Field of Science

Life in the trenches - teaching biology to non-majors

For nearly 2 decades TPP taught biology to non-majors or freshman majors (but the class was still half non-majors) in large lecture sections, and he was very good at it. Although the upper mid-west is above the Bible belt, evolution was still a controversial subject for many students. Some students were adamantly opposed to evolution and all for religious reasons, some had never been taught evolution and were curious about why it was an issue, probably because high school teachers simply wanted to avoid any problems with their students, and some who had been taught something about evolution but wanted to learn more. Here's an essay by a biologist who long has taught non-majors at the U. of Kentucky, and TPP assures you that he knows exactly where this guy is coming from. Similar things have happened to all of us who have so taught. TPP actually always felt sorry for those students whose religious beliefs prevented them from learning, and even worse for those who did learn something and then decided that their religious leaders, their parents, had been deceiving them. Here's the Botanical Society of America's statement on evolution for which TPP was the primary author.

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