Suggested Strategies

  1. Deflect and defuse
    It is not our job to grapple with confrontations, but to get on with the task of teaching. Those who use “arguments against evolution” typically do not have a deep knowledge of the facts involved. A few well-placed prompts can make your life a lot easier.

  2. Try these:
    • Tell me more about this.
    • Please explain what you mean.
    • I understand your concern, but in order to become an educated citizen it is important for your daughter/son to understand the theory of evolution.

  3. Make use of available resources.
    While debating creationist challenges is not our job, it would might be a good idea to be familiar with questions typically asked. Here are three useful resources:

    • Misconceptions—This provides a list of common misconceptions and potential responses if you choose to use them. What can be misconceptions for some may be posed as intentional challenges by others.

    • NCSE, the National Center for Science Education—Should the teaching of evolution be challenged in your school or district, information and advice are available.

    • Voices for Evolution— This collection of concise position statements, found on the NCSE website, includes statements from science organizations and statements from education organizations, emphasizing the status of evolution and its place in science.

  4. Be aware of the challenges.
    Our job is to teach the consensus of science. There are some who would prefer that evolution not be part of our science curriculum, regardless of its veracity, and these people have developed organized efforts to discourage its teaching. It is helpful to be aware of the antievolutionists and what tactics they are using.


Next Topic:
Know the Antievolutionists

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Spanish translation of Understanding Evolution For Teachers from the Spanish Society of Evolutionary Biology.