The Importance of Teaching Evolutionary Theory By Sally McGraw
Interdisciplinary student at  University of Minnesota
 
 
 
“ Nature Finds a Way”
 
It’s important to teach evolution so students can understand how life on earth works.
 
 
 
Fun with vocab!
Some terms have different meanings  in a scientific context.
Scientific fact:   an empirical observation  of a thing or event.
 
Scientific hypothesis:   a falsifiable educated guess that explains something.
Traveler sees  several herds of sheep.
 
 
Hypothesis: All sheep in this country are white!
 
 
 
Scientific theory:   many linked hypotheses that explain WHY something happens.
Inside a theory: Each hypothesis has been  tested . Each hypothesis has  observations and experiments  that support it.
Scientific theory  ≠ casual speculation
Hypotheses and theories  CANNOT BE PROVED, only disproved.
Opponents of evolution: “It’s just a theory.” “It’s never been proven.”
Other unproven  scientific theories  are widely accepted.
 
 
These theories have  no faith-based  counter-arguments.
Let’s quickly review  the one that does.
Evolutionary theory studied and tested  since 1859
Charlie “Pull My Beard” Darwin 1809 - 1882
Darwin: Common descent  with modification
 
Darwin: Natural selection
Natural selection =  those with beneficial traits will survive to reproduce
Not fast enough? Not strong enough? Not smart enough?
Genes have been  passed on
Gregor “Punnet Square” Mendel 1822 - 1884
AB  Ab Ab AB AABb
AB  Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb
AB  Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb BLAH
AB  Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb BLAH BLAH
AB  Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb BLAH BLAH BLAH
AB  Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH
AB  Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH
AB  Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH
Thanks a lot, Greggie.
Mendel: Traits caused by genes
Evolution =  a change in a population’s gene pool over time
Other research: Evolution fueled  by many factors.
Adaptation
Mutation
Sexual selection
Evolution  ≠ natural selection
Natural selection  is one of many factors  that CAUSE evolution.
 
The fossil record supports common descent and natural selection.
 
 
 
Comparative anatomy supports common descent and natural selection.
Homologous  physical structures indicate shared ancestry.
HUH?
 
Vestigial structures also support shared ancestry.
English, please.
 
Convergent evolution shows that organisms living in similar environments will  adapt similarly.
 
Closely related, right?
Nope.
Northern Flying Squirrel Native to North America Mammal
Northern Flying Squirrel Native to North America Mammal Sugar Glider Native to Australia Marsupial
Shows that animals change physically to adapt to their environments.
Molecular biology  supports evolutionary theory.
 
DNA is the universal genetic code
Supports common ancestry Has shown genetic relationships between species
Supports common ancestry Has shown genetic relationships between species
That’s a lot of evidence.
Evolution cannot be seen with the naked eye.
However, this supporting body of evidence  validates it.
 
Evolutionary theory  is an underlying principle in biology.
Students must grasp it to understand modern scientific thought.
Fundamental  and underlying  IS NOT ENOUGH.
 
 
 
 
 
 
All are built on ideas, theories, and discoveries that simultaneously  rely on  and  provide evidence for  evolution.
 
Study of modern hereditary disease
Evolution  connects the dots.
“ Seen in the light of evolution, biology is, perhaps, intellectually the most satisfying and inspiring science. Without t...
What kind of dots are we connecting, here?
If …
Then why …
If …
Then how …
If …
Then what …
Understanding evolutionary theory is essential to understanding modern science.
 
Evolution and faith: mutually exclusive?
 
“ [Debaters  wrongly  present the two sides] as if they were alternatives that are  exclusive  - whoever believes in the c...
“ This contrast is an absurdity, because there are many scientific tests in favor of  evolution , which appears as a reali...
“ But the doctrine of  evolution does not answer  all questions, and it does not answer, above all, the great philosophica...
He’s right.
 
“ Anglicans, Catholics, most Protestant Christians, and Conservative and Reformed Jews believe that God is the Creator, bu...
Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, the United Church of Christ and many other denominations do not assert that Creation...
Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, the United Church of Christ and many other denominations do not assert that Creation...
A small but powerful minority see evolution as a threat to God.
“ It is ludicrous to mistake the Bible and the Koran for primers of natural science. They treat of matters even more impor...
It’s important to teach evolution so students can understand how life on earth works.
 
Evolutionary theory = backbone of modern biology
To omit it is to deprive students of a fundamental  and  vital  body of  scientific thought.
Thank you
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The Importance of Teaching Evolutionary Theory by Sally McGraw

  1. 1. The Importance of Teaching Evolutionary Theory By Sally McGraw
  2. 2. Interdisciplinary student at University of Minnesota
  3. 6. “ Nature Finds a Way”
  4. 8. It’s important to teach evolution so students can understand how life on earth works.
  5. 12. Fun with vocab!
  6. 13. Some terms have different meanings in a scientific context.
  7. 14. Scientific fact: an empirical observation of a thing or event.
  8. 16. Scientific hypothesis: a falsifiable educated guess that explains something.
  9. 17. Traveler sees several herds of sheep.
  10. 20. Hypothesis: All sheep in this country are white!
  11. 24. Scientific theory: many linked hypotheses that explain WHY something happens.
  12. 25. Inside a theory: Each hypothesis has been tested . Each hypothesis has observations and experiments that support it.
  13. 26. Scientific theory ≠ casual speculation
  14. 27. Hypotheses and theories CANNOT BE PROVED, only disproved.
  15. 28. Opponents of evolution: “It’s just a theory.” “It’s never been proven.”
  16. 29. Other unproven scientific theories are widely accepted.
  17. 32. These theories have no faith-based counter-arguments.
  18. 33. Let’s quickly review the one that does.
  19. 34. Evolutionary theory studied and tested since 1859
  20. 35. Charlie “Pull My Beard” Darwin 1809 - 1882
  21. 36. Darwin: Common descent with modification
  22. 38. Darwin: Natural selection
  23. 39. Natural selection = those with beneficial traits will survive to reproduce
  24. 40. Not fast enough? Not strong enough? Not smart enough?
  25. 41. Genes have been passed on
  26. 42. Gregor “Punnet Square” Mendel 1822 - 1884
  27. 43. AB Ab Ab AB AABb
  28. 44. AB Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb
  29. 45. AB Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb BLAH
  30. 46. AB Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb BLAH BLAH
  31. 47. AB Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb BLAH BLAH BLAH
  32. 48. AB Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH
  33. 49. AB Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH
  34. 50. AB Ab Ab AB AABb AAbb BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH
  35. 51. Thanks a lot, Greggie.
  36. 52. Mendel: Traits caused by genes
  37. 53. Evolution = a change in a population’s gene pool over time
  38. 54. Other research: Evolution fueled by many factors.
  39. 55. Adaptation
  40. 56. Mutation
  41. 57. Sexual selection
  42. 58. Evolution ≠ natural selection
  43. 59. Natural selection is one of many factors that CAUSE evolution.
  44. 61. The fossil record supports common descent and natural selection.
  45. 65. Comparative anatomy supports common descent and natural selection.
  46. 66. Homologous physical structures indicate shared ancestry.
  47. 67. HUH?
  48. 69. Vestigial structures also support shared ancestry.
  49. 70. English, please.
  50. 72. Convergent evolution shows that organisms living in similar environments will adapt similarly.
  51. 74. Closely related, right?
  52. 75. Nope.
  53. 76. Northern Flying Squirrel Native to North America Mammal
  54. 77. Northern Flying Squirrel Native to North America Mammal Sugar Glider Native to Australia Marsupial
  55. 78. Shows that animals change physically to adapt to their environments.
  56. 79. Molecular biology supports evolutionary theory.
  57. 81. DNA is the universal genetic code
  58. 82. Supports common ancestry Has shown genetic relationships between species
  59. 83. Supports common ancestry Has shown genetic relationships between species
  60. 84. That’s a lot of evidence.
  61. 85. Evolution cannot be seen with the naked eye.
  62. 86. However, this supporting body of evidence validates it.
  63. 88. Evolutionary theory is an underlying principle in biology.
  64. 89. Students must grasp it to understand modern scientific thought.
  65. 90. Fundamental and underlying IS NOT ENOUGH.
  66. 97. All are built on ideas, theories, and discoveries that simultaneously rely on and provide evidence for evolution.
  67. 99. Study of modern hereditary disease
  68. 100. Evolution connects the dots.
  69. 101. “ Seen in the light of evolution, biology is, perhaps, intellectually the most satisfying and inspiring science. Without that light it becomes a pile of sundry facts some of them interesting or curious but making no meaningful picture as a whole.” ~Theodosius Dobzhansky, The American Biology Teacher
  70. 102. What kind of dots are we connecting, here?
  71. 103. If …
  72. 104. Then why …
  73. 105. If …
  74. 106. Then how …
  75. 107. If …
  76. 108. Then what …
  77. 109. Understanding evolutionary theory is essential to understanding modern science.
  78. 111. Evolution and faith: mutually exclusive?
  79. 113. “ [Debaters wrongly present the two sides] as if they were alternatives that are exclusive - whoever believes in the creator could not believe in evolution, and whoever asserts belief in evolution would have to disbelieve in God.” ~Pope Benedict XVI , as quoted in the New York Post, July 26, 2007
  80. 114. “ This contrast is an absurdity, because there are many scientific tests in favor of evolution , which appears as a reality that we must see and enriches our understanding of life and being .” ~Pope Benedict XVI , as quoted in the New York Post, July 26, 2007
  81. 115. “ But the doctrine of evolution does not answer all questions, and it does not answer, above all, the great philosophical question: From where does everything come? ” ~Pope Benedict XVI , as quoted in the New York Post, July 26, 2007
  82. 116. He’s right.
  83. 118. “ Anglicans, Catholics, most Protestant Christians, and Conservative and Reformed Jews believe that God is the Creator, but that he works through the process of evolution, as revealed through modern science.” ~National Center for Science Education
  84. 119. Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, the United Church of Christ and many other denominations do not assert that Creation occurred literally as described in Genesis. The majority of Christian seminaries do not teach a Biblical literalist creation. ~National Center for Science Education
  85. 120. Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, the United Church of Christ and many other denominations do not assert that Creation occurred literally as described in Genesis. The majority of Christian seminaries do not teach a Biblical literalist creation. ~National Center for Science Education
  86. 121. A small but powerful minority see evolution as a threat to God.
  87. 122. “ It is ludicrous to mistake the Bible and the Koran for primers of natural science. They treat of matters even more important: the meaning of man and his relations to God. ” ~Theodosius Dobzhansky, The American Biology Teacher
  88. 123. It’s important to teach evolution so students can understand how life on earth works.
  89. 125. Evolutionary theory = backbone of modern biology
  90. 126. To omit it is to deprive students of a fundamental and vital body of scientific thought.
  91. 127. Thank you

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