Book on teaching Christian students evolution


(Christy Hemphill) #1

@Homeschool_Forum Lee Meadows gave a very nice presentation at the BioLogos conference in Houston about his experiences working with public school teachers in the South who want to present evolution to students in a way that is sensitive to students of faith. I thought his book might be of interest and use to EC homeschooling parents.

Since many of us have our kids in co-op programs where they are exposed to anti-evolution rhetoric or teach in co-ops where kids come from YEC homes, some of his tips and recommended approaches could be really helpful. He also had a blog where he shared lots of resources for science teachers which I found very helpful and interesting. http://leemeadows.blogspot.com/


#2

I took a look at the blog you mention. In one blog post the author had just visited the Hall of Human Origins at the National Museum of Natural History. He writes, “The biggest thing I’m pondering as I walk away is how all that we know about early humans is based on 6,000 skulls.” Any idea of where he got such a strange idea?


(Christy Hemphill) #3

Oh, are we playing a discourse analysis game; that’s my favorite. :grinning:

Without any other context I would assume that sentence you quoted is some kind of ‘echoic’ use of language, where a person appropriates a speech form from someone else in an ironic way, in order to distance themselves that other person’s attitude. So if young earth people are famous for saying “How is it that scientists are extrapolating all this information about human origins from just a couple of skull fragments?” someone can echo that, but put in a fact about the preponderance of fossils (6,000 individuals) to distance himself/herself from the belief that human evolution science is just a bunch of guesswork and overly imaginative artist’s renditions.

Also, I believe Lee Meadows was a consultant for the exhibit. http://humanorigins.si.edu/about/broader-social-impacts-committee/members-member-resources/lee-meadows


#4

I don’t get that impression from what he wrote. It’s the June 12, 2012 entry (It’s a short post, and the blog has very few entries, so it’s easy to find.)


(Christy Hemphill) #5

Yeah, I guess in context it is a pretty straight forward statement. The idea of 6,000 fossils is from the Smithsonian exhibit. http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils

[quote]From skeletons to teeth, early human fossils have been found of more than 6,000 individuals. With the rapid pace of new discoveries every year, this impressive sample means that even though some early human species are only represented by one or a few fossils, others are represented by thousands of fossils. From them, we can understand things like:

-how well adapted an early human species was for walking upright
-how well adapted an early human species was for living in hot, tropical habitats or cold, temperate environments
-the difference between male and female body size, which correlates to aspects of social behavior
-how quickly or slowly children of early human species grew up.[/quote]

What exactly do you think is strange about it?


#6

What your guy wrote was this (emphasis added): “The biggest thing I’m pondering as I walk away is how all that we know about early humans is based on 6,000 skulls.”


(Calder Sprinkle) #7

Skulls can tell you an awful lot about human development, though, including (but not limited to) Brain size, teeth development and so on. One of the cool parts about the development of teeth is that they change when humans begin to cook food in order to gain more calories. Fire is pretty cool and cooking/fermenting food really changed the way that early humans lived.
As for the Book, part of the problem that started the Scopes Trial was the fact that Evolution was being taught and the State of Tennessee didn’t like it. So it’s almost as if we lost the technology of teaching evolution in the average classroom upon the rise of Young Earth Creationism instead of getting better at teaching it, as we should have. Therefore, every source for teaching the correct way to think about Evolution, especially in a homeschool environment where students aren’t being pushed to believe that science and faith are incompatible, is a good source.


(Christy Hemphill) #8

Okay, maybe I’m reading motivation and tone that’s not there. But sometimes it seems you are just looking for people to say something you can respond to with scorn and derision. That’s counterproductive on a forum dedicated to dialogue. What is your point in bringing up your dissatisfaction with the word skull? There is no “Ben Kirk Memorial Technical Correctness in Phraseology Award” you need to compete for. :confused:


#9

Please don’t be upset with me. I’m merely pointing out that as important as skulls are, we have fossils other than skulls that give us a wealth of information about archaic humans. We have other bones (some extremely important ones at that), tools, art work, beads, hearths, footprints, and the like. From the DNA extracted from just a few isolated finger bone fragments, a genome was sequenced which led to the discover of a new species of archaic human–the Denisovans. Some modern humans have Denisovan ancestry.


(Christy Hemphill) #10

No worries. It’s totally fine to make the point your making. It just looked like you were trying to do it in a way that cast maximum suspicion on another person’s expertise and credentials, which I don’t understand.