DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY
There is a perception that evolution conflicts with Faith. We do not believe that it does. Rather, the Theory of Evolution is an explanation of observations concerning the natural world; Faith concerns the spiritual world, which is inaccessible to science. Therefore, science and faith are entirely compatible.
However, evolution is complex. Understanding requires a good background in a number of different areas, and also requires overcoming a number of common misconceptions.
These pages are aimed at providing insight into the process of evolution itself, necessary background information for understanding evolution, the nature of common misconceptions, and some aspects of the science vs faith controversy.
Some Evolution Basics Many people do not really know how evolution works. This is understandable, since there are a number of different mechanisms at work, some of which require some understanding of molecular biology. If our ideas of the process are inaccurate, then it is sometimes difficult to imagine that it could ever happen.
Teaching Evolution There is little time in our classrooms to devote to any particular topic, so it is common to present the current understanding as "information to memorize." However, as noted in the National Science Education Standards, a greater depth of understanding is achieved through inquiry-based learning, and the analysis of real data. These pages explore methods for doing so. They also provide links to other sites that offer additional information on this issue.
The Controversy These pages explore the controversy surrounding evolution. It might be helpful to explore this information before deciding to "teach the controversy."
There are likely to be questions that are not addressed in these pages. If so, contact us and ask them. We will do our best to address them, and to listen to any concerns that you may have.
supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation
last updated: Dec 20, 2008