RE: It’s not their fault!? -- Or, Attempting to treat Malignancy (neo-Darwinism or Darwinism as atheism fallacy) by its symptoms!?
[This is a repost, initially responded to, but rejected here: "Biology teachers often dismiss evolution" (NatureBlogsUK; January 27, 2011) -- in fact, what reported in the NatureBlogs was not totally accurate: the survey paper was actually an essay based on a book published in 2010, entitled "Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America's Classrooms" as recently reported here: "Darwin pushed to margins: Why is resistance to evolution so strong among [biology] teachers?" (BigQuestionsOnlineUSA; February 22, 2011)!]
While the survey paper -- as published in Science by Eric Plutzer and Michael Berkman -- has accurately pointed out Several symptoms of why there is such a majority of public high school teachers, who are either uncomfortable with teaching “evolution” [or more appropriately “evolutionism” which is to be defined below] or their doubtful of its accuracy; the paper has clearly negated the Root-cause of such an easily-confused and inflicted malignancy of the “evolutionism vs. creationism” fallacy, dilemma, and/or controversy in and among biology teachers, in the public schools today -- especially in the US since the 1990s; at a time, when several religiously-inclined creationists, scholars, were greatly appalled and agitated by the then increasingly-popular neo-Darwinism or evolutionism books; and soon they began to launch an attack on Darwinism itself: as their scholarly rebuttals*1 to the root source (and so what they thought) of the proliferating anti-theistic; neo-Darwinist; neo-atheist; pseudoscientific and pseudo-genetics scholarships (especially in their indirect refuting of those provocative and caustic writings and manifestos; as exemplified in the world-renowned Oxford armchair evolutionist Richard Dawkins’ literary works -- amounting to over 10 books under his belt and creation -- since 1976)!
[*1) Please see the creationist rebuttals -- which are of equally pseudoscientific in arguments -- in the UC-Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson’s “Darwin on Trial” (1990); the Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe’s “Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution” (1996); and the American mathematician and philosopher William Dembski’s “The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities (Cambridge Studies in Probability, Induction and Decision Theory)” (1998); and all these authors have had since become the key figures in their anti-evolution, anti-science, and anti-Darwinism movements and campaigns; whose sole missions have had been to defend their Creationism and Theism at all cost: especially by repackaging their religious core beliefs and values in the guise of an “Intelligent Design” (ID) theory, inquiry, and pursuit in evolution and biology issues; and with such a serial publication of their pseudoscientific works, they have had since been attempting to implant their ID fallacies and anti-evolution controversies into the general public psyche; as well as in the high-school teachers and students alike in the US!]
Furthermore, in the Nature blog-report above, the lead author of the Science article, Plutzer, has also suggested a remedy to the above controversy that “Scientists could provide outreach to these non-research universities in order to give new teachers a sounder footing in evolutionary theory, [since] most biology teachers are not trained at universities with faculty engaged in cutting-edge biology research.”
Unfortunately -- and scientifically speaking -- the problems of teaching and training in general biology, have had run deeper than that of such a peripheral observation of the “Darwinism vs. Creationism” symptoms, especially since the famed Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925; and of such a simple remedial outreach, as one that is to be attempted by the technologically cutting-edge biology research scientists, as Plutzer dutifully suggested above.
In fact, the root cause of the above controversy lies within “evolutionary biology” (EB) -- including the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) guideline and definition of “evolution is the fundamental concept unifying biology” -- itself: especially since the 1940s, when the Modern Synthesis (or the MS of neo-Darwinism or evolutionism) was first unequivocally formulated, formalized, and adopted (by a neo-Darwinist reductionist consensus) and propagated thereof, as the “core theory of evolution” in EB, by the present-day neo-Darwinists and pseudo-genetic reductionists worldwide; and thus the neo-Darwinists, sophists, have had since uncritically and unscientifically subscribed and further reductively and rhetorically superimposed Darwinism -- [the great naturalist theory of evolution by (his intuitively conceived and naturalistically formulated) natural selection (NS), trait-modification, adaptation, etc; or the gross (or top-down) global observations of “macroevolution” of virtually all interconnecting flora and fauna species on Earth] -- over Mendelism -- [the specific germ-line (or seed) inheritance study of developmental (or bottom-up) genetics, by his actual peas-plant hybridization, experimentation, growth, trait-development, etc; or the specific bottom-up empiricism of “microevolution” of genetics or “developmental biology” (DB): a biological research methodology (or genetics) that was unheard of by either Darwin or his busy British naturalists, biologists, or associates, at all] -- as the now neo-Darwinist, reductionist, fashioned grand theory of evolution: the MS of evolutionism by NS, so to speak! -- [Please see the late British evolutionary biologist, humanist and internationalist Sir Julian Huxley's first neo-Darwinism reductionist evolutionism book "Evolution: The Modern Synthesis" (1942).]
Over the next century since the publication of Darwin’s masterpiece “The Origin of Species” (1859) and Mendel’s peas-plant experiments and his one and only scientific and statistical analysis and report of the peas trait-inheritance study (or genetics) in "Experiments in plant hybridization" (1865) -- and without differentiating the macro or top-down speculation of evolutionary processes and the micro or bottom-up growth and development experimentations and observations of the evolutionary theory on trait-development, growth, and reproduction, etc; and the differences between EB (top-down Darwinism) and DB (bottom-up Mendelism) in practical science and philosophy issues -- the neo-Darwinists, pseudo-genetic reductionists, and sophists (especially since Sir Julian and Dawkins) have had taken their evolutionary and developmental biology and philosophy ineptitudes in and upon themselves; and further attempted to apply their now rhetorically formalized and established reductionist, pseudoscientific neo-Darwinism -- or the MS of evolutionism by NS -- to all forms of our human inquiries, theories, scientific and philosophic pursuits, as well as teachings: including the most recent disciplines of “neuropsychiatry” and “neuroanthropology” -- the 2 subject matters that I have had been passionately engaging in arguing against, and voicing out against, and about the neo-Darwinist and sophist attempts in their discretionary and cross-disciplinary transgressions and corruptions, in our practical science and philosophy today, worldwide*2!
[*2) Please see “The Evolutionary Calculus of Depression -- RE: Let’s not dictate Psychiatry by neo-Darwinism -- Evolutionary geneticism vs. Clinical diagnosis, alleviation, of Depression (distresses mental, spiritual, or otherwise)!?” (PsychiatricTimesUSA; June 3, 2010); and “Psychiatry and Anthropology, In Search of “Science” -- RE: What has practical “science-philosophy” enquiry (or criticism) got to do with nowadays Psychiatry and Anthropology!?” (PsychiatricTimesUSA; January 17, 2011).]
Therefore, it is encumbered upon the NABT -- especially in consultations with the cutting-edge biology research communities, scientists, who might not have had been corrupted, influenced, impressed, and/or inflicted by the malignancy of neo-Darwinism or Darwinism as atheism or the fallacies of the MS evolutionism by NS of the 20th century (as defined above) -- so as to redefine and refine their own NABT guidelines and principles in and for teaching “evolution in biology” (and not the insidious “evolutionism vs. creationism” controversy, or the ID fallacies of the 1990s, as defined above) in either EB or DB in their high school biology and science curricular!
Undoubtedly, this would be indeed the Sputnik (or anti-Lysenkoism) moment (especially for the NABT and the cutting-edge biology research communities and scientists) in and for redefining, reforming, leading, guiding, and teaching general biology, biomedicine, healthcare and public education (of both our intellectual and spiritual, or the biological and psychological dimensions, as queried and pursued in both the practical science and philosophy today) in the 21st century and beyond!?
Best wishes, Mong 2/3/11usct5:45p; practical science-philosophy critic; author "Decoding Scientism" and "Consciousness & the Subconscious" (works in progress since July 2007), Gods, Genes, Conscience (iUniverse; 2006) and Gods, Genes, Conscience: Global Dialogues Now (blogging avidly since 2006).
[Last updated on February 23, 2011.]