This is a quickie - how old we you when you were first TAUGHT about evolution. 


In the UK, it was in advanced biology - an optional class for school leavers and I was about 17 at the time - in 1980. (Oh god, I'm old!)


I didn't understand it: accepted it, yes, but didn't understand it.


Anyone who knows me well might find this surprising, because I didn't bother looking at evolution proper until a couple of decades back - while researching something completely different.


These days, evolution is taught in secondary schools (at least, it should be) which puts it in the age 11-16 or 11-18 depending on when the child started.


Dawkins thinks - and I heartily agree - we should introduce this cornerstone of Biology in primary science - so I wonder, how many people hear came to understand Darwin later in life?

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darwinism  or evolutiomery thinking was never a prob for me at all.  i cant say i understasnd it even today.  when i was a boy it was accepted by all adults i knew.  i never heard of creationism or intelligent design until the 70's of course id been to sunday school and knew the biblical creation story, but looking back i think i thot it was just a story. 

by primary science, i think you mean what i wud call elementary school science, and my answer is of course it shud be. if i try to imagine science without evolution, i get nothing. seems to me that so much of science is tied up in evolution that not teaching it means no science.

I wasn't taught it at school (not that I can remember anyway).  I discovered it while watching Attenborough's "Life on Earth' series.  It was very funny.  My mother loved me watching the programme (the beauty of God's creations!!) until the last episode where David makes the comparisons between chimpanzees and us.  "That bit isn't true!!" but it was too late.  Then I researched it myself and it all made perfect sense.  When my mother asked "If we came from apes, why are there still apes?", I was able to answer her even as a teenager, and that is going back a 'few' years.  I can't believe they are still asking the same question all these years later.

How did your mom take it, Richard? The fact that we're also an ape, I mean.


That must have been very hard for her if she believed in some sort of literal creation.

Ha yeah they definitely are. I heard that question time and time again when I was growing up in my mother's church and it irritated me everytime because the answer was so simple to me at the time and even now roughly 13 or 14 years later

I think the concept was mentioned at some point in secondary school science class. I was already aware of the concept so did not really learn much in the class.


Most of what I learnt about evolution has come from documentaries I have watched.

I was taught evolution in the 6th grade and it never seemed controversial in fact I can't recall anything controversial about what we were taught in school.
I opted out of taking biology in high school because they had to disect a fetal pig.  They were too cute.  So I didn't get any instruction about evolution, but I was already an atheist anyway.  I was introduced to evolution in documentaries later in life.
I had a pretty solid understanding in the basics of evolution by the time I was in Junior high school because I read a lot of biology texts (I was a little strange).  My 9th grade science teacher and my high school biology teacher spent a lot of time on evolution - which gave me fuller understanding of the subject.

From what I can see from the replies so far - most of you are outside England (i.e. USA).


I'm not sure what I can get from that - but I assume it has a lot to do with the membership profile of Nexus - I expect that few brits are here given that we don't really care that much about creationism, etc. here.


That's disappointing but as Dawkins also says, it's like herding cats.

Agree... even here in italy, evolution is not considered controversial, but i'm afraid we're going backwards... a couple of years ago, a public education minister tried to take away evolution from the science curriculum in schools. Luckily, the proposal was rejected after a quite strong protest from... well, more or less everyone.


And now we have a self-declared creationist as vice-president of the main national scientific institute... uh...

Jeeze, how the hell do you get a Creationist in a position like that?

He was probably appointed.

Texas' Governor Perry appointed creationists to the committee responsible for choosing school books.





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