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ERIC Number: EJ923871
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0024-1822
Avoiding Mixed Metaphor: The Pedagogy of the Debate over Evolution and Intelligent Design
Carter, Kenneth L.; Welsh, Jeni
Liberal Education, v96 n3 p46-53 Sum 2010
For more than a century, the debate over evolution and creationism has affected academia at nearly every level. Although it distracts from core issues in many academic contexts, the debate can sometimes be pedagogically useful. It can be used pedagogically to examine how scientific predictions are made, how evidence is applied, and how it is determined whether unexpected findings threaten the overall theory or merely require revisions to it. Notwithstanding the range of past and present ideological viewpoints on both intelligent design and evolutionary theory, the fundamental debate continues in very similar forms, ranging from quiet, subtle student protests in individual classrooms to large-scale battles waged on school boards and in courtrooms across the country. The challenge for the instructor is to respect individual belief systems while still presenting the best of current scientific methodology, theory, knowledge, and tradition to a diverse population of students. In this article, the author describes a pedagogical framework that enables instructors to avoid tangents that are irrelevant to the course material, even as they respond respectfully and offer appropriate counterexamples as "food for thought." Teaching the debate over evolution and intelligent design gives instructors an opportunity to educate their students about the underlying psychology of the social unrest. The pedagogical framework can be used to teach students how to evaluate various other arguments as well as to help students build critical-thinking skills that apply more broadly to scientific research, common sense, and social traditions. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A