"Critical Analysis of Evolutionary Theory" introduced to Public Schools

( [email protected] ) Mar 17, 2004 09:02 AM EST

The Ohio State Board of Education adopted lesson set that contains a curriculum entitled, "Critical Analysis of Evolutionary Theory".

The curriculum allows for critical analysis of evolutionary theory, presenting evidence supporting and challenging the theory of macroevolution, or the theory of descent from a common ancestry.

By a 13-5 vote in the State Board meeting, Ohio became the first state to implement such curriculum in public schools. "I think over time other states will look at this lesson and develop similar ones of their own," Bob Lattimer, a co-founder of Science Excellence for All Ohioans says. He adds, "When those [standards] come up for adoption, I think other states will certainly look at this lesson, and we're certainly hopeful that they'll adopt similar ones."

The "Critical Analysis of Evolutionary Theory" lesson engages students in a critical analysis activity. This allows students to develop and present arguments as to how five "aspects" either "support" or "challenge" macroevolution. This develops critical thinking skills and allows students to formulate their own viewpoint on universal common descent. According to Lattimer, the two areas that are the most obvious and that will receive the most attention pertain to the idea of homologies and the fossil record, or comparisons between various organisms.

According to Ohio's scientists and educational excellence advocate, the statewide assessment exams will soon include test questions pertaining to criticism of evolution.