Surprisingly, there is a way to teach evolution that will benefit students and satisfy all but the most extreme partisans and ideologues. Rather than ignoring the controversy (as many educators have tried to do), teachers should teach about the scientific controversy that now exists over Darwinian evolution. This is simply good education.
Before one can advocate that a scientific controversy should be taught, one much first demonstrate that it exists. This is what Meyer, Campbell, and their pals at the Discovery Institute, “a public-policy think tank,” continuously fail to do.
Referring to the fact that some scientists doubt parts of science does not work because science is a large amalgam of disciplines, and no one can be expected to understand it all. A chemist doubting the theory of evolution carries as little scientific weight as a biologist doubting the theory of the atom.
For the 300 “scientists” that the Discovery Institution could find, there are hundreds of thousands of scientists who do not doubt the concensus of modern biology. As conservatives are wont to say in politics, “minority, shut up and sit down.”
The Discovery Institute’s column was supposed to “balance” the results of the evolution quiz. I don’t like the quiz. I think it could have been better written. Too many of the questions/answers ending up being tricks or hinging on a single word. It might work if I had taken a class by Grober and understood his style, but this was the AJC.