Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Award/Availability

Open Access Thesis

Keywords

Evolution (Biology)--Religious aspects--Christianity; Christian college students--Middle West--Attitudes;

Abstract

Is it possible to accept biological evolution without rejecting God? Understanding student perspectives about religious belief and biological evolution is important to effectively teach science. There are many factors in this complex relationship and this study explored three: differences in Christian denominations, interpretation of scripture, and perspectives of the relationship between religious belief with acceptance of evolution. The participants were freshman elementary education majors at a Midwest university who completed a questionnaire about religious beliefs and the Inventory of Student Evolution Acceptance (I-SEA).

The results indicated no significant difference between Christian denomination and acceptance of evolution. Participants who took the Bible literally differed significantly from their non-literal peers in terms of acceptance of evolution. As expected, those who believed the Bible was the word of God and took it literally had a lower acceptance than those who did not believe the Bible was the word of God and did not take it literally. Finally, there was a high rate of acceptance but students reasoned with both incorrect and correct science.

In conclusion, is a relationship between understanding and acceptance of evolution for this population? The moderate levels of acceptance and understanding found in this population may be due to conflicting support for evolution from authority figures, like churches and instructors. Instructors must know both correct science and student religious perspectives to teach evolution effectively.

Date of Award

2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Science Education Program

First Advisor

John Ophus, Chair

Date Original

2015

Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 81 pages)

Language

EN

File Format

application/pdf

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