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Anecdote 14 December 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Aly @ 6:48 pm

As you may or may not know, my mom teaches Non-Major Biology at the local community college, PJC. Because she teaches a non-major course, she gets all sorts of people for whom biology is not a career choice but a prerequisite for other courses. And because this is the South, and the subject is biology, she often gets weirdo religious people (no offense or anything, but they are pretty weird) in her class.

Maybe a month or so ago, she told me about one her students this semester, who asked to be excused from the lectures on evolution. This meant she would miss several important quiz grades and therefore not be able to maintain her A in the class. The student said she did not mind, but she did not want to be there for the evolution because she did not believe in it.

Today, my mom was grading the extra credit assignment she handed out. The assignment was to answer some questions, in short response form, that included things like, “Do you support genetic screening or not? Explain why.” My mom showed me one of the papers she was grading that turned out to be from the same girl she told me about before. In response to the genetic screening question, she replied that she did not. One of her citations was to the Psalms. Yes, that is correct. For a science class assignment that asks for an opinion (which one assumes should be backed up by scientific or logical reasoning), this girl responded with a Bible reference. I laughed for about five minutes straight, quite literally.

The one thing that bugs me about this girl is that because she got really good grades in the other parts of the class (and will presumably pass the exam), her absence from the evolution portion of the class still does not prohibit her from passing it. From now on, on her transcript, it will say that she passed a non-major biology class with a B or C or whatever. And that does not make any sense to me, because she did not even learn the most integral part of biology. In AP Biology, at school, Ms. Bidwell always refers back to evolution and why this system may have evolved in this manner.

Everything in biology comes back to evolution. Otherwise, it becomes a passive study of what exists. Not why, not how, just what is. It would not be science.

What was supposed to be a funny anecdote has turned into a rant of sorts, but I think it makes sense? But yeah, I just think that is the funniest thing the world. To cite Psalms in a Biology assignment. :)

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5 Responses to “Anecdote”

  1. Jordan Says:

    “Do you support genetic screening or not? Explain why.”

    well it sounds to me like this is a personal question asking for the student’s reason for not supporting it. we make decisions based on our morals and ethics, and thats excactly what she did.

    and as for the whole “evolution” thing, it was dumb of her not to atleast come to class and take the quizes, because she just had to learn it, she didnt have to believe in it. Although i do understand where she is coming from, because the bible says not to put things into your body that you would want to come out. i think she was just trying to stay steadfast

  2. Aly Says:

    Well, it was for a science class. Maybe I did not explain the context well enough, because my mom was looking for specific scientific arguments for and against genetic screening.

    I really want to think of a suitable analogy to not learning evolution in biology, but I cannot think of one; my brain is too shot. Mid-terms!

  3. Jordan Says:

    did the instructions tell you to use scientific shiz to back it up?
    cuz i upon reading it the way you wrote it i would have thought it to be an oppinion type question with evidence why you dont support it.

  4. Aly Says:

    Yeah, there has been this on-going theme for the past couple years to examine bioethics in biology, sociology, etc. classes at PJC. If I remember to later, I will go get the specific wording, but whatever it may be, I know that my mom wanted it to be logical support, and probably said it in class.

  5. Dantes Says:

    Even if she doesn’t believe in evolution she should still learn about it so that she will be informed. I don’t really believe in evolution, but I’m learning about it.


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