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ERIC Number: EJ1250001
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020-Apr
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Acceptance of Biological Evolution by First-Year Life Sciences University Students
Betti, Lia; Shaw, Peter; Behrends, Volker
Science & Education, v29 n2 p395-409 Apr 2020
Lack of acceptance of biological evolution, despite the overwhelming evidence that supports it, can be very problematic in higher education courses that have a strong biological basis. We investigated acceptance of biological evolution in 344 first-year Life Sciences undergraduate students across five programmes at the University of Roehampton, UK. In line with previous findings in British universities, we found that 9% of the students did not accept evolution by natural selection, with an increase to 16% for human evolution. Both religiosity and programme of study were significantly related to acceptance levels in our students (p < 0.001). In particular, lower acceptance was associated with Muslim or Christian beliefs, and with Biomedical Sciences and Nutrition and Health programmes (compared with Anthropology, Zoology and Biological Sciences). We suggest embedding an evolutionary perspective in the teaching of biomedical and health programmes and creating space for explicit discussion of perceived conflicts with religious beliefs.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A