Evolutionis a wide topic with various scholars and researchers undertakingstudies on different aspects surrounding the same. Examples of suchaspects include concepts and origin of evolution and the court issuesand decisions regarding evolution. This paper will present aspects ofevolution in different journals on the concept and my reflection onthe same.
Thepurpose of the study on the Origin and Life of Evolution in PakistanHigh School Biology was to offer information to practitioners andresearchers in science education on the attempts of thereconciliation of science and religion in the Public SchoolCurriculum in Pakistan. Asghar, Et al. (2010) begins the study byexplaining the concept of evolution, the connection between Islam andevolution, and the relationship between science and religion inevolution. There exists an interrelationship between science andreligion in understanding evolution. It is, therefore, crucial toinclude the study of evolution in Pakistan schools for a betterunderstanding of scientific and religious aspects explained throughevolution.
Closeto a decade ago, there was a diversion of attention by the scientificcommunity to the courtroom (Beckerman and Plutzer, 2011). There was adesire by the local citizens to have the validation of religiousvalues through the curriculum of science. The case was lost with manyscientists rejoicing after the decision. To counter the adverseeffects of this ruling and promote the study of evolution, I believethere is a need to increase the focus of preservice teachers so thatthey can be mentored to promote evolution through teaching itsconcepts. The integration of evolution in the training of preservicebiology teachers is also crucial for the promotion of the teaching ofevolution.
Despitethe loss in some cases, the court has still made amendments to thestatutes inhibiting the study of evolution. This is following thepetition by the citizens against the laws on the basis of elements ofunconstitutionality. The article on the ten significant courtdecisions regarding evolution presents cases in which some statutesregarding evolution were scrapped off. For example, the invalidationof the statutes prohibiting the study of evolution, for instance, theWebster v. New Lennox School District and the Epperson v. Arkansas(The National Center for Science Education, 2007). The court alsoruled against the policies inhibiting the free will of the study ofevolutions and the religious aspects surrounding it. The court alsomade rulings against other policies without clear information onaspects of evolution such as the balanced-treatment statute forinstance in the Edwards v. Aguillard (The Center for ScienceEducation, 2007). These rulings show that there was misguidance onthe issues of evolution resulting in unconstitutional policiesprohibiting its study. The court, however, made crucial changes inthe field of evolution by scrapping off these unconstitutionalstatutes. Such rulings have been crucial in the development andpromotion of the study of evolution.
Hameed(2010) begins his article by explaining the importance of theproduction of the booklet of Atlasof creation andits impact in the promotion of the study of evolution in the Muslimculture. The concept of evolution is not accorded any regard in theMuslim’s culture. However, changes in times have led to some keyleaders in Muslim culture appreciating and promoting the study ofevolution. There is a need for the input of more efforts in thepromotion of evolution among the Muslims by communicating evolutionappropriately through means such as emphasis of evolution as a groundfor the studying and understanding of the modern biology (Hameed,2010).
Themain concern of the article on the American Biology Teacher isaddressing the teachers who would not, cannot, and do not teachevolution well as a burning issue in understanding the evolutionaryconcepts as Mackenzie (2008) puts it. It is unfortunate that thereare in existence teachers who do not put energy in teaching andexplaining the concepts of evolution to their students well. In asmuch as such a scenario is unwarranted and could even attract chargesin a court of law, the best way to address and deal with suchteachers is to understand their reasons as to why they teachevolution inappropriately. With such information, it is easier totalk such teachers into understanding the importance of teachingevolution well as Mackenzie (2008) proposes.
Inmany instances, teachers face encouragement by creationists to dwellon teaching the controversy as Scott (2007) stipulates. However, forthe proper understanding of evolution and its process, teachersshould refrain from such a system because it presents evolution as aweak and unnecessary aspect to study. Such a scenario would ensurethe proper teaching of the concepts of evolution thus its betterunderstanding.
Thereis a wide gap between the promoters and opponents of the study ofevolution and its importance in the inclusion of the academiccurriculum. My stand basing on the insights from the articles used inthis study is that, it is important to promote the study of evolutiondue to its interconnectedness with other crucial aspects such asreligion, science, and current biology.
Asghar,A., Wiles, J., and Alters, B. (2010). The Origin and Evolution ofLife in Pakistan High School Biology. Journalof Science and Religion in Pakistan. 44,2, 1-7.
Beckerman,M., and Plutzer, E. (2011). Defeating Creationism in the Courtroom,but not in the Classroom. Journalof Science Education. 331,404-405.
Hameed,S. (2008). Bracing for Islamic Creationism. Journalof Science and Religion. 322,1637-1638.
Mackenzie,A. (2008). The American Biology Teacher. TheNational Association of Biology Teachers. 70,1.
Scott,E. (2007). What’s wrong with the “Teach the Controversy”Slogan? NationalCenter for Science Education. 42,2, 307-316
TheNational Center for Science Education (2007). Ten Significant CourtDecisions Regarding Evolution/ Creationism.