Biodiversity, evolution and climate change are the topics that have taken centre stage in a debate that’s rippling through colleges and universities around the country.
In the case of biological theory and variation definition, it’s the second week in a row that students and faculty alike have been debating this issue, with students at Penn State, the University of Pennsylvania, the Ohio State University, and the University at Buffalo recently making statements about whether or not they think the two are related.
The controversy started on Tuesday, when a group of students and staff members at Penn’s School of Business wrote a letter to the Board of Trustees, outlining a set of recommendations for the school’s Biology department, including the removal of evolution and biological theory from the curriculum.
In their letter, the faculty and staff at Penn stated that the proposed changes were not only inconsistent with scientific research, but also with the university’s core values.
The letter also called out a lack of diversity in the faculty, stating that a majority of Penn’s faculty were white and female, and that there were few African American or Latina faculty members.
The letter was met with backlash from faculty and students on social media, with many calling it offensive and unnecessary.
However, the response to the letter on Twitter has been more positive, with some people saying they feel the faculty are right to be concerned about the issue and others supporting the faculty’s position.
The University at North Carolina at Chapel Hill also released a statement to the university community on Tuesday in response to a recent letter from students and administrators at the school, in which they stated that there is no evidence that evolution is in conflict with the biological theory.
In an interview with ABC News, University of North Carolina biology professor Michael Gebhardt said the students are just “misunderstanding”.
“I think that it’s a misreading of the situation,” he said.
“Evolution is an integral part of biology and in that sense evolution is a biological theory,” he added.
“It’s a scientific theory.
There is no doubt that there’s no scientific dispute that evolution has happened.”
In their statement, the students, faculty and administrators of Penn State argued that the university has a commitment to diversity and inclusion, but that there are also certain elements of the curriculum that they feel are not inclusive enough.
They wrote that they felt that the school had missed an opportunity to make an inclusive, inclusive, and diverse Biology department.
In a letter sent to students last week, President Mark Schlissel stated that they are committed to teaching biology as an interdisciplinary discipline, which means that all students, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability will be treated equally, with a focus on the needs of students with different levels of ability.
“As a faculty member, I feel a great deal of pride that I am a member of a diverse faculty,” the letter stated.
“Our goal is to ensure that we are welcoming and inclusive of all students.
We want to ensure there are opportunities for students who come from diverse backgrounds to succeed in our classroom, and our hope is that we can be an example for the rest of the country.”
While the letter did not specifically address the biological theories, it did note that there have been instances of “unconscious bias” towards one gender, but not a particular gender.
“In order to avoid bias and unconscious bias, we are working to create a department that is inclusive of the diverse student body,” the statement continued.
“We welcome all students who identify as female, Black, Native American, LGBTQ, or other identities.”
It’s been an exciting week for the evolution of biology in the United States.
Earlier this week, the US Patent and Trademark Office announced it had granted a patent for a biological “super” to identify proteins with the capability to be expressed in living organisms, and there were many other positive developments as well, including President Trump’s announcement that the US will begin to approve more than 200 new US patents, as well as a bill introduced in Congress that would require all schools to teach evolution.
But while we’re celebrating these developments, one thing we’re still not quite sure about is whether or how the evolution controversy is affecting science education.
The Atlantic recently interviewed several experts on the evolution debate, and while they all agreed that it could be difficult for students to navigate the evolution curriculum if they’re unfamiliar with it, some felt that it would be better for them to learn it in class rather than on their own.
However, some experts said that they do feel that there should be an easier way for students and professors to learn the basics of biology without relying on the controversy.
“I don’t think it’s necessary to have an evolution course at the start of the year,” said Dr Daniela Hidalgo, professor of biological anthropology at the University College London.
“The idea that you have to have a biology course in the middle of the school year just doesn’t