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Editors Corner

February 2017, Notes From the Field Editor Steve Metz

T h i s V i ew o f L i fe
Editor
Recently a colleague came to me for ad- sciences and take a firm stand that
Stephen Metz vice. A student in her ninth-grade biol- students must learn about evolution.
Managing Editor ogy class wanted to be excused from the Perhaps most importantly, we as-
Scott Stuckey evolution unit for religious reasons. sured this student that we would
Associate Editor With more than four in ten Americans honor her religious beliefs. In class,
Kate Lu Sedor continuing to believe that God created we would use discussion, labora-
Editorial Assistant humans 10,000 years ago (Gallup 2016), tory work, and research to provide
Luke Towler such a request is undoubtedly common scientific evidence for evolution, but
Asst. Exec. Director, Journals in our biology classrooms. we would not attempt to promote
Kenneth L. Roberts My colleague and I worked out an changes in her religious faith.
Art Director approach that started with discussing
Will Thomas
several important ideas with the student: In a larger sense, the idea of opting out
Senior Graphic Designer of the evolution unit is troublesome. As
Joseph Butera
Evolution and religion are different biologys Grand Unified Theory (some-
Graphic Designer thing physicists still search for), evolution
Hima Bichali ways of knowing that need not con-
flict. Science and faith can coexist. should be the unifying theme of the entire
Printing & Production Manager
Catherine Lorrain Scientists like Kenneth Miller and course. Evolution by natural selection
Francis Collins (and many others) is perhaps the single most profound
Electronic Prepress Technician
Jack Parker find evolution compatible with faith, insight into reality humans have ever
Publisher while many religious groups accept achievedthe key to understanding both
David Beacom evolution (Pew 2014). the wondrous diversity of life and also
Executive Director Evolution is so well established by a how all living things interrelate. Evolu-
David L. Evans preponderance of empirical evidence tion explains Earths spectacular tree of
Advertising that there is no longer any room for lifeendless forms most beautiful and
Jason Sheldrake most wonderfulthat connects all life
Director scientific debate or controversy.
jsheldrake@nsta.org; 703-312-9273 Evolutionary theory is supported by forms to each other, from closest siblings
virtually all scientists and scien- to distant cousins. There is grandeur in
tific organizations, including the this view of life.
The Science Teacher [ISSN 0036-8555 (print) American Association for the Ad- Steve Metz
1943-4871 (online)] is published nine times a Field Editor
year [Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr./May, July, Sept., vancement of Science, the National
Oct., Nov., Dec.] by the National Science Academy of Sciences, the National smetz@nsta.org
Teachers Association, 1840 Wilson Blvd.,
Arlington, VA 22201. Individual member- Association of Biology Teachers, and
ship dues are $79 ($35 for publication, $44 References
many others. The position statement
for membership). Memberships outside Gallup. 2016. In U.S., 42% believe
the United States (except territories), add of the National Science Teachers
$15 per year for postage. Single copies, $10.
creationist view of human origins.
Association affirms that if evolu- Washington, DC: Gallup. http://bit.
Periodicals postage paid at Arlington, VA,
and additional mailing offices. Publications tion is not taught, students will not ly/2hTOx2X
Mail Agreement no. 41506028. Return un- achieve the level of scientific literacy NSTA. 2013. NSTA position statement:
deliverable Canadian addresses to: P.O. Box
503, RPO West Beaver Creek, Richmond needed to be well-informed citizens The teaching of evolution. Arlington,
Hill, ON L4B 4R6 Canada. 2017 by the and prepared for college and STEM VA: National Science Teachers
National Science Teachers Association, all Association. www.nsta.org/about/
rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or careers (NSTA 2013, p. 1). positions/evolution.aspx
part of any article without permission is State and national standards require
prohibited. POSTMASTER: Send address
Pew. 2014. Religious groups views
changes to The Science Teacher, NSTA, 1840 the teaching of evolution. The Next on evolution. Washington, DC:
Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Generation Science Standards include Pew Research Center. http://pewrsr.
evolution as a core idea in the life ch/2fqJXuA

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