November 7, 2016 Comments (0) Uncategorized

Teaching Evolution to Students with Diverse Beliefs

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by Dale Schlundt

The majority of us, at least in the beginning in our lives, take on the beliefs of those who largely influenced us. This really is typically our parents or somebody who has guided us thus far in our journey. That being said, as the demographics in the usa show we are primarily a Christian nation, the main topic of evolution and Darwinism among American families could be a controversial one, to place it lightly. Then when discussing natural history, the approach an educator uses typically defines the success or failure of the lesson. This is where I truly believe offering students multiple viewpoints of methods we like a species possibly developed, will pay off.? In other words, let us remember to give each side of the argument.

Dale Schlundt

Ultimately, the aim in my history class is not to necessarily have the student undertake my personal perspective on all topics, but to give them ?reasonable and accurate theories on the subject that I am conscious of, letting them be their very own \”analyst\” of the information. Why push our thoughts about young adults, if we are trying to help them learn to create their very own? In terms of Darwinism, I give them this disclaimer right from the start. Explaining that it makes little difference things i personally believe being an individual or even as an academic.? Yet, like a historian the two sides towards the question about where we originate from are clear. One being in the biblical text, the storyline of Adam and Eve, another through what many natural historians subscribe to, which is evolution from simple organisms towards the 21st century form of you and I. Most of us, unfortunately, believe we have to choose sides in this debate.

Throughout my semesters I continuously point out the insightful evidence lending itself to various forms of natural selection throughout earth\’s history and more specifically, the introduction of our societies both in the Old and New World. Great scholars for example Jared Diamond, Charles Darwin himself, as well as many others, have given evidence that merits evolution\’s credibility. These scholars discuss the domestication of large animals for human\’s necessity of energy, providing milk and meat. The issue I offer you is the reason why? What provoked us to try domestication? Why did we invent tools to hunt larger prey? These behaviors seem sensible when examining Darwin\’s theory of evolution and natural selection. Researchers have provided evidence to show we took this path. Darwin\’s work has told us why. Survival. The examples are without end. Some, which I use in my lectures, range from the desire of humans to continuously seek more resources, to the constant struggle for fame and power in modern society.

What do we get free from it that is essential? The argument because in acquiring these resources, there exists a better possibility of long-term survival. This appears to be a consistent and innate behavior in humans. ?We have seen elements of this in almost every aspect of living being\’s lives on this earth, therefore exactly how should we not point this out as a possible explanation for our behaviors throughout history. Not really a justification, such as Social Darwinism, for the many wrongs committed in humanity, but an explanation for both the pros and also the cons of human behavior.

Yet, to disregard the spiritual side of history is to be lacking in objectivity both being an individual plus an educator. Once again, as a historian evidence is too extensive to ignore, leading us to think that there is a high probability of our God being real. Not to mention, as a Christian I strongly believe in him. So the question remains, how do we approach these conflicting views?

The answer in my class is that perhaps they do not conflict in the way we have always been taught. Why can we not have both? This being a possibility I offer, but do not push onto my students. The argument here should not be focused on Adam and Eve vs. evolution, but that there is substantial evidence for evolution and spiritualty in our world. In my opinion, the two sides are very complimentary of each other, if we open our mind to their plausibility. There is a requirement for both sides to confess the legitimacy of each other\’s argument. Believing that God made the world; does it change our belief fundamentally if we decide to consider the multitude ways he might have potentially created us? Does the combination of spirituality as well as an acceptance of evolution negate our chosen faith? Finally, God made us such complex beings with physical, mental, and emotional lives characterized very similar, why could he not have also provided us with the power to evolve?

Dale Schlundt holds a Master\’s Degree in Adult Education having a concentration in American History from the University of Texas at Dallas and is currently an Adjunct Professor for Palo Alto College. Dale\’s new book Education Decoded (A Collection of My Writings) has become available on Amazon in paper back in addition to Kindle Edition.?

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