Rudolf Meier on teaching evolution

Evolution: Teaching the Controversy,” by Rudolf Meier. CDTLink, 12(1).

I was initially unaware of the widespread skepticism among NUS students towards evolution and only realised late in my first semester in Singapore, during Academic Year 2002/2003, that Scott and Branch’s approach [should not be covered as it fails several criteria] does not work as students end up being detached from the subject.

For them, the burning question is finding out why evolution should be preferred over ‘intelligent design’ and not whether a particular model, for example, offers the best explanation for sexual selection. As such, ignoring the controversy is not an option.

To deal with these challenges , I adopt a constructivist’s approach to teach evolution (Scott & Branch, 2003). This approach uses the debate to illustrate how Science uses evidence to select from among competing hypotheses.


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