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The latest issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach

The latest issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach — the new journal promoting the accurate understanding and comprehensive teaching of evolutionary theory for a wide audience — is now published. The theme for the issue (volume 4, number 1) is the Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) Consortium, a program that seeks to catalyze evolutionary training across the university curriculum. As David Sloan Wilson, Glenn Geher, Jennifer Waldo, and Rosemarie Sokol Chang explain in their introduction, "This special issue of EEO provides a glimpse of what it means to take Dobzhansky's dictum seriously across the entire college curriculum — including mainstream evolutionary biology (Halverson), premedical education (Waldo and Greagor), psychology (Geher, Crosier, Dillon, and Chang), family studies and human development (King and deBaca), childhood education (Gray), environmental studies and literature (Hart and Long), the mass media (Fisher, Kruger, and Garcia) nutrition and physical fitness (Platek, Geher, Heywood, Stapell, Porter, and Waters), general education pedagogy (O'Brien and Gallup; Price), and involving undergraduate students in the peer-review process (Chang)."

Also included is the latest installment of NCSE's regular column, Overcoming Obstacles to Evolution Education. In "Why Bother Teaching Evolution in High School?" NCSE's Louise S. Mead (now Education Director at the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action) and Glenn Branch address the suggestion that evolution should be taught only in college on the grounds that it's not necessary, too controversial, or too difficult to teach evolution in high school. Mead and Branch argue, "there are good responses to these three concerns, all centering on the crucial point that — as Theodosius Dobzhansky (1973) rightly stated — 'nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.'" They conclude, "Leaving evolution out of the high school biology curriculum is as unacceptable as leaving algebra out of the mathematics curriculum or the Civil Rights Movement out of the social studies curriculum. Evolution is the organizing principle of biology, the study of life, and should be taught, not only in high schools but also, at a suitably age-appropriate level, throughout the K-12 science curriculum — and certainly not deferred to college."