"Teaching evolution and the nature of science"


The New York Academy of Sciences presented a two-day conference on "Teaching evolution and the nature of science" in April 2006, aimed at answering such questions as: What are the basic tenets of the concept of evolution and how does understanding evolution play an essential role in comprehending science, and in particular, modern biology? How can science educators from elementary schools to college campuses respond to challenges from those who claim that intelligent design is as valid a theory as evolution? How can we prepare and support teachers so that they will be able to teach evolution effectively despite the controversy? How can state and local officials in charge of education policy respond to attempts by religious groups and others who seek to change the investigative nature of science education?

Now the proceedings of the conference are available to all, with a mix of text, video, audio, and slides, all carefully integrated in one on-line resource, divided into three sections: the nature of science and the evidence for evolution; pedagogy: a view from the trenches; meeting the challenges: reconciling evolution and morality. Presenters include Leslie Aiello, Bruce Alberts, NCSE's Glenn Branch, John F. Haught, Wen-Hsiung Li, Jennifer Miller, Kenneth R. Miller, Robert T. Pennock, Sydel Silverman, Gerald Skoog, and Gerald Wheeler. There's a wealth of useful information throughout: as the writer who summarized the conference commented, "In an arena that has shaped up to be a pedagogical struggle for survival, the conference was a triumph for education."