Reasons to Believe

Explore Evolution: A High School Textbook Review

Christian educators often ask for an evenhanded presentation of biological evolution. One book, Stephen C. Meyer’s Explore Evolution: The Arguments for and against Neo-Darwinism (Hill House, 2007), fills this need nicely.

Intended as a supplement for high school and college biology courses, Explore Evolution teaches critical thinking skills by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian evolution. Though the book steers clear of making biblical or religious references and of promoting Intelligent Design theory, it does encourage students to ask questions and search for answers.

Because Explore Evolution is a secular text, it does not provide educators with philosophical integration of science with Christianity. Nonetheless, it does help students wrestle through important scientific issues such as what the fossil record says about common descent, whether natural selection has creative power, and the challenge of molecular machines.

To be clear, this resource is not a biology textbook but a supplement to whichever textbook has been adopted by the educator. It could easily be used in a traditional classroom, homeschool, or co-op. Instructors who integrate Explore Evolution into their curriculum will gain access to a full spectrum of resources that can be used in classroom teaching situations as lecture supplements, including assessments and PowerPoint presentations (www.exploreevolution.com).

The textbook’s clean layout and accessible language guide students through the major arguments for Darwinism with relative ease. And the eye-catching illustrations aptly reinforce the topics discussed.

Explore Evolution uses the standard arguments in mainstream science texts and offers a fair-minded look at the most popular evidence for Darwinism presented in mainstream science texts.

One concern is that this book might inadvertently engender hostility toward the scientific community, depending on the environment the instructor fosters. Teachers may want to gauge students’ attitudes on this issue to avert disparagement of the scientific establishment as a result of this study. It’s important for Christian young people to be empowered to envision how they could add to the academic dialogue in a reasonable and charitable way.

Explore Evolution makes a unique and much needed contribution to science education and offers critical knowledge every Christian young person should be familiar with before heading to college.

Listen to Krista Bontrager discuss this resource in more detail on the "Educator's Help Desk" podcast. click here

Subjects: Educators/Homeschoolers, Youth

This article was originally published in the New Reasons To Believe e-zine.