systems. I always wait for the question: "Do you believe in evolution?" This enables me to discuss this important difference and that knowledge and belief systems do not necessarily conflict.

          What disturbs me most is the lack of critical thinking. I am amused by the suggestion that we should teach both evolution and intelligent design to students and let them make up their mind, as if they have the tools to make a valid judgement.

          I did have one creationist in my class many years ago. I had no idea what his beliefs were, but as he left the final he handed me a book to read. It was a creationist text. I actually read a great deal of it since I had never read a creationist text before, but it was full with misrepresentation of data and ideas and the application of crazy "logic." But he was an A student and I really admired him for taking the course even though he was a creationist. I can respect this. I cannot assume that everyone will reach the same "enlightened" conclusion as I, but the misrepretation of evolutionary theory is unforgivable.

          There are two books I just purchased and have begun to read. They both look like they will be very useful in framing my lecture on intelligent design. (Yes, I do teach intelligent design. But I also critique it!) They are:

          John Brockman (ed.), Intgelligent Thought: Science versus the Intelligent Design Movement. This is a collection of essays by 16 "preeminent thinkers whose clear, accessible, and passionate essays reveal the fact and power of Darwin's theory, and the beauty of the scientific quest to understand our world."

          Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters. At the beginning, the part I have read, Shermer presents a good history and analysis of intelligent design.

          Another wonderful source is the 136-page decision by Judge Jones in the Dover, PA, case last December. It is wonderfully written and quite detailed, although you have to wade through the legal stuff. What makes is especially good is that the judge is a conversation Bush appointee. A good place to get a copy is on the talkorigins web site.

          Phil

          "Lynch, Brian M" <blynch@...> wrote:
          Renee,
          You say that you tell your students “scientists have never, to my knowledge, worked to discredit faith.” Of course, the potential challenge to “faith” from the evolutionary perspective is not just a matter of scientists’ conscious, personal efforts to credit or discredit others' belief systems. (Nonetheless, I have known many scientists who either implicitly or explicitly presented science as a necessary antidote to religion, and this is not a minor strain in the social history of western science.) Even our surprise that more Americans don’t show up in the surveys as accepting evolutionary theory, reflects a set of assumptions like--- “you’d think Americans would be smarter than that” or “ you’d think Americans would be more scientifically based than that,” “…more rational than that,” “…more advanced than that” etc. that reflect a set of implicit judgments about “faith” and “science” (and U.S. American “superiority” based on these?)

          At the same time, as anthropologists, can we afford to be less nuanced about our understanding of the relationships between “knowledge” and “belief systems” when we are looking close to home, than when looking at far-away “others?” We wouldn’t, for example, feel comfortable expressing wonderment or surprise, that some traditionally-studied culture also possessed significant pharmacological or technical skills; we wouldn’t be asking ourselves “Hey! If they are so adept at discovering cures for their ills based on materials in their surrounding environment (science!) why do they still hold those irrational beliefs in supernatural forces and beings?” We accept that the two "ways of knowing" can coexist in the same society/culture, and that the two are not mutually exclusive, nor does one necessarily preclude or supersede the other. And can’t we likewise expect to find them co-existing in our own culture? Then the interesting question become things like: how do they co-exist,
          and why do they co-exist (and I mean here not “co-exist” as in “get along well together,” but exist, as “social facts” at the same time, in the same culture, for better or worse).

          I don't intend to suggest here that as anthropologists we should just accept that one explanation is just as good as another--that they somehow all should just be accepted as equally valuable (...sounds like an awfully familiar mischaracterization of cultural anthropology's cultural relativism!) In political battles over textbooks and school curriculums we certainly have roles to play, among other things to say, "if you want to teach SCIENCE, 'intelligent design' isn't it!" But in understanding this all from an anthropological perspective, we have to challenge ourselves to use the same tools of comparative, historical, economic, cultural analysis toward our own society that we commonly expect in studying "others."

          I once had a professor who prided himself as a "Renaissance Man." He studied anthropology and geography, and could teach just about anything from what we now know as the "five fields" of the discipline. I admired him greatly and learned much from him about physical anthropology, paleo anthropology, archaeology, and so much more. When he learned at some point that I was involved with the local campus "Newman Parish" (a Catholic Parish for students hosted just to the edge of our state-college campus) he wondered (many times, out loud) how I could reconcile this with "real anthropology." But that didn't strike me as much as the fact that in his discussion of this he made reference to a famous Catholic scientist/theologian/anthropologist/priest who he conflated with "The Catholic Church" as an illustration of how "The Church" (as he imagined was embodied by this learned scholar) "rejected evolution." This esteemed professor of mine had the story wrong on all counts, and to my
          knowledge never went back to check his historical accuracy. He was so convinced that "The Church" was "against evolution," (back in the 1970's) that he filtered his historical understanding through this erroneous "fact." And it all came out wrong.

          To over-simplify it just a bit (!!) the theologian/anthropologist/philosopher/priest was Teilhard de Chardin, and in fact he embraced evolutionary theory "to an extreme," moving from the physical to the metaphysical. He saw the model of change that it reflected, and carried the model out beyond the realm of science, into theology. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, didn't reject him (or evolution) as far as he/it went scientifically. Officially the Church accepted that as long as "science" in its materialist explanation didn't simply conclude "that's all there is," it would be perfectly compatible with "faith." On the other hand, it initially rejected Teilhard because he carried out the logic and the model of evolution beyond the limits of the observable, and entered into territory that the church felt came dangerously close to challenging some of its fundamental theological explanations of God, sin, and "human nature."

          I guess it was probably easier, with a bunch of undergraduate anthro majors, to conflate all this, say "the church rejects evolution," and move on to our human osteology manual, or to the latest notes on Koobi Fora, or to the outlines of contemporary cultural theory. It certainly served the purpose of highlighting ("for heuristic purposes," he would often say!) that professor's message about the primacy of science. It is interesting, at the same time, to see where "scientists" (my anthro professor and Teilhard included) are ready to settle in their pursuit of study of cause-and-effect chains in their world.

          Brian


          -----Original Message-----
          From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Renee Garcia
          Sent: Wed 9/6/2006 11:59 AM
          To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

          I too teach in Southern California, Saddleback College in Mission Viejo
          specifically. Dangerously close to Saddleback Church. I have to say that I
          have never encountered the number of students who are creationists by
          training as I have here. I would say at least 6% of every class is a
          creationist, this includes my online students who admit more freely that
          they are creationists. They however specify a belief in microevolution but
          not macroevolution.

          I would suggest that if you believe you don't have creationists in your
          classes they are simply not admitting that they are and choose to fulfill
          the course requirements. They can pass the bio. anthropology without
          "believing" in evolution. However, I think the more sinister aspect of this
          issue is that both Intelligent Design and Creationism work to discredit
          science in general. In this regard, for the last few years I have taken more
          time explaining the scientific method its value and the steps specifically.
          I have also shown the evolution series doc entitled "What about God?" and I
          explain that unlike the popular arguments of both Id'ers and Creationists,
          scientists have never, to my knowledge, worked to discredit faith. In fact,
          most of us I think would rather never even discuss it as this would be the
          poorest example of the use of scientific methodology.

          I have tried to express to my students that the point is not that science
          discredits the Bible, the point is that science and faith are two completely
          different systems. I also explain that there is a necessity to understand
          the underlying issues involved in creationism and Intelligent Design namely
          political agendas. This of course takes us into other discussion
          possibilities, but it allows them to understand perspectives they may not
          have recognized previously.

          However, I must confess that I am considering not teaching Bio Anthro 1
          online in the future. This venue makes discussion difficult for me to really
          explain the issues. I know that I reach a level of frustration after I've
          explained the concepts over and over, but lack the ability to go further.
          Does anyone have suggestions from personal experience teaching online A1
          courses?

          Renee

          Renee Garcia, MA
          Saddleback College
          Dept. of Anthropology
          Universite de Bordeaux I
          Anthropologie Biologique

          -----Original Message-----
          From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of
          Hare II, William E
          Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 8:20 AM
          To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

          Hi,

          I have avoided any heated debate about this issue by establishing the
          following guidelines:

          1. Respect everyone's world view (including science)
          2. Understand that my job is to present the scientific point of
          view and the student's job is to be able to explain it.
          3. I will correct any misuse of logical thinking or scientific
          argument.

          I am currently working on the course objectives for Intro to Anth and
          will probably have to include something similar to what Phil has written
          below.

          Will Hare
          Three Rivers Community College

          -----Original Message-----
          From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf
          Of Philip Stein
          Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 5:58 PM
          To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

          There are those students whose rejection of evolution is based upon
          religious training that they have received from their parents and
          religious practitioners. Often this is explicitly anti-evolution and
          presumes to teach what evolution is in order to be able to show where
          its fails.

          I am indeed fortunate, perhaps, to be teaching in a suburban southern
          California community college. In all my years of teaching I have never
          come up against a religion versus science controversy or a verbal
          creationist in my classroom. And as far as I know, neither have my
          colleagues. Why? Part is demographics. Part is the fact that in the
          1970s we renamed the course Human Biological Evolution. Thus the title
          may serve the purpose of warning creationists away from the course.
          However, our enrollments remain high because we do satisfy the natural
          science requirement.

          I believe that a significant portion of our students do not reject
          evolution on religious grounds. They are exposed to anti-evolution
          rhetoric all the time on television, radio, print media, and so forth.
          "Where there's smoke there's fire! I have not trouble with the concept,
          but with so many people questioning evolution, there must be something
          wrong! Anyway, isn't intelligent design science?"

          Last year my department adopted new student learning outcomes and course
          objectives. Our number one outcome deals with knowing science. Our first
          two objectives are:

          Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
          1. Apply the process of science to problem solving situations and
          formulate procedural steps necessary for a scientific investigation.
          2. Analyze and evaluate the arguments of creationism and intelligence
          design theory and demonstrate the fallacies of these points of view as a
          scientific theory.

          Next week, when I hand out my syllabus, these objectives will be printed
          for all to see. It will be interesting to see what happens.

          The problem is poor science education and critical thinking skills.
          People believe in all sorts of strange things. (See the Skeptics Society
          for more information. It's a great organization!) The disputes in the
          area of evolution are symptomatic of much more. For example, we are
          ignoring global warming. It won't affect me, but I'm very worried about
          the world my grandson will live in as an adult. The average person, and
          certainly the typical politician, simply does not know how to evaluate
          scientific information.

          Thanks to all who are responding on the SACC web site. This is a great
          conversation!

          Phil

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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        • Monica Bellas
          Renee -- I also teach Physical Anthropology online and have not had any problems with students insisting on including their religious ideology in their
          Message 4 of 19 , Sep 7, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            Renee --
            I also teach Physical Anthropology online and have not had any "problems"
            with students insisting on including their religious ideology in their
            written assignments. Perhaps that is because I include the following
            paragraph in my online (and lecture) syllabus:
            Scientific Method and Science Viewpoint
            This class satisfies the General Education Requirement Area 5 in
            Biological/Life Sciences. As such, the class is taught from a scientific
            point of view, using the scientific method (hypotheses building and testing)
            and scientific facts (verifiable truths). We will be examining biological
            relationships and behavioral similarities between nonhuman primates (monkeys
            and apes) and humans, in addition to studying the evolution of hominids
            (bipedal primates) from the common ancestor we share with chimpanzees and
            bonobos. While I realize that some of you have a belief system as to how
            humans were created that may contradict the scientific theory of evolution,
            in this class you are required to base all of your answers to assignments
            and test questions on the scientific evidence of evolution, not on your
            religious ideology. If you find it impossible to segregate your religious
            beliefs in the context of this course, I would suggest that you drop the
            class. If you do include your religious ideology in your answer, you will
            receive a zero on the assignment or test answer.

            I also have students that persist in their religious ideology, but perfrom
            perfectly well on their exams. One student told me that while she doesn't
            "believe" in evolution, she has no problem basing her answers on
            evolutionary theory. I also make it clear to students that it is not
            impossible to believe in evolution and be a Christian -- that both are
            different ways to look at the world, based on "different" methodologies, and
            are not mutually exclusive.
            I don't know if this helps, but I thought I'd add my two cents...
            Monica Bellas
            Cerritos College
            Norwalk, CA



            >From: "Renee Garcia" <rgarcia43@...>
            >Reply-To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
            >To: <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>
            >Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution
            >Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2006 08:59:47 -0700
            >
            >I too teach in Southern California, Saddleback College in Mission Viejo
            >specifically. Dangerously close to Saddleback Church. I have to say that I
            >have never encountered the number of students who are creationists by
            >training as I have here. I would say at least 6% of every class is a
            >creationist, this includes my online students who admit more freely that
            >they are creationists. They however specify a belief in microevolution but
            >not macroevolution.
            >
            >I would suggest that if you believe you don't have creationists in your
            >classes they are simply not admitting that they are and choose to fulfill
            >the course requirements. They can pass the bio. anthropology without
            >"believing" in evolution. However, I think the more sinister aspect of this
            >issue is that both Intelligent Design and Creationism work to discredit
            >science in general. In this regard, for the last few years I have taken
            >more
            >time explaining the scientific method its value and the steps specifically.
            >I have also shown the evolution series doc entitled "What about God?" and I
            >explain that unlike the popular arguments of both Id'ers and Creationists,
            >scientists have never, to my knowledge, worked to discredit faith. In fact,
            >most of us I think would rather never even discuss it as this would be the
            >poorest example of the use of scientific methodology.
            >
            >I have tried to express to my students that the point is not that science
            >discredits the Bible, the point is that science and faith are two
            >completely
            >different systems. I also explain that there is a necessity to understand
            >the underlying issues involved in creationism and Intelligent Design namely
            >political agendas. This of course takes us into other discussion
            >possibilities, but it allows them to understand perspectives they may not
            >have recognized previously.
            >
            >However, I must confess that I am considering not teaching Bio Anthro 1
            >online in the future. This venue makes discussion difficult for me to
            >really
            >explain the issues. I know that I reach a level of frustration after I've
            >explained the concepts over and over, but lack the ability to go further.
            >Does anyone have suggestions from personal experience teaching online A1
            >courses?
            >
            >
            >Renee
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >Renee Garcia, MA
            >Saddleback College
            >Dept. of Anthropology
            >Universite de Bordeaux I
            >Anthropologie Biologique
            >
            >-----Original Message-----
            >From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
            >Hare II, William E
            >Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 8:20 AM
            >To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution
            >
            >Hi,
            >
            >I have avoided any heated debate about this issue by establishing the
            >following guidelines:
            >
            >1. Respect everyone's world view (including science)
            >2. Understand that my job is to present the scientific point of
            >view and the student's job is to be able to explain it.
            >3. I will correct any misuse of logical thinking or scientific
            >argument.
            >
            >I am currently working on the course objectives for Intro to Anth and
            >will probably have to include something similar to what Phil has written
            >below.
            >
            >Will Hare
            >Three Rivers Community College
            >
            >-----Original Message-----
            >From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
            >Of Philip Stein
            >Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 5:58 PM
            >To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution
            >
            >There are those students whose rejection of evolution is based upon
            >religious training that they have received from their parents and
            >religious practitioners. Often this is explicitly anti-evolution and
            >presumes to teach what evolution is in order to be able to show where
            >its fails.
            >
            >I am indeed fortunate, perhaps, to be teaching in a suburban southern
            >California community college. In all my years of teaching I have never
            >come up against a religion versus science controversy or a verbal
            >creationist in my classroom. And as far as I know, neither have my
            >colleagues. Why? Part is demographics. Part is the fact that in the
            >1970s we renamed the course Human Biological Evolution. Thus the title
            >may serve the purpose of warning creationists away from the course.
            >However, our enrollments remain high because we do satisfy the natural
            >science requirement.
            >
            >I believe that a significant portion of our students do not reject
            >evolution on religious grounds. They are exposed to anti-evolution
            >rhetoric all the time on television, radio, print media, and so forth.
            >"Where there's smoke there's fire! I have not trouble with the concept,
            >but with so many people questioning evolution, there must be something
            >wrong! Anyway, isn't intelligent design science?"
            >
            >Last year my department adopted new student learning outcomes and course
            >objectives. Our number one outcome deals with knowing science. Our first
            >two objectives are:
            >
            >Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
            >1. Apply the process of science to problem solving situations and
            >formulate procedural steps necessary for a scientific investigation.
            >2. Analyze and evaluate the arguments of creationism and intelligence
            >design theory and demonstrate the fallacies of these points of view as a
            >scientific theory.
            >
            >Next week, when I hand out my syllabus, these objectives will be printed
            >for all to see. It will be interesting to see what happens.
            >
            >The problem is poor science education and critical thinking skills.
            >People believe in all sorts of strange things. (See the Skeptics Society
            >for more information. It's a great organization!) The disputes in the
            >area of evolution are symptomatic of much more. For example, we are
            >ignoring global warming. It won't affect me, but I'm very worried about
            >the world my grandson will live in as an adult. The average person, and
            >certainly the typical politician, simply does not know how to evaluate
            >scientific information.
            >
            >Thanks to all who are responding on the SACC web site. This is a great
            >conversation!
            >
            >Phil
            >
            >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
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            >
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            >need to add
            >sentto-126016-3510-1157234287-whare=trcc.commnet.edu@...
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            >
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            >
            >
            >
            >Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
            >ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
            >Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
            >ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
            >Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Deborah Shepherd
            I ve been interested in hearing from instructors who don t get a lot of religious flack from their students. Frankly, I don t think it matters what you say in
            Message 5 of 19 , Sep 8, 2006
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              I've been interested in hearing from instructors who don't get a lot of
              religious flack from their students. Frankly, I don't think it matters
              what you say in your syllabus or on the first day of class. I use all
              the same statements and arguments myself. It is simply a matter of
              demographics. My college is suburban and very, very Euro-American. Most
              students here are local and first-generation college students, and a
              great many are weekly attendees and members of large, fundamentalist
              churches. I experience several problems:

              1. The student registers without reading the course description and
              really has no clear idea what the course is about. They only know that
              it fits into their schedule and helps them to fulfill "area 10"
              requirements.

              2. They assume that I will give "equal time" to creationism and
              intelligent design because (a) that's what their high school teachers
              did, or (b) they've been told by their parents or their ministers that
              "equal time" is to be expected.

              3. They oppose evolution and are taking the course just to convince
              themselves further that they are right. One student told me he took the
              course on a dare from his girlfriend. These students are rarely happy,
              and there's nothing I expect to do about that.

              My goal is to teach to the students who are interested and receptive.
              If any of the others come around, they can do so on their own terms.

              When I give students the first-day reality check, about 5% have to drop
              the course because they can't live with the fact that I respectfully do
              not and will not abide by #2 because religion is not a part of
              anthropology.

              One last observation: we are not the only ones to have problems with
              some evangelical Christians. A History colleague surprised me by saying
              that he had to cope with students in Ancient and Medieval History who
              object to the teaching of events or social conditions where Christians
              are shown in an unfavorable light.

              No wonder my college is in a town called "Coon Rapids" which the local
              populace has adamantly refused to allow to be renamed! But that goes off
              on another tangent.

              Deborah


              Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
              Anthropology and Sociology
              Anoka-Ramsey Community College
              Coon Rapids Campus
              email: deborah.shepherd@...
              http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/
              new phone number: 763-433-1195



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Bob Muckle
              The first time I taught the human evoution course I had a young woman stay after class to talk with me. It took about 30 seconds for her to break into tears,
              Message 6 of 19 , Sep 8, 2006
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                The first time I taught the human evoution course I had a young woman
                stay after class to talk with me. It took about 30 seconds for her to
                break into tears, letting me know that she didn't want to take the
                course but needed it as a requirement. She was really hoping that I
                could somehow get the requirement waived for her. She came from a family
                of missionaries and this was her ambition as well, after getting a
                degree in social work. I simply explained to her that she didn't have to
                give up her own beliefs to do well in the course and it really couldn't
                hurt to know what the people she believed were her opponents thought and
                how they came to their conclusions. I also assured her that I would
                frame test questions so that she wouldn't have difficulty answering
                because of her belief system (eg. starting questions with such phrases
                as "According to...." or "Scientific research shows..."). The student
                did complete the course, but no more was said about our little
                conversation. I moved on to another college hundreds of miles away and
                never thought of the student again. Until four years later I received a
                call from the student who just wanted to let me know that she was now in
                her first year in a graduate program, in Anthropology!

                Also...I think I've mentioned this before, but I think an excellent way
                to start the course is with the Nova program 'God, Darwin, and
                Dinosaurs.' It uses the Creation vs. Evolution debate, especially the
                teaching of creationism in schools, to inform students about the nature
                of science. It does a good job, in my opinion, of exploring the question
                'What is science?" and answering it. Although the program came out quite
                a few years ago, as it focuses on school board decisions, it still
                appears contemporary.

                Bob
              • Pamela Ford
                It s that evidence of outright fear in some of our students that really bothers me. I suspect while so many are unskilled at any kind of critical thinking,
                Message 7 of 19 , Sep 8, 2006
                • 0 Attachment
                  It's that evidence of outright fear in some of our students that really
                  bothers me. I suspect while so many are unskilled at any kind of critical
                  thinking, they become terrified of an idea that's not part of the segment of
                  the world they occupy. (The irony is that the same young people can rebel
                  with tattoos and piercings, but not with new intellectual concepts!) I feel
                  compelled to work with them since anthropology is the only discipline where
                  we can consider both biological data and behavioral data in order to
                  understand humans on a grand scale. If a student is fighting hard not to
                  understand evolutionary processes in the physical anthropology class, then I
                  think they really need to take the cultural anthropology class next to
                  better understand their own ethnocentrism (especially about religion.) So I
                  don't want to lose them......

                  I had a student with stomach ulcers (and serious pain) because she was
                  forced to attend a kind of "seminary" in the early mornings before she came
                  to the community college. Every day, her family and her teachers in the
                  "seminary" re-inforced the notion that she was evil for wanting to learn.
                  She needed a lot of reassurance from me. We have many students whose
                  situation is not so dire but who need a lot of support just for because they
                  are trying to be students in a segment of society that frowns on
                  intellectual development of any kind.

                  Pamela Ford
                  Chair, Department for World Studies
                  Mt. San Jacinto College
                  1499 N. State Street
                  San Jacinto, CA 92583
                  951.487-3725


                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                  Bob Muckle
                  Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 10:11 AM
                  To: deborah.shepherd@...; SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Teaching Evolution

                  The first time I taught the human evoution course I had a young woman
                  stay after class to talk with me. It took about 30 seconds for her to
                  break into tears, letting me know that she didn't want to take the
                  course but needed it as a requirement. She was really hoping that I
                  could somehow get the requirement waived for her. She came from a family
                  of missionaries and this was her ambition as well, after getting a
                  degree in social work. I simply explained to her that she didn't have to
                  give up her own beliefs to do well in the course and it really couldn't
                  hurt to know what the people she believed were her opponents thought and
                  how they came to their conclusions. I also assured her that I would
                  frame test questions so that she wouldn't have difficulty answering
                  because of her belief system (eg. starting questions with such phrases
                  as "According to...." or "Scientific research shows..."). The student
                  did complete the course, but no more was said about our little
                  conversation. I moved on to another college hundreds of miles away and
                  never thought of the student again. Until four years later I received a
                  call from the student who just wanted to let me know that she was now in
                  her first year in a graduate program, in Anthropology!

                  Also...I think I've mentioned this before, but I think an excellent way
                  to start the course is with the Nova program 'God, Darwin, and
                  Dinosaurs.' It uses the Creation vs. Evolution debate, especially the
                  teaching of creationism in schools, to inform students about the nature
                  of science. It does a good job, in my opinion, of exploring the question
                  'What is science?" and answering it. Although the program came out quite
                  a few years ago, as it focuses on school board decisions, it still
                  appears contemporary.

                  Bob


                  Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                  ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                  Yahoo! Groups Links
                • Linda France Stine LFSTINE
                  This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the most trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom with the visceral
                  Message 8 of 19 , Sep 19, 2006
                  • 0 Attachment
                    This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the most
                    trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom with
                    the visceral reaction to the word evolution as something inherently evil
                    and anti-Christian. It is very difficult to discuss evolutionary concepts
                    with them- you hit this big wall of silent enmity. Linda

                    Dr. Linda France Stine, RPA
                    Department of Anthropology
                    436 Graham, UNCG 27412
                    (336)-256-1098 lfstine@...

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Pamela Ford
                    Linda, What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like most of the textbooks with the concept of natural selection, cell division, genes
                    Message 9 of 19 , Sep 19, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Linda,

                      What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like most
                      of the textbooks with the concept of natural selection, cell division, genes
                      and DNA? The reason that I ask is that I think I have a way of getting
                      through that wall you are facing. I begin with the living primates. For
                      the very problem you describe, I figure that NO ONE can resist pictures
                      and/or film of baby chimps. And, by learning about living non-human
                      primates, students begin to see that, well, yes, we do look more like these
                      animals than we look like rats or horses...... More importantly, they look
                      a lot like us so maybe we are related....... (But I still say fifteen
                      times in the semester, "I never told you that we are descended from chimps
                      and neither did Darwin.") Oh, and by doing this right up front, the Order
                      Primates is clearly understood, classification is covered, as well as the
                      physical traits that are shared by all primates, and "natural selection"
                      becomes part of the vocabulary with less resistance.

                      The psychologist around the corner from me uses medical accomplishments as a
                      tribute to the value of understanding natural selection. She goes so far as
                      to suggest that if do not want to understand the basic premise of biology,
                      then maybe we shouldn't be dependent upon the benefits we get from that
                      understanding (the idea of not having antibiotics is enough to capture many
                      people's attention.)

                      But I still think our students are afraid. They are just as afraid of
                      "Darwinism" as they are afraid of math. The difference is that they think
                      our topic is designed to fight AGAINST that which they hold dear and so
                      their resistance is more deeply rooted than their resistance to math.
                      That's why the cultural anthro discussions about supernaturalism and
                      ethnocentrism can be so helpful to students. Look at some of the models
                      we've seen discussed in this thread where our colleagues are so helpful and
                      careful about explaining scientific thinking.

                      But I still say we can melt their hearts with pictures of baby chimps!

                      Pamela Ford
                      Chair, Department for World Studies
                      Mt. San Jacinto College
                      1499 N. State Street
                      San Jacinto, CA 92583
                      951.487-3725

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                      Linda France Stine LFSTINE
                      Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 2:31 PM
                      To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                      This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the most
                      trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom with
                      the visceral reaction to the word evolution as something inherently evil
                      and anti-Christian. It is very difficult to discuss evolutionary concepts
                      with them- you hit this big wall of silent enmity. Linda

                      Dr. Linda France Stine, RPA
                      Department of Anthropology
                      436 Graham, UNCG 27412
                      (336)-256-1098 lfstine@...

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                      Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                      ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                      Yahoo! Groups Links
                    • Rebecca Cramer
                      Had to share this. A little levity. Rebecca Pamela Ford wrote: Linda, What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like
                      Message 10 of 19 , Sep 19, 2006
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Had to share this. A little levity.
                        Rebecca

                        Pamela Ford <pford@...> wrote:
                        Linda,

                        What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like most
                        of the textbooks with the concept of natural selection, cell division, genes
                        and DNA? The reason that I ask is that I think I have a way of getting
                        through that wall you are facing. I begin with the living primates. For
                        the very problem you describe, I figure that NO ONE can resist pictures
                        and/or film of baby chimps. And, by learning about living non-human
                        primates, students begin to see that, well, yes, we do look more like these
                        animals than we look like rats or horses...... More importantly, they look
                        a lot like us so maybe we are related....... (But I still say fifteen
                        times in the semester, "I never told you that we are descended from chimps
                        and neither did Darwin.") Oh, and by doing this right up front, the Order
                        Primates is clearly understood, classification is covered, as well as the
                        physical traits that are shared by all primates, and "natural selection"
                        becomes part of the vocabulary with less resistance.

                        The psychologist around the corner from me uses medical accomplishments as a
                        tribute to the value of understanding natural selection. She goes so far as
                        to suggest that if do not want to understand the basic premise of biology,
                        then maybe we shouldn't be dependent upon the benefits we get from that
                        understanding (the idea of not having antibiotics is enough to capture many
                        people's attention.)

                        But I still think our students are afraid. They are just as afraid of
                        "Darwinism" as they are afraid of math. The difference is that they think
                        our topic is designed to fight AGAINST that which they hold dear and so
                        their resistance is more deeply rooted than their resistance to math.
                        That's why the cultural anthro discussions about supernaturalism and
                        ethnocentrism can be so helpful to students. Look at some of the models
                        we've seen discussed in this thread where our colleagues are so helpful and
                        careful about explaining scientific thinking.

                        But I still say we can melt their hearts with pictures of baby chimps!

                        Pamela Ford
                        Chair, Department for World Studies
                        Mt. San Jacinto College
                        1499 N. State Street
                        San Jacinto, CA 92583
                        951.487-3725

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                        Linda France Stine LFSTINE
                        Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 2:31 PM
                        To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                        This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the most
                        trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom with
                        the visceral reaction to the word evolution as something inherently evil
                        and anti-Christian. It is very difficult to discuss evolutionary concepts
                        with them- you hit this big wall of silent enmity. Linda

                        Dr. Linda France Stine, RPA
                        Department of Anthropology
                        436 Graham, UNCG 27412
                        (336)-256-1098 lfstine@...

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                        Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                        ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                        Yahoo! Groups Links






                        ==============
                        Rebecca Cramer
                        missiontosonora@...
                        http://www.u.arizona.edu/~rcramer/
                        ==============

                        ---------------------------------
                        Do you Yahoo!?
                        Get on board. You're invited to try the new Yahoo! Mail.

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Dianne Chidester
                        This sounds like a session for us to present at the AAA in 2007! (Teaching Evolutionary Theory: Getting through the Wall--just a suggested title.) Anyone
                        Message 11 of 19 , Sep 20, 2006
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                          This sounds like a session for us to present at the AAA in 2007!
                          (Teaching Evolutionary Theory: Getting through the Wall--just a
                          suggested title.) Anyone willing to organize it?

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                          Of Pamela Ford
                          Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 6:31 PM
                          To: 'SACC-L@yahoogroups.com'
                          Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                          Linda,

                          What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like
                          most
                          of the textbooks with the concept of natural selection, cell division,
                          genes
                          and DNA? The reason that I ask is that I think I have a way of getting
                          through that wall you are facing. I begin with the living primates.
                          For
                          the very problem you describe, I figure that NO ONE can resist pictures
                          and/or film of baby chimps. And, by learning about living non-human
                          primates, students begin to see that, well, yes, we do look more like
                          these
                          animals than we look like rats or horses...... More importantly, they
                          look
                          a lot like us so maybe we are related....... (But I still say fifteen
                          times in the semester, "I never told you that we are descended from
                          chimps
                          and neither did Darwin.") Oh, and by doing this right up front, the
                          Order
                          Primates is clearly understood, classification is covered, as well as
                          the
                          physical traits that are shared by all primates, and "natural selection"
                          becomes part of the vocabulary with less resistance.

                          The psychologist around the corner from me uses medical accomplishments
                          as a
                          tribute to the value of understanding natural selection. She goes so
                          far as
                          to suggest that if do not want to understand the basic premise of
                          biology,
                          then maybe we shouldn't be dependent upon the benefits we get from that
                          understanding (the idea of not having antibiotics is enough to capture
                          many
                          people's attention.)

                          But I still think our students are afraid. They are just as afraid of
                          "Darwinism" as they are afraid of math. The difference is that they
                          think
                          our topic is designed to fight AGAINST that which they hold dear and so
                          their resistance is more deeply rooted than their resistance to math.
                          That's why the cultural anthro discussions about supernaturalism and
                          ethnocentrism can be so helpful to students. Look at some of the models
                          we've seen discussed in this thread where our colleagues are so helpful
                          and
                          careful about explaining scientific thinking.

                          But I still say we can melt their hearts with pictures of baby chimps!

                          Pamela Ford
                          Chair, Department for World Studies
                          Mt. San Jacinto College
                          1499 N. State Street
                          San Jacinto, CA 92583
                          951.487-3725

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                          Of
                          Linda France Stine LFSTINE
                          Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 2:31 PM
                          To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                          This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the most
                          trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom
                          with
                          the visceral reaction to the word evolution as something inherently evil

                          and anti-Christian. It is very difficult to discuss evolutionary
                          concepts
                          with them- you hit this big wall of silent enmity. Linda

                          Dr. Linda France Stine, RPA
                          Department of Anthropology
                          436 Graham, UNCG 27412
                          (336)-256-1098 lfstine@...

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                          Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                          ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                          Yahoo! Groups Links










                          Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                          ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                          Yahoo! Groups Links










                          The content of this electronic communication is intended only for the person or persons to whom it is addressed and may contain sensitive, confidential or privileged information. The dissemination, retransmission or use of any information by any person other than the intended recipient or recipients is strictly prohibited. This item has been scanned for virus and malware infection and is free from known infections.
                        • Lloyd Miller
                          That s a good idea, Dianne. Let me also re-send an earlier notice (pasted below) that Anthropology News (AN) is looking for contributions on teaching. I
                          Message 12 of 19 , Sep 20, 2006
                          • 0 Attachment
                            That's a good idea, Dianne. Let me also re-send an earlier notice
                            (pasted below) that Anthropology News (AN) is looking for
                            contributions on teaching. I think this is tailor-made for SACCers.

                            Anthropology News Call for Papers: TEACHING
                            Teaching is what most anthropologists do most of the time. Perhaps it
                            should occupy a more central place in our publications and annual
                            meetings. Anthropology News is therefore soliciting commentaries and
                            analyses related to teaching and anthropology. Submissions that take
                            up the following issues are particularly welcome:
                            anthropology and the general education curriculum
                            distance and online learning
                            anthropology and experiential learning (service learning, study
                            abroad, action research, community engagement, internships, field
                            schools, labs)
                            teaching across differences of culture, class, race and gender
                            the role and status (or lack thereof) of teaching in the academy and
                            the discipline
                            the construction of meaningful courses, curricula and teaching materials
                            the teaching of anthropological methods, theories and writing
                            team-teaching across subfields, disciplines and nations
                            what it is that anthropology can contribute to student learning on
                            various critical issues
                            how teaching informs and enriches anthropologists� research and writing
                            public education, including teaching in museums, using exhibits and
                            collections
                            anthropology (or the lack of anthropology) in the K-12 curriculum
                            Commentaries on these issues should be under 1000 words.
                            Short pieces under 800 words on particular teaching methods that
                            readers have found productive are also welcome, especially if these
                            are framed by larger methodological and theoretical discussions.
                            Send commentaries and short articles to AN Managing Editor Stacy
                            Lathrop, slathrop@... by October 20, 2006.


                            On Sep 20, 2006, at 6:53 AM, Dianne Chidester wrote:

                            > This sounds like a session for us to present at the AAA in 2007!
                            > (Teaching Evolutionary Theory: Getting through the Wall--just a
                            > suggested title.) Anyone willing to organize it?
                            >
                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                            > Of Pamela Ford
                            > Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 6:31 PM
                            > To: 'SACC-L@yahoogroups.com'
                            > Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution
                            >
                            > Linda,
                            >
                            > What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like
                            > most
                            > of the textbooks with the concept of natural selection, cell division,
                            > genes
                            > and DNA? The reason that I ask is that I think I have a way of
                            > getting
                            > through that wall you are facing. I begin with the living primates.
                            > For
                            > the very problem you describe, I figure that NO ONE can resist
                            > pictures
                            > and/or film of baby chimps. And, by learning about living non-human
                            > primates, students begin to see that, well, yes, we do look more like
                            > these
                            > animals than we look like rats or horses...... More importantly, they
                            > look
                            > a lot like us so maybe we are related....... (But I still say
                            > fifteen
                            > times in the semester, "I never told you that we are descended from
                            > chimps
                            > and neither did Darwin.") Oh, and by doing this right up front, the
                            > Order
                            > Primates is clearly understood, classification is covered, as well as
                            > the
                            > physical traits that are shared by all primates, and "natural
                            > selection"
                            > becomes part of the vocabulary with less resistance.
                            >
                            > The psychologist around the corner from me uses medical
                            > accomplishments
                            > as a
                            > tribute to the value of understanding natural selection. She goes so
                            > far as
                            > to suggest that if do not want to understand the basic premise of
                            > biology,
                            > then maybe we shouldn't be dependent upon the benefits we get from
                            > that
                            > understanding (the idea of not having antibiotics is enough to capture
                            > many
                            > people's attention.)
                            >
                            > But I still think our students are afraid. They are just as afraid of
                            > "Darwinism" as they are afraid of math. The difference is that they
                            > think
                            > our topic is designed to fight AGAINST that which they hold dear
                            > and so
                            > their resistance is more deeply rooted than their resistance to math.
                            > That's why the cultural anthro discussions about supernaturalism and
                            > ethnocentrism can be so helpful to students. Look at some of the
                            > models
                            > we've seen discussed in this thread where our colleagues are so
                            > helpful
                            > and
                            > careful about explaining scientific thinking.
                            >
                            > But I still say we can melt their hearts with pictures of baby chimps!
                            >
                            > Pamela Ford
                            > Chair, Department for World Studies
                            > Mt. San Jacinto College
                            > 1499 N. State Street
                            > San Jacinto, CA 92583
                            > 951.487-3725
                            >
                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                            > Of
                            > Linda France Stine LFSTINE
                            > Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 2:31 PM
                            > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                            > Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution
                            >
                            > This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the
                            > most
                            > trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom
                            > with
                            > the visceral reaction to the word evolution as something inherently
                            > evil
                            >
                            > and anti-Christian. It is very difficult to discuss evolutionary
                            > concepts
                            > with them- you hit this big wall of silent enmity. Linda
                            >
                            > Dr. Linda France Stine, RPA
                            > Department of Anthropology
                            > 436 Graham, UNCG 27412
                            > (336)-256-1098 lfstine@...
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                            > ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                            > ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > The content of this electronic communication is intended only for
                            > the person or persons to whom it is addressed and may contain
                            > sensitive, confidential or privileged information. The
                            > dissemination, retransmission or use of any information by any
                            > person other than the intended recipient or recipients is strictly
                            > prohibited. This item has been scanned for virus and malware
                            > infection and is free from known infections.
                            >
                            >
                            > Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE
                            > NEW ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Renee Garcia
                            I would very much like to volunteer. Let me know what day/time we should be looking at and I can go from there. Renee Renee Garcia Saddleback College Dept. of
                            Message 13 of 19 , Sep 20, 2006
                            • 0 Attachment
                              I would very much like to volunteer. Let me know what day/time we should be
                              looking at and I can go from there.
                              Renee

                              Renee Garcia
                              Saddleback College
                              Dept. of Anthropology
                              Universite de Bordeaux I
                              Anthropologie Biologique

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                              Dianne Chidester
                              Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:54 AM
                              To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                              This sounds like a session for us to present at the AAA in 2007!
                              (Teaching Evolutionary Theory: Getting through the Wall--just a
                              suggested title.) Anyone willing to organize it?

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                              Of Pamela Ford
                              Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 6:31 PM
                              To: 'SACC-L@yahoogroups.com'
                              Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                              Linda,

                              What do you start with when you begin the course? Do you proceed like
                              most
                              of the textbooks with the concept of natural selection, cell division,
                              genes
                              and DNA? The reason that I ask is that I think I have a way of getting
                              through that wall you are facing. I begin with the living primates.
                              For
                              the very problem you describe, I figure that NO ONE can resist pictures
                              and/or film of baby chimps. And, by learning about living non-human
                              primates, students begin to see that, well, yes, we do look more like
                              these
                              animals than we look like rats or horses...... More importantly, they
                              look
                              a lot like us so maybe we are related....... (But I still say fifteen
                              times in the semester, "I never told you that we are descended from
                              chimps
                              and neither did Darwin.") Oh, and by doing this right up front, the
                              Order
                              Primates is clearly understood, classification is covered, as well as
                              the
                              physical traits that are shared by all primates, and "natural selection"
                              becomes part of the vocabulary with less resistance.

                              The psychologist around the corner from me uses medical accomplishments
                              as a
                              tribute to the value of understanding natural selection. She goes so
                              far as
                              to suggest that if do not want to understand the basic premise of
                              biology,
                              then maybe we shouldn't be dependent upon the benefits we get from that
                              understanding (the idea of not having antibiotics is enough to capture
                              many
                              people's attention.)

                              But I still think our students are afraid. They are just as afraid of
                              "Darwinism" as they are afraid of math. The difference is that they
                              think
                              our topic is designed to fight AGAINST that which they hold dear and so
                              their resistance is more deeply rooted than their resistance to math.
                              That's why the cultural anthro discussions about supernaturalism and
                              ethnocentrism can be so helpful to students. Look at some of the models
                              we've seen discussed in this thread where our colleagues are so helpful
                              and
                              careful about explaining scientific thinking.

                              But I still say we can melt their hearts with pictures of baby chimps!

                              Pamela Ford
                              Chair, Department for World Studies
                              Mt. San Jacinto College
                              1499 N. State Street
                              San Jacinto, CA 92583
                              951.487-3725

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                              Of
                              Linda France Stine LFSTINE
                              Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 2:31 PM
                              To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

                              This is a great discussion on teaching evolution. I am having the most
                              trouble with home-schooled students. They tend to enter the classroom
                              with
                              the visceral reaction to the word evolution as something inherently evil

                              and anti-Christian. It is very difficult to discuss evolutionary
                              concepts
                              with them- you hit this big wall of silent enmity. Linda

                              Dr. Linda France Stine, RPA
                              Department of Anthropology
                              436 Graham, UNCG 27412
                              (336)-256-1098 lfstine@...

                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                              Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                              ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                              Yahoo! Groups Links










                              Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                              ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                              Yahoo! Groups Links










                              The content of this electronic communication is intended only for the person
                              or persons to whom it is addressed and may contain sensitive, confidential
                              or privileged information. The dissemination, retransmission or use of any
                              information by any person other than the intended recipient or recipients is
                              strictly prohibited. This item has been scanned for virus and malware
                              infection and is free from known infections.


                              Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
                              ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.
                              Yahoo! Groups Links
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