Epistemology and Science Education

Author: Roger S. Taylor
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136885994
Format: PDF
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How is epistemology related to the issue of teaching science and evolution in the schools? Addressing a flashpoint issue in our schools today, this book explores core epistemological differences between proponents of intelligent design and evolutionary scientists, as well as the critical role of epistemological beliefs in learning science. Preeminent scholars in these areas report empirical research and/or make a theoretical contribution, with a particular emphasis on the controversy over whether intelligent design deserves to be considered a science alongside Darwinian evolution. This pioneering book coordinates and provides a complete picture of the intersections in the study of evolution, epistemology, and science education, in order to allow a deeper understanding of the intelligent design vs. evolution controversy. This is a very timely book for teachers and policy makers who are wrestling with issues of how to teach biology and evolution within a cultural context in which intelligent design has been and is likely to remain a challenge for the foreseeable future.

The Philosophy of Biology

Author: Kostas Kampourakis
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400765371
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book brings together for the first time philosophers of biology to write about some of the most central concepts and issues in their field from the perspective of biology education. The chapters of the book cover a variety of topics ranging from traditional ones, such as biological explanation, biology and religion or biology and ethics, to contemporary ones, such as genomics, systems biology or evolutionary developmental biology. Each of the 30 chapters covers the respective philosophical literature in detail and makes specific suggestions for biology education. The aim of this book is to inform biology educators, undergraduate and graduate students in biology and related fields, students in teacher training programs, and curriculum developers about the current state of discussion on the major topics in the philosophy of biology and its implications for teaching biology. In addition, the book can be valuable to philosophers of biology as an introductory text in undergraduate and graduate courses.

The Politics of Evolution

Author: David F. Prindle
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317499360
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The controversy over teaching evolution or creationism in American public schools offers a policy paradox. Two sets of values—science and democracy—are in conflict when it comes to the question of what to teach in public school biology classes. Prindle illuminates this tension between American public opinion, which clearly prefers that creationism be taught in public school biology classes, versus the ideal that science, and only science, be taught in those classes. An elite consisting of scientists, professional educators, judges, and business leaders by and large are determined to ignore public preferences and teach only science in science classes despite the majority opinion to the contrary. So how have the political process and the Constitutional law establishment managed to thwart the people’s will in this self-proclaimed democracy? Drawing on a vast body of work across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, Prindle explores the rhetoric of the evolution issue, explores its history, examines the nature of the public opinion that causes it, evaluates the Constitutional jurisprudence that upholds it, and explains the political dynamic that keeps it going. This incisive analysis is a must-read in a wide range of disciplines and for anyone who wants to understand the politics of biology.

Evolution Challenges

Author: Karl S. Rosengren
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199909180
Format: PDF, Docs
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A recent poll revealed that one in four Americans believe in both creationism and evolution, while another 41% believe that creationism is true and evolution is false. A minority (only 13%) believe only in evolution. Given the widespread resistance to the idea that humans and other animals have evolved and given the attention to the ongoing debate of what should be taught in public schools, issues related to the teaching and learning of evolution are quite timely. Evolution Challenges: Integrating Research and Practice in Teaching and Learning about Evolution goes beyond the science versus religion dispute to ask why evolution is so often rejected as a legitimate scientific fact, focusing on a wide range of cognitive, socio-cultural, and motivational factors that make concepts such as evolution difficult to grasp. The volume brings together researchers with diverse backgrounds in cognitive development and education to examine children's and adults' thinking, learning, and motivation, and how aspects of representational and symbolic knowledge influence learning about evolution. The book is organized around three main challenges inherent in teaching and learning evolutionary concepts: folk theories and conceptual biases, motivational and epistemological biases, and educational aspects in both formal and informal settings. Commentaries across the three main themes tie the book together thematically, and contributors provide ideas for future research and methods for improving the manner in which evolutionary concepts are conveyed in the classroom and in informal learning experiences. Evolution Challenges is a unique text that extends far beyond the traditional evolution debate and is an invaluable resource to researchers in cognitive development, science education and the philosophy of science, science teachers, and exhibit and curriculum developers.

Science vs Religion

Author: Steve Fuller
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 074565455X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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For centuries, science and religion have been portrayed as diametrically opposed. In this provocative new book, Steve Fuller examines the apparent clash between science and religion by focusing on the heated debates about evolution and intelligent design theory. In so doing, he claims that science vs. religion is in fact a false dichotomy. For Fuller, supposedly intellectual disputes, such as those between creationist and evolutionist accounts of life, often disguise other institutionally driven conflicts, such as the struggle between State and Church to be the source of legitimate authority in society. Nowadays many conservative anti-science groups support intelligent design theory, but Fuller argues that the theory's theological roots are much more radical, based on the idea that humans were created to fathom the divine plan, perhaps even complete it. He goes on to examine the unique political circumstances in the United States that make the emergence of intelligent design theory so controversial, yet so persistent. Finally, he considers the long-term prognosis, arguing that the future remains very much undecided as society reopens the question of what it means to be human. This book will appeal to all readers intrigued by the debates about creationism, intelligent design and evolution, especially those looking for an intellectually exciting confrontation with the politics and promise of intelligent design theory.

Teaching about Scientific Origins

Author: Leslie Sandra Jones
Publisher: Peter Lang
ISBN: 9780820470801
Format: PDF, Docs
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Persistent resistance to the teaching of evolution has so drastically impacted science curricula that many students finish school without a basic understanding of a theory that is a fundamental component of scientific literacy. This -evolution/creationism controversy- has crippled biological education in the United States and has begun to spread to other parts of the world. This book takes an educational point of view that respects both the teaching of evolution and religious beliefs. Authors from different academic traditions contribute to a collection of perspectives that begin to dismantle the notion that religion and science are necessarily incompatible."

Teaching Evolution in a Creation Nation

Author: Adam Laats
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022633144X
Format: PDF, Docs
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No fight over what gets taught in American classrooms is more heated than the battle over humanity’s origins. For more than a century we have argued about evolutionary theory and creationism (and its successor theory, intelligent design), yet we seem no closer to a resolution than we were in Darwin’s day. In this thoughtful examination of how we teach origins, historian Adam Laats and philosopher Harvey Siegel offer crucial new ways to think not just about the evolution debate but how science and religion can make peace in the classroom. Laats and Siegel agree with most scientists: creationism is flawed, as science. But, they argue, students who believe it nevertheless need to be accommodated in public school science classes. Scientific or not, creationism maintains an important role in American history and culture as a point of religious dissent, a sustained form of protest that has weathered a century of broad—and often dramatic—social changes. At the same time, evolutionary theory has become a critical building block of modern knowledge. The key to accommodating both viewpoints, they show, is to disentangle belief from knowledge. A student does not need to believe in evolution in order to understand its tenets and evidence, and in this way can be fully literate in modern scientific thought and still maintain contrary religious or cultural views. Altogether, Laats and Siegel offer the kind of level-headed analysis that is crucial to finding a way out of our culture-war deadlock.

Evidence and Evolution

Author: Elliott Sober
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139470116
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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How should the concept of evidence be understood? And how does the concept of evidence apply to the controversy about creationism as well as to work in evolutionary biology about natural selection and common ancestry? In this rich and wide-ranging book, Elliott Sober investigates general questions about probability and evidence and shows how the answers he develops to those questions apply to the specifics of evolutionary biology. Drawing on a set of fascinating examples, he analyzes whether claims about intelligent design are untestable; whether they are discredited by the fact that many adaptations are imperfect; how evidence bears on whether present species trace back to common ancestors; how hypotheses about natural selection can be tested, and many other issues. His book will interest all readers who want to understand philosophical questions about evidence and evolution, as they arise both in Darwin's work and in contemporary biological research.

Denying Evolution

Author: Massimo Pigliucci
Publisher: Sinauer Associates Incorporated
ISBN: 9780878936595
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Denying Evolution aims at taking a fresh look at the evolution-creation controversy. It presents a truly "balanced" treatment, not in the sense of treating creationism as a legitimate scientific theory (it demonstrably is not), but in the sense of dividing the blame for the controversy equally between creationists and scientists-the former for subscribing to various forms of anti-intellectualism, the latter for discounting science education and presenting science as scientism to the public and the media. The central part of the book focuses on a series of creationist fallacies (aimed at showing errors of thought, not at deriding) and of mistakes by scientists and science educators. The last part of the book discusses long-term solutions to the problem, from better science teaching at all levels to the necessity of widespread understanding of how the brain works and why people have difficulties with critical thinking.

Evolution Education Around the Globe

Author: Hasan Deniz
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319909398
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This edited book provides a global view on evolution education. It describes the state of evolution education in different countries that are representative of geographical regions around the globe such as Eastern Europe, Western Europe, North Africa, South Africa, North America, South America,Middle East, Far East, South East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.Studies in evolution education literature can be divided into three main categories: (a) understanding the interrelationships among cognitive, affective, epistemological, and religious factors that are related to peoples’ views about evolution, (b) designing, implementing, evaluating evolution education curriculum that reflects contemporary evolution understanding, and (c) reducing antievolutionary attitudes. This volume systematically summarizes the evolution education literature across these three categories for each country or geographical region. The individual chapters thus include common elements that facilitate a cross-cultural meta-analysis. Written for a primarily academic audience, this book provides a much-needed common background for future evolution education research across the globe.