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Students' perceptions of Earth's age influence acceptance of human evolution, says U of Minn. study
Date:3/10/2010

ology Program, which provides general biology classes for University of Minnesota undergraduates.

Through this and previous surveys, Cotner and her colleagues have learned that 2 percent of students are taught creationism only, 22 percent are taught evolution and creationism, 14 are taught neither and 62 percent evolution only.

"In other words, about one in four high school biology teachers in the upper Midwest are giving students the impression that creationism is a viable explanation for the origins of life on Earth," Cotner says. "That's just not acceptable. The Constitution prohibits teaching creationism in schools."

The researchers noted that understanding the Earth's age is a difficult concept; even Darwin found it challenging. Teaching and understanding creationist views of about the Earth's age and life's origins are much easier.

The paper cites a 2009 Gallup poll that coincided with the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth reporting that only four out of 10 people in the U.S. believe in evolution. The poll also reported that 16 percent of biology teachers believe God created humans in their present form at some time during the last 10,000 years.


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Contact: Jeff Falk
jfalk@umn.edu
612-626-1720
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

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