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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Well, and our lunatic fundies have begun missions to Europe, as a result of the global information age. Hell, they have Mormons in England, now.

Yes, yes we do; and we love making fun of them too.


My wife (ex) works with one and she's given up on asking us over for meals after I insulted one of their prophets.

How old you when you learned the names and capitals of all 50 united states or the countries of Europe. Or about the Cold War Or the area of a triangle. I was the kid who found lists of banned books to get good reading ideas and still how no idea how much controversy the religious fundamentalists stir up over evolution. I was in an advanced Biology class in High School (Illinois). It was my Freshman year first class of the day; I was not awake. We spent a whole week on it. On the first day our teacher read a script saying something to the effect of "evolution is not believed by everybody". She read it with out interest and had a bored look on her face... she was not happy she had to read that; science was her passion. But no one had any objections. Not only did we learn the science of evolution but also the history of it. Gregor Mendel, scopes monkey trial, genetics and the lot of it... it was fun.

I don't quite have all of the capitals, but I learned all 50 states, alphabetically, in 1st or 2nd grade.  We had this stupid song for it.  Did the trick, though.


Yeah, I grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, myself.  The religious lunatics held pretty much no sway over my school system, until I moved down here.

I was first formally taught evolution in sophomore biology class in high school.  However, I grew up in a liberal Methodist church where they talked about evolution and most everyone in the church accepted evolution was true for all plants and animals except for people.  We also talked about the Snopes trial in history class.  However, the parents were much more intent on us not getting any form of sex ed, so the whole evolution topic was pretty much ignored.

Okay, we've told when we were taught evolution. When were we taught that our first ancestors were blue-green algae, also known as pond scum? How do we feel about it?

I said earlier that I learned about evolution in a university museum in the mid-1950s. I learned about pond scum maybe twenty years ago in a book about evolution.

I feel great about it. Now, instead of being a pessimist (having fallen from an Xian state of grace, being born with original sin, etc, etc, etc), I can be an optimist. My ancestors very slowly improved their lot and I can do a bit more of the same.


During my years in school I was mostly interested in physics and engineering courses. I don't remember taking any biology courses after eight grade. Later in my twenties I began to read the writings of Stephen Jay Gould, and that got me interested in trying to learn the mechanisms of evolution, particularly natural selection. I remember checking out Darwin's The Origin of Species (OOS) from the library once, but only read the first three chapters. A few years later I bought a copy of the OOS, and read it completely. So, I suppose I am one of those who learned about evolution later in life.

i really dont get why xers have this thing with evolution, i became an atheist entirely because of the problem of evil, evolution had nothing to do with it.

after all they can completely ignore the instruction of christ to love thy enemy, not much love for the taliban out there, but the creation myths in genisis are so important????

because as my mother's pastor told me when i asked him. "I believe that evolution is inherently Anti-Christ and I hope that you do not believe in it." This after I gave the church a basic run down on Darwin's theory of evolution of course lol. The fact that these people don't realize that I'm an atheist by now is fairly amusing to me.


But I do share your sentiment Carl about the problem of evil, at one time in my life I was very willing and actually did believe that God's hand is what guided or at least started evolution and it fit very well into my personal set of beliefs. (even with humans for that matter lol)

Honestly? I don't think, at the root of it, that the creation myth is what is important. What is important is the idea that we are special, hand-crafted by God-- and evolution says no, we are the product of a natural process for which God is entirely unnecessary. It says humans are not all that special, that we don't have a purpose or place in the universe that is above the rest of the life forms on this planet or any other. It shatters the most comforting part of religion-- God's Plan. Of course, you could believe that God used evolution as the tool by which he shaped man, which is what most Christians do. 


Of course, the other problem is that if the story of Adam and Eve is metaphorical, the doctrine of original sin is hard to make work, and without that, many Christians' explanation of Christ's sacrifice is out the window. What did Christ die for, if Eve never ate that apple? 


Personally, evolution had no effect on my belief, or lack there of, in gods. For me it was the problem of evil, the doctrine of original sin (which I have always found abhorrent), and causality-- if I could see every cause and effect that led to something, why did people feel the need to say "thank God for [whatever]"? I was an atheist long before I ever thought about how evolution interacts with faith... but I do see how it can be a terribly threatening idea. 

yes for me too. evolution and the biblewere not the reason im an atheist. it was god kills us all...etc etc

I'm basically self-taught.  Evolution was never specifically taught in any science or biology class that I can remember.  I went to school in small, conservative mining towns in Colorado and Montana. As a girl, interest in science was actively discouraged, and my devout Seventh-Day Adventist family considered evolution to be the work of Satan.  I was interested in geology and paleontology and all the biological sciences from an early age and I remember surreptitiously checking out books on these subjects from the public library and hiding them under my mattress to read at night, like a teenaged kid hiding porn.  This was in the 1970s - hardly the Dark Ages.  It makes me angry that I had to do this and that my curiosity was discouraged.  

Even though I accepted that evolution was a fact by the time I finished high school, I didn't really understand how natural selection worked until I read Richard Dawkins' book The Blind Watchmaker as an adult.  I wish I had learned this as a child!

I think that the fundamentals of critical thinking and logic should be taught along with reading and math in the earliest grades.  These abilities are crucial to an understanding of any science.  Evolution basics should be introduced starting in kindergarten.  Any kid can understand how natural selection works if presented in simple terms and with interesting videos or demonstrations.  


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