Afraid of evolution

It’s been 86 years since the “monkey trial,” but most biology teachers still are afraid to teach evolution straight, concludes a survey of 926 public high school biology teachers.

Only 28 percent describe the evidence for evolution and “explain the ways in which it is a unifying theme in all of biology,” reports the New York Times.  Thirteen percent teach creationism or “intelligent design” as a valid alternative to evolution. The “cautious 60 percent” tell students they teach evolution only because it’s on the state exam.

Others treat evolution as if it applied only on a molecular level, avoiding any discussion of the evolution of species. And a large number claim that students are free to choose evolution or creationism based on their own beliefs.

“It’s horrible,” Science Guy Bill Nye, executive director of the Planetary Society, tells Popular Mechanics.

. . . if we educate a generation of people who don’t believe in science, that’s a recipe for disaster. . . . The main idea in all of biology is evolution. To not teach it to our young people is wrong.

For one fourth of high school students, biology is the only science class they take.