There is good news about how effective evolution education can be in the research of Roger Williams University Professor Avelina Espinosa. She's found that whether students are religious or not, politically conservative or liberal, their acceptance of evolution increases the more science classes they take, Miller said. That doesn't mean that all religious students come to accept the theory, though.
Early in his teaching career at Brown, Miller delivered a biology lecture to his class on Ash Wednesday this year it's Feb. 22 and then headed off to Brown's Manning Chapel to pray. On his way out of services he ran into one of his students, who looked amazed to see the evolutionist lecturer emerge with ash on his forehead.
He recalled, "She waited for me and came up to me and said, 'Hi, Professor Miller, what are you doing here?' My answer was 'I'm doing the same thing you are.' And she said, 'But, you can't. I'll give you a book tomorrow that explains why no person who accepts evolution can possibly be a person of faith.'
"That, to me, was a shock," Miller said.
The student brought the book and the two met and talked, but never came to a philosophical agreement. Mindsets are not easy to change, but teaching methods can create the right conditions for reasonableness to evolve.
"There are ways to reach religiously oriented students with respect to science," Miller said.
|Contact: David Orenstein|