Part of the problem for this widespread ignorance lies with the politics of local education, as became clear the first year I taught "Science and Faith" at Berea College.
After we had looked at evolution, I asked the twenty students in the seminar if they had learned about evolution in any of their high school science classes. One by one, most of the students who attended public high schools stated, "The teacher skipped that chapter." After the fifth time, I said, "I know why the teacher skipped that chapter.
Any information they receive about evolution in sermons or Sunday school usually comes from young earth creationists and not from evolutionary scientists, and, sad to say, what they learn is a not a true picture but a caricature.
This anti-evolution viewpoint can stir powerful feelings in many students when the topic comes up in classes and reading assignments in college.
She didn't want to get late-night phone calls with complaints from irate parents, or a pointed request from the principal to avoid 'controversial' subjects." Clearly, most of my students had not learned a thing in high school about evolution, nor would any of their high-school classmates who have gotten no further exposure to science education.
My students would have been exposed to evolution in the junior-level Natural Science core course and perhaps other science courses.
All the more reason, then, for me to explain, as best I can, what evolution is or is not.
Since this essay is aimed primarily at an audience of Christian students, I will include among my sources the writings of several scientists who are evangelical Christians.
While materialists claim support for their belief system from the science of evolution, the belief system and the science are not identical.
The scientific concept of evolution simply accounts for the world as nature presents it.