When it comes to the teaching of science, one of the most controversial topics is evolution, and one of the most controversial areas where it is taught is the deep south of the United States. Teaching evolution in the south has been challenging. Teachers skip it, and those that do teach it at best have students boycott their class, and at worse get serious pushback from parents, students, and administration. Many students never learn this critical piece of scientific curriculum. And according to state legislatures of many states in the south, “creation science” needs to be taught along with evolution.
How do we deal with this tricky situation? Some scientists approach it this way: drown the students in facts. Tell them they need to put their religion aside for the time being, or worse, that their religion is wrong. Tell them science is the only way to see the true nature of the world.
But if you’re talking to someone who is deeply religious, someone whose religion is a huge part of their life, this approach is doomed to failure.
There must be a better way.
Today, I’m talking to Dr. Amanda Glaze-Crampes. Amanda grew up in the deep south, loving science. But when her science teacher skipped the chapter on evolution, she knew something was up. Now, she is an Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University and a specialist in evolutionary biology. She does something very unique – exploring how best to teach evolution to evangelical Christians, what misconceptions they may have, explore any areas of distrust, and give them a place to learn without judgement. She also shows that not every scientist is atheist – in fact, many religious are scientists, and learning science does not mean you have to give up your faith.
You can follow Amanda @EvoPhd.
Patrons of the podcast will be given some bonus content where Amanda talks more on her experiences. More information can be found on the Patreon page.
Some of the background music you heard are clips from:
Forgotten Land by Doxent Zsigmond
Still Pickin by Kevin MacLeod
Falling In by Psykick
Burning The Micro Waves by spinmeister
Little Candle by Stefan Kartenberg
Quiet the Mind Instrumental by Mr. Pepino