13% Of High School Biology Teachers Are Creationists
This is pretty depressing:
The majority of high school biology teachers don’t take a solid stance on evolution with their students, mostly to avoid conflicts, and fewer than 30 percent of teachers take an adamant pro-evolutionary stance on the topic, a new study finds. Also, 13 percent of these teachers advocate creationism in their classrooms.
“The survey left space for (the teachers) to share their experiences. That’s where we picked up a lot of a sense about how they play to the test and tell students they can figure it out for themselves,” Michael Berkman, co-author of the study with Penn State University colleague Eric Plutzer, told Livescience. “Our general sense is they lack the knowledge and confidence to go in there and teach evolution, which makes them risk-averse.”
The data was collected from 926 nationally representative participants in the National Survey of High School Biology Teachers, which polled them on what they taught in the classroom and how much time they spent on each subject. They also noted the teachers’ personal feelings on creationism and evolution.
Only 28 percent of high school biology teachers followed the National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences recommendations on teaching evolution, which include citing evidence that evolution occurred and teaching evolution thematically, as a link between various biology topics.
In comparison, 13 percent of the teachers said they “explicitly advocate creationism or intelligent design by spending at least one hour of class time presenting it in a positive light.” These are mostly the same group of teachers (about 14 percent) who personally reject the idea of evolution and the scientific method, and believe that God created humans on Earth in their present form less than 10,000 years ago. (That 14 percent included teachers’ personal beliefs, regardless of whether they taught these in the classroom.)
Some of the creationism advocates insisted that they, rather than scientists, were practicing proper science, with a Minnesota teacher commenting, “I don’t teach the theory of evolution in my life science classes, nor do I teach the Big Bang Theory in my (E)arth (S)cience classes…. We do not have time to do something that is at best poor science.”
Others rejected the scientific method as valid for shedding light on the origin of species, with an Illinois teacher responding, “I am always amazed at how evolution and creationism are treated as if they are right or wrong. They are both belief systems that can never be truly or fully proved or discredited.”
“We say (evolution is) a central idea in biology, but someone can get a biology degree and not take a class in it,” Randy Moore, a science and evolution education specialist in the biology department at the University of Minnesota who was not involved in the study, told LiveScience. “We let that go in the name of religious freedom.”
No, it’s not “religious freedom,” it’s religion being taught as scientific quackery. This is how we’re educating the next generation of Americans, folks.