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Letter Sets Wall Street Journal Straight on Teaching Strengths and Weaknesses of Darwinian Evolution

HIgh school biology teacher Doug Cowan has a letter in today's Wall Street Journal responding to a recent article which misreprsented his comments on the debate over how to teach evolution.

Science Looks at All the Evidence
May 17, 2008

Your article "Evolution's Critics Shift Tactics With Schools" (Currents, May 2) claims that I would "like a legal guarantee [so I] can teach as I see fit." Actually, I believe in teaching the prescribed curriculum, and I do so. But I don't think a teacher should be penalized for exploring required topics in greater depth, especially in cases where scientists have different views. One should have the freedom to pursue and teach all the evidence even if it leads to disturbing conclusions.

I teach students the evidence both for and against Darwin's theory, with the goal of fostering critical thinking, allowing them to arrive at informed conclusions. The core of evidence I teach that supports evolution is derived from fossil succession, anatomical and molecular homologies, natural selection-mutation, embryology, artificial selection and real-time observations from microbes and sickle-cell disease.

Doug Cowan


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