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RE: [SACC-L] Re: Teaching Evolution

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  • 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 1 of 19 , Sep 20, 2006
      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]



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