Essay on The Fallacy in Teaching Macroevolution as Scientific Theory

2237 WordsMar 18, 20119 Pages
The Fallacy in Teaching Macroevolution as Scientific Theory March 21, 2011 A seemingly endless debate continues over the legitimacy of teaching evolutionary theory in classrooms, particularly in communities where religion plays a prominent role in community life. Some church leaders, teachers and school board members argue that alternate explanations provided by creationists or proponents of intelligent design should be taught alongside those of evolutionary theorists in science classrooms. People who are proponents of evolutionary theory are quick to offer a retort, usually suggesting that evolution is a proven fact; while denouncing the two aforementioned opposing views as belief systems which cannot be subjected to…show more content…
However, what is not so obvious to the casual observer is that the macro-evolutionary view is not supported by testable scientific evidence. The existence of a variety of hominid species in the fossil record does not provide any evidence that these species are so-called “transitional species” between the primate and human. Furthermore, the fact that this view is widely held among contemporarily educated people only provides evidence that it is widely taught in educational forums. It provides no evidence of its validity. Why are semantic differences inherent in words like theory, hypothesis, microevolution and macroevolution so important? The answer lies in the implications of improper usage of the term “evolution” in educational forums. A recent survey of graduate and undergraduate students at four Canadian science colleges provided evidence that widespread acceptance among educated people of macroevolution does not translate into support for the validity of macro-evolutionary notions; but, rather, it merely exemplifies the unquestioning acceptance of what is being presented in classrooms as scientific fact. The findings of the study show significant misconceptions about the specific mechanisms involved in hypothetical macro-evolutionary processes, despite the assertion by the survey’s subjects that they had a “good” or “very good” understanding of evolution science

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