06- Darwin’s Worst Nightmare?

Primary Author

Jason Madden

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Thad Bartlett

Abstract

Since human evolution continues to be a topic of debate between religious and scientific circles, the purpose of this research is to evaluate mentions of evolutionary theory in the undergraduate and graduate curriculum in the biology and environmental science and ecology departments at UTSA. Interestingly, environmental science (ES) mentions evolution in course descriptions more often than biology (BIO). Undergraduate course descriptions also mention evolution more often than graduate courses do. The possible reason for this is that the graduate level BIO program already accepts and understand evolutionary theory and focuses more on the specific mechanisms of evolution. For example, terms like “molecular” are mentioned more (n=9) than “evolution” (n=1). The focus of the graduate BIO program may also be shifted towards practical medical application rather than theoretical coursework. The methods used in this study will be the basis for examining the curriculum of other universities, especially private ones, who may or may not approach evolution differently.

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