Before we created Speaking Evolution, we asked this question of science teachers, “A basic understanding of evolution by natural selection, does it matter?”
Here, in no particular order, are excerpts from just a few of the answers we received (some more serious than others).
"Our world is constantly changing and if we do not look at the past to help us understand those changes, the future may be truly dim. Without understanding, caring means nothing."
"...without an understanding of the building blocks of science student will be unable to grasp the concepts presented in higher level biology classes. Without these a person would be unable to pursue a career as an elasmobranch researcher. Therefore eliminating them from appearing on shark week."
"What matters most (to me) is that we, as educators, do not allow the obvious conflicts and dissension between evolution and creation theories to cause us, as educators, to lose focus on what our students need. Our students need to have the freedom to be creative and imaginative thinkers. Our students need to be able to explore ALL the possibilities of science, faith and life."
"A basic understanding of evolutionary biology is important because:
1. We understand that we are part of nature, not outside it.
2. We can see our close relationship with other primates, creatures that now need our protection against loss of habitat.
3. We then understand that sudden changes to biological entities have disastrous effects, leading to extinctions and loss of biological diversity.
4. Ultimately, we should care about knowledge obtained from evidence and careful scientific thought."
"• It is the ONLY scientifically based explanation for the diversity of life on this planet.
• It explains where we originated as a species and helps us find a philosophical perspective on our role on this planet."
"Besides giving us a better basis for projecting forward for our own curiosity and well being, researching evolution can help us think on cases where we may want to impede evolution or where we are impeding evolution or enhancing evolution and is this what we intended to do."
"Maybe the question to be answered is why study any of the sciences? What good is it to know physics things if you are not a physicist by trade, to know chemistry things if you are not a chemist by trade, to know anything about our natural world -- what good is it? So, if that is the case, there is no reason to know about evolution just like there is no reason to know about any of the sciences unless you are a scientist. Perhaps I have backed myself into a corner -- why know anything except what one needs to know in order to get by in the world -- what good is it to know anything else? Hum...is it the plight of humans TO WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THINGS FOR THE SAKE OF KNOWING?"