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The “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense

Except in the Light of Evolution” Myth:

An Empirical Study and Evaluation

Jerry Bergman, Ph.D.
© 2006 by Jerry Bergman.


It is commonly claimed that Darwinism is the cornerstone of the life sciences and that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” To evaluate this claim I reviewed both textbooks used to teach life science class at the college where I teach and those I used in my university course work. I concluded from my survey that Darwinism was rarely mentioned. I also reviewed my course work and that of another researcher and came to the same conclusion. From this survey I concluded that the claim “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” is not true.


T he dean of American biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-1975), claimed that “evolution” is the cornerstone of biology and is central to understanding both living and extinct organisms (1973).  His statement that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” has been repeated in thousands of articles in order to argue that Darwinism must have a central place in all areas of science education, including medicine, agriculture and biotechnology (for example, see Antolin and Herbers, 2001, p. 2379).  A recent Google.com search revealed over 50,000 hits for this single quote.  Consequently, Darwinists argue, evolution must be a central part of all public school and college life science classes.  In the words of the National Academy of Science, evolution is “the most important concept in modern biology, a concept essential to understanding key aspects of living things” (1998, p. viii, emphasis mine). Prosser concludes that this claim is made because

The Origin of Species has had more influence on Western culture than any other book of modern times.  It was not only a great biological treatise, closely reasoned and revolutionary, but it carried significant implications for philosophy, religion, sociology, and history.  Evolution is the greatest single unifying principle in all biology (1959. p. 539).

Dawkins opines that, without Darwinism, “biology is a collection of miscellaneous facts” and before children “learn to think in an evolutionary way” the information that students learn

will just be facts, with no binding thread to hold them together, nothing to make them memorable or coherent.  With evolution, a great light breaks through into the deepest recesses, into every corner, of the science of life.  You understand not only what is, but why.  How can you possibly teach biology unless you begin with evolution?  How, indeed, can you call yourself an educated person, if you know nothing of the Darwinian reason for your own existence? (2002, p. 58).

The argument that evolution is central to biology has been around for a few years.  For example the Scopes Trial decision quoted the following words penned by Dr. E. N. Reinke, professor of biology at Vanderbilt University: “The theory of evolution is altogether essential to the teaching of biology and its kindred sciences.  To deny the teacher of biology the use of this most fundamental generalization of his science would make his teaching as chaotic as an attempt to teach ... physics without assuming the existence of the ether” (Scopes v. State of Tennessee.  Opinion filed January 17, 1927 page 8).  The ether idea has now been fully refuted, a fact that illustrates the fallibility of the biology claim.

Although Darwinists often talk about the central importance of “evolution” in gaining a basic understanding of the natural world, my research reveals that in the daily work of both scientific education and scientific research, evolution is rarely mentioned (or even a concern).  This has been my experience as a research associate involved in cancer research in the department of experimental pathology at the Medical University of Ohio and as a college professor in the life and behavioral sciences for over 30 years.  As Conrad E. Johanson, Ph.D. (Professor of Clinical Neurosciences and Physiology and Director of Neurosurgery Research at Brown Medical School in Rhode Island) noted, in the world of science research on a day-to-day basis, scientists

rarely deal directly with macroevolutionary theory, be it biological or physical.  For example, in my 25 years of neuroscience teaching and research I have only VERY rarely had to deal with natural selection, origins, macroevolution, etc.  My professional work in science stems from rigorous training in biology, chemistry, physics, and math, not from world views about evolution.  I suspect that such is the case for most scientists in academia, industry, and elsewhere (2003, p. 1).

National Academy of Science Member and renown carbene chemist, Professor emeritus Dr. Philip Skell of Pennsylvania State University (see Lewis, 1992), did a survey of his colleagues that were “engaged in non-historical biology research, related to their ongoing research projects.”  He found that the “Darwinist researchers” he interviewed, in answer to the question, “Would you have done the work any differently if you believed Darwin's theory was wrong?” that “for the large number” of persons he questioned, “differing only in the amount of hemming and hawing” was “in my work it would have made no difference.”  Some added they thought it would for others (2003. p. 1).  Of interest is Molecular, Cell and Development Biology majors at Yale University graduate school will no longer be required to take courses on evolution (Hartman, 1997).  I have noted from my own research that many of the subscriptions to journals focusing on evolution at both the Medical University of Ohio and Bowling Green State University have been dropped (to both my frustration and over my objections).

I also interview several biology professors.  Typical is Tony Jelsma, who obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1989 and did postdoctoral research for almost eight years before landing a position teaching at the Dept. of Biology, Dordt College (Sioux Center, IA. 51250).  His B.Sc. (1983) and Ph.D. (1989) were both completed at McMaster University, just down the road from University of Guelph.  He stated that he did not encounter Darwinism in his work or studies except in one undergraduate biochemistry class where he studied the abiotic synthesis of adenine.  If his degrees were in biology instead of biochemistry, he would likely have been exposed to much more Darwinism material.

A Survey of Textbooks

Having taught biology, psychology and related courses at the college level for the past 30 years, I evaluated this claim by examining the content of the major textbooks that we have used to teach science courses.  Most of the biochemistry/molecular biology, genetics, and cell biology texts we have used never, or hardly ever, mentioned Darwinism (see Appendix I).  The only courses that covered it in any detail was Biology 101, Zoology and Anthropology (and even in these classes, in my experience, many instructors skip this section).

Even those chapters labeled “evolution” often spend much time on non-evolution topics, such as basic genetics, human development, population genetics, and similar areas.  None of the anatomy and physiology textbooks we have used ever mentioned evolution.  The only reference to it in the microbiology texts we have used is the development of bacterial resistance (which is not a problem for intelligent design or even creationists. See Bergman, 2003).


Judging by these textbooks, Darwinism is often totally ignored in most science classes.  Based on my review of new textbooks, the evolution content, especially of introductory textbooks, is increasing, likely in response to the intelligent design and creationist movements.  Because I have much interest in the subject, I usually cover it in more depth than, in my experience, is usual.  Many of the instructors at the colleges where I have taught largely ignore the sections on evolution, partly because there is a great deal of other material that must be covered and something has to be cut—and many teachers elect to skip evolution because it is one of the least-important subjects in most majors.  How many health care workers need to understand Darwinian theories?  (No concern exists over the development of antibody resistance, something I stress in my microbiology class.)  In short, at least judging by the major textbooks used, the often repeated claim about Darwinism being central to natural science is false.

If, as Dobzhansky stated, “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973 emphasis added), why is it rarely, if ever, mentioned in most natural science books?  We usually use the leading college texts in each area (for example, the A&P text we use is the 10th edition of Hole, a standard text).  And why is it a minor topic even in most introductory biology books that cover the subject in more depth than most all other courses except formal classes on evolution?

While developing a college-level course on evolution, I surveyed most 4-year colleges and universities in Ohio and many in Michigan.  Biology majors at the schools surveyed were required to take only one class in evolution (and all schools surveyed used the same text, that by Freeman and Herron, a fairly good text that I also considered for my own evolution class, which is now being developed).

My experience also conforms to the results of the research in this area.  Several studies have found that most future science teachers do not complete courses that focus on evolution as part of their training (Rutledge and Mitchell 2002; and Rutledge and Warden, 2000).  Moore found that “many of todays high school teachers don’t recall hearing the word evolution in their college biology courses, apparently because many biology professors do not teach evolution (Moore, 2004. p. 864).  I am now surveying college biology students and have found that most schools either skip the chapters on evolution, or cover them in only a class or two.  About 30 percent cover both creation and evolution and 20 percent in the students words, “try to jam evolution down our throats” and succeed primarily in turning off students to biology (and often science as well).

Another problem is many who teach Darwinism objectively are accused of not teaching it at all when in fact they cover it in much more depth then most teachers (see Moore, 2004a).

Coverage of Darwinism in My College Science Course Work

I also reviewed all of my graduate and undergraduate college course work in science to determine the time spent on Darwinism in each class.  The review includes course work taken at Wayne State University, Medical University of Ohio, Bowling Green State University, University of Wisconsin, Miami University (Oxford, OH), University of Toledo, University of California, Berkeley, and several other colleges.  All hours were converted to quarter hours, and some classes are in process.

The review of my own course work (over 1,000 quarter hours) completed at seven universities and five colleges conforms to my teaching experience.  Except in courses devoted to evolution, the subject was rarely covered in science classes although it did come up occasionally in other classes (see Appendix II).  I found that during my biology/natural science education, which entailed over eight years of full-time college, Darwinism was rarely mentioned.  For my graduate degree in biomedical science, it never came up either in class or in the textbooks except to note that a gene was “evolutionary conserved” (meaning only that the gene sequence is very similar in most life forms, both advanced and primitive).

Because this is a topic in which I was very interested when in college, whenever it was discussed, I listened attentively (and would have remembered if it was discussed in the class).  Based on detailed notes that I have retained, even the course that I took on evolution covered mostly the history of the creation-evolution conflict, genetics, animal breeding, and related topics.  Darwinism actually was probably more often discussed in behavioral science classes and texts compared to natural science classes—and in these cases it was often assumed to be true.  The evolutionary world view dominated, and Darwinism, including naturalism, was rarely questioned, even in my Bible as Literature class.

Dr. Scott Hanson also reviewed his course work at a major Canadian University, the results of which are found in Appendix III.  The results of his survey were very similar to those found for my study.

The message that Darwinists convey to the public is often very different than what they recognize as true among themselves.  Although they state to the public that, “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” most scientists can “conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas” (Witham, 2002, p. 43).  One “notable aspect of natural scientists in assembly is how little they focus on evolution.  It’s day-to-day irrelevance is a great ‘paradox’ in biology” (Witham, 2002, p. 43).

Darwinists “are loath to display publicly their internal divisions.”  An exception is a challenge by mathematicians at Philadelphia's Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology that “drew evolutionists of some note.”  The result of the conference was “the mathematicians and the biologist agreed to disagree” (Witham, 2002, p. 37).  In short, the mathematicians believed that, in contrast to the evolutionists, it “seemed improbable that the mere shuffling of genes could yield such combinations as a DNA molecule of the human brain, or move through populations and produce dramatically new species” (Witham, 2002, p. 37).

The fact that presenting both sides may convince many students to reject the Darwinist side is a major motivation for the almost fanatic efforts by Darwinists to ensure that only one side of the controversy is taught.  Eugenie Scott, in contrast to the empirical literature (and the experience of most teachers), argues that only pure unadulterated evolution should be taught (and should be taught as fact) because “using creation and evolution topics for critical-thinking exercises in primary and secondary schools is virtually guaranteed to confuse students about evolution.”  Her real concern is that teaching both sides “may lead them to reject one of the major themes of science” i.e. Darwinism (Witham, 2002, p. 23).  In this she is probably correct.


My review agrees with Adam S. Wilkins’ conclusions published in the journal BioEssays.  Wilkins’ flips Dobzhansky’s quote upside down, concluding that

evolution occupies a special, and paradoxical, place within biology as a whole.  While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that ‘nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution’, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas.  ‘Evolution’ would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one (2000, p. 1051, emphasis mine).

O’Leary adds that the reason why

evolution is “highly superfluous” is that, in reality, nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of biochemistry, which is what gives biology its place in the linked chain of sciences.  Evolution is a form of history, a history that may or may not have happened as described in any current work on the subject (2004, p. 100).

Many scientists are aware of the fact that Darwinism is largely ignored in science instruction.  One good example provided by Dawkins involved an after lunch discussion with the teachers. He concluded that almost every teacher

confided that, much as they would like to, they didn’t dare to do justice to evolution in their classes.  This was not because of intimidation by fundamentalist parents (which would have been the reason in parts of America).  It was simply because of the A-level syllabus.  Evolution gets only a tiny mention, and then only at the end of the A-level course.  This is preposterous, for, as one of the teachers said to me, quoting the great Russian American biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky ..., Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution’ (2003, p. 58).

This statement is ideologically not factual.  Biology makes perfect sense without ever mentioning Darwinism.  Likewise Shanks’ (2004 p. 228) claim that “evolutionary biology is the veritable glue that holds all the disparate branches of biological inquiry together and gives common focus to their collective endeavors” could hardly be true if it is not even covered in most science course work.  Shanks argument that if you take away evolution “the biological sciences would degenerate into an incoherent collection of rudderless ships” is irresponsible because evolution is often not in either course work or textbooks.  The problem is, as recounted in The Harvard Crimson:

Although the postmodern era questions everything else—the possibility of knowledge, basic morality and reality itself—critical discussion of Darwin is taboo.  While evolutionary biologists test Darwin’s hypothesis in every experiment they conduct, the basic premise of evolution remains a scientific Holy of Holies, despite our absurd skepticism in other areas.  Oxford zoologist Richard Dawkins writes: “It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who does not believe in evolution, that person is either ignorant, stupid, or insane.”  Biologists continue to recite the worn credo, “the central, unifying principle of biology is the theory of evolution.”  But where would physics be if Einstein had been forced to chant, “the central unifying principle of physics is Newtonian theory,” until he could not see beyond its limitations? (Halvorson, 2003, p. 4).

My conclusion also agrees with Wells, who also concluded the claim

that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” is demonstrably false.  A person can be a first-rate biologist without being a Darwinist.  In fact, a person who rejects Dobzhansky’s claim can be a better biologist than one who accepts it uncritically.  The distinctive feature and greatest virtue of natural science, we are told, is its reliance on evidence.  Someone who starts with a preconceived idea and distorts the evidence to fit it is doing the exact opposite of science.  Yet this is precisely what Dobzhansky’s maxim encourages people to do (Wells, 2000, p. 247).


I wish to thank Bert Thompson Ph.D., Jody Allen R.N. and Eric Blievernicht B.S. for their very helpful feedback on an earlier version of this article.


Antolin, Michael F. and Joan M. Herbers. 2001. “Perspective: Evolution’s Struggle for Existence in America’s Public Schools.” Evolution, 55(12):2379-2388.

Bergman, Jerry. 2003. “Does the Acquisition of Antibiotic Resistance Provide Evidence for Macroevolution?” T.J. Technical Journal 17(3):89-95.

Court Case. 2002. “Does a Science Teacher’s Right to Free Speech Entitle Him or Her to Teach “Evidence Against Evolution”?” LeVake v. Independent School District #656, 625 N.W. 2d 502 [MN Ct. of Appeal 2000], cert. denied, 534 U.S. 1081 [2002].

Dawkins, Richard. 2002. A Devils Chaplain. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Dobzhansky, Theodosius. 1973. “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution.” American Biology Teacher, 35:125-129.

Freeman, Scott and Jon C. Herron. 2001. Evolutionary Analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ.: Prentice-Hall.

Halvorson, Richard. 2003. “Confessions of a Skeptic.” The Harvard Crimson, April. 7, p. 4.

Hartman, Noel. 1997. “MC&D Biology Eliminates Evolution Requirement.” Yale Daily News, Thursday, March 27.

Jelsma, Tony. Letter to author.

Johanson, Conrad. 2003. Personal communication to the author dated September 2, 2003.

Lewis, Ricki. 1992. “Metal Atom Vapor Chemistry: A Field Awaits Its Breakthrough.” The Scientist, 6(3):22, Feb. 03.

Moore, Randy 2004. “How Well do Biology Teachers Understand the Legal Issues Associated with the Teaching of Evolution” BioScience. 54(9):860-865.

__________. 2004a. “When a Biology Teacher Refuses to Teach Evolution: A Talk with Rod LeVake.” American Biology Teacher, 66:246-250.

O’Leary, Denyse. 2004. By Design or Chance. Kitchener, Ontario: Castle Quay Books

Prosser, C.L. 1959. “The ‘Origin’ after a Century: Prospects for the Future?” American Scientist, 47(4):536-550, Dec.

Rutledge, M.L. and W.A. Warden. 2000. “Evolutionary theory, the Nature of Science and High School Biology Teachers: Critical Relationships.” American Biology Teacher, 62:23-31.

Rutledge, M.L. and M.A. Mitchell. 2002. “High School Biology Teachers’ Knowledge Structure, Acceptance, and Teaching of Evolution.” American Biology Teacher, 64:21-28.

Shanks, Niall. 2004. God, the Devil. and Darwin. New York. Oxford University Press.

Skell, Philip. 2003. Personal communication to the author dated September 3, 2003.

National Academy of Science. 1998. Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Wells, Jonathan. 2000. Icons of Evolution. Washington, D.C.: Regnery.

Wilkins, Adam S. 2000. “Introduction (issue on Evolutionary Processes).” BioEssays, 22(12):1051-1052, December.

Witham, Larry. 2002. Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionists in America. New York: Oxford University Press.

Appendix I

The College Natural Science Texts I Have Used in
the Past 20 Years and their Evolution Coverage
Text Biological Evolution Content
1. Introduction to Biology  
Biology (Sylvia Mader)
McGraw Hill 6th edition.1998.
A total of 4 chapters cover evolution out of 51, occasionally mentioned in the other 47 chapters.
Life (Ricki Lewis, et al.)
McGraw Hill 4th edition. 2002.
One unit on evolution (5 chapters outof 45), occ asionally mentioned elsewhere.
Essential Biology. Campbell, Reece, and Simon.
Pearson. 2004
Mentions Darwinism in almost every chapter, and one whole unit on evolution (unit 3, chapters 13 to 17 plus parts of chapter 18).
2. Anatomy and Physiology  
Anatomy and Physiology (Hole, et al.)
McGraw Hill 10th ed 2003.
Principles of Anatomy and Physiology
(Tortora and Grabowski) Harper Collins. 1996.
3. Biochemistry/molecular Biology  
Biochemistry, A Foundation (Peck Ritter)
Brooks Cole. 1996.
A few sentences or very short paragraphs added, seemingly as an afterthought, in a few sections.
General, Organic, and Biochemistry
(William Brown and Elizabeth Rogers) Brooks Cole 1987.
General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry
(Sally Solomon) McGraw Hill. 1987.
Foundations of Life: An Introduction of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry. Third Edition.
(Feigl, Hill, and Erwin Boschmann) Macmillan. 1991.
Fundamentals of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry. 2nd Edition.
(McMurry and Castellion) Prentice-Hall. 1996.
4. Microbiology  
The Microbial Perspective (Nester, et al.)
Saunders. 1982.
Mentioned only in relationship to bacterial resistance.
Microbiology (Jacquelyn Black)
Wiley N.Y. 5th ed. 2002.
Microevolution briefly discussed (such as in the section of the development of bacterial resistance).
5. Genetics  
Human Genetics (Ricki Lewis)
McGraw Hill 5th ed. 2003.
Parts of 1 chapter out of 22, a few sections elsewhere.
6. Zoology  
College Zoology (Richard Boolootian and Karl Stiles)
Macmillan 10th edition. 1981.
One chapter (chapter 41, pp. 664-686); also mentioned in a few other places.
Zoology (Hickman et al.)
McGraw Hill 12th edition. 2003.
Parts of 1 chapter and short sections in several other chapters out of 38 chapters.
7. Anthropology  
Anthropology (Ember and Ember)
Prentice-Hall 5th edition. 2003
Parts of 5 chapters out of 22 chapters
Anthropology (Konrad Kottak)
McGraw Hill 10th ed. 2003.
Major parts of 3 chapters and small sections of 2 other chapters out of 25 chapters
8. Chemistry  
Fundamentals of Chemistry (Ralph Burns)
Prentice-Hall 4th ed. 2003.
Chemistry and Society (Jones et al.)
New York: Saunders 5th ed. 1987
9. Geology  
Essentials of Geology (Chernicoff and Fox)
Houghton Mifflin 2nd edition. 2003.
Rarely mentioned. Coverage mostly in last chapter.
10. Physical Science  
Physical Science Principles and Applications (Payne, Falls and Whidden)
Dubuque, IA: Wm. C Brown. 1992.
None. (Mentioned only once on page 320 in reference to DNA.)

Appendix II

Undergraduate and Graduate Sciences Classes Completed by Jerry Bergman at Wayne State University; Medical College of Ohio; University of California, Berkeley; University of Toledo; University of Wisconsin; Bowing Green State University and other Colleges and Universities
Number Course Title (Credits.) Darwinism Content
BIO 0161 Anatomy & Physiology I (5) None
BIO 0162 Anatomy & Physiology II (4) None
BIO 0151 General Biology I (6) Some in chapter II of text (Kimball)
BIO 0152 General Biology II (6) All of chapter VII (p. 540-614) but was not covered in class
BIO 0507 Genetics (4) Mentioned briefly (the professor often mocked creationists)
BIO 0220 Introduction to Microbiology (4) None
BIO 0271 Comparative Vertebrate Zoology (6) Almost none
BIO 0509 Evolution (4) Topic of class, mostly covered history, genetics, and other topics that did not review evidence for the theory
BIO 137 Surface Phenomena in Physical and Biological Systems (4) None
PSY 0330 Psychophysiology (4) None
HYG 0281 Individual Hygiene (3) None
PER 0172 First Aid (4) None
SCE 3561 Science in the Elementary Schools (4) None
GEG 0652 Field Study (4) None
GEG 0390 Directed Study (2) None
PHY 0191 Physics and Astronomy (4) None
GSC 0156 Physical Science/Chemistry (4) None
GEO 0110 World and Regional Geography (4) None
GEO 0210 Elements of Geography (4) None
U420-100 General Geology (4) None
U640-100 Meteorology (3) None
U736-101 Introduction to Philosophy (5) Discussed very briefly in several units
U224-103 General Chemistry I (4) None
U224-104 General Chemistry II (4) None
CHM 698.0 Organic Chemistry (3) None
CHM 698 Topics in Biochemistry Technology (3) None
20.879 Basic and Advanced Light Microscopy (4) None
PSY 0490 Biology of Learning (4) None
BIO 2805 Substance Abuse (3) None
U694-132 Nutrition Today (4) None
NV 0502 Topics in Nutrition (8) None
BIO 0332 Nutrition and Health Habits (3) None
BIO 0523 Studies in Literature (Biological Evolution) (4) Topic of class
BIO 0507 Evaluation Concepts and Methods (Eugenics) (12) Topic of class
BIO 0508 Biometry (12) None
BIO 0515 Human Development (Brain & Communication) (8) None
BIO 0521 Holism, Concept: Its Origins and Implications (4) None
BIO 0522 Ecology (4) None
BIO 0523 Health and Healing Perspectives (4) None
BIO 0507 Parasitology (4) None
BIO 0573 Neuroscience (4) None
BIO 0503 Cell Ultrastructure (4) None
BIO 0502 Cell Biology (4) None
MM 0311 Materials and Methods (3) None
MM 0512 Doctoral Supplement: Materials and Methods (1) None
IS 0542 Ph.D. Diss. (noninvasive biology research/diagnostic tech.) (12) None
10.651 Basic Science Interdepartmental Seminar (1) Mentioned briefly
03.521 Recombinant DNA Methodology (2) None
156898.02 Computed Tomography (4) None
03.673 Research in Biochemistry (14) None
03.657 Readings in Biochemistry (2) None
03.672 Current topics in Biochemistry (3) None
03.672 Current topics in Biochemistry (2) None
20.886 Transmission Electron Microscopy (5) None
20.877 Scanning Electron Microscopy (4) None
15.889.09 Radiology: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (4) None
CHM. 698 Separation Science (3) None
20.611.01 Human Genetics (3) None
15.898.02 Computer Tomography (4) None
20.673 Research, Biomedical Science (4) None
50.699 Thesis Research (8) None
50.699 Thesis Research (4) None
10.672 Current Topics in Pathology (Cancer) (4) None
IND1500 Structure and Function of Normal Body (12) None
IND1699 Thesis Research (10) None
CHM 699.7 Research in Chemical Education.(1.5) None
NERS 856 Readings in Neural Science. (1.5) None
DENT 656 Readings in Oral Biology. (1.5) None
PUBH689 Independent Study in Environment Health. (4) None
CHM 698.M Risks and Choices (5) None
OCCH 501 Occupational Health (4) None
CHM 699V Industrial Chemistry follow-up (1.5) None
PUBH 601 Public Health Epidemiology (4) None
OCCH 673 Research in Occupational Health (4) None
PUBH 603.01 Advanced Epidemiology (4) None
CHM 698.P Foods and Flavors (3) None
CHM 698.T Science of Pyrotechnics (3) None
PUBH 698 Capstone Seminar (4) None
HEAL 6600 Health Behavior (4) None
PUBH 605 Intro to Environmental Health (4) None
PUBH 696 Public Health Internship (3) None
CI 5950 Foundations of Grant Writing (4) None
PATH 620.10 Principles of Toxicology (4) None
PUBH 696 Public Health Internship (1) None
CHM 689 Microscope (4) None
PUBH 604 Public Health Administration (4) None
PUBH 515 Principles of Environmental Health (4) None
PUBH 550 Public Health Microbiology (4) None
CHM 629 Chemical Aspects of Forensic Science (4) None
CHM 628c Pharmacology (4) None
HEAL 6640 Issues in Public Health (4) None
OCCH 561 Physical Agents (4) None
OCCH 689 Independent Study (Mutations)(4) None
OCCH 510 Human Systems and Occupational Diseases (3) None
OCCH 640 Environmental and Occupational Health Law (3) None
CHM 689 Safety (2) None
CHM 689 Artful Chemistry (3) None
OCCH 505 Principles of Occupational Safety (3) None
OCCH 520 Air Monitoring and Analytical Methods (4) None
CHM 627 Chemistry Research (5) None
CHM 689 Chemistry of Corrosion (3) None
OCCH 699 Thesis Research (4) None
OCCH 535 Human Factors and Ergonomics (3) Several sections alluded to evolution as being a reason for back and other health problems
OCCH 525 Chemistry of Hazardous Materials (3) None
MAT 0151 Comparative Mathematics (4) None
ELE 3315 Methods & Materials in Mathematics (4) None
PSY 0310 Statistical Methods (4) None
EER 6660 Field Studies in Research (4) None
EER 9666 Directed Research (4) None
EER 7661 Evaluation and Measurement (4) None
EER 7664 Fundamental Research Skills (4) None
EER 9668 Advanced Research and Experimental Design (4) None
EER 7663 Fundamentals of Statistics (4) None
EER 8663 Advanced Problems in Measurement (4) None
EER 7665 Computer Use in Research (4) None
EER 8664 Variance and Co-Variance Analysis (4) None
EER 9666 Research Problems (4) None
EER 9669 Doctoral Research (Evaluation and Research) (45) None
Total hours: 549
In my experience, Darwinism is often discussed in non-science classes. For this reason I also evaluated my nonscience course work, mostly in the behavioral science area.
PSY 0251 Introduction to Psychology (4) mentioned in several chapters
PSY 0340 Developmental Psychology (4) briefly mentioned
PSY 0305 Psychology of Perception (4) none
PSY 0335 Theories of Personality (4) none
PSY 0310 Statistical Methods Psychology (4) none
PSY 0460 Social Psychology (4) briefly mentioned
EDP 3731 Introduction to Study of Child (4) briefly mentioned
PSY 0330 Psychology of Adjustment (4) none
PSY 0430 Abnormal Psychology (5) none
PSY 0111 Industrial Psychology (3) none
EDP 5745 Child Psychology (3) none
EDP 7735 The Learning Process (3) none
CP 7830 Environment and Child Psy. (6) none
CP 6831 Intro. to Psychological Testing (3) none except eugenics was covered unobtrusively
EDP 7741 Human Developmental Psychology (4) briefly mentioned
EDP 5741 Mental Hygiene and Education (3) none
EDP 7731 Advanced Educational Psychology (6) none
EDP 5742 Juvenile Delinquency and Schools (3) none
EDP 5745 Adolescent Psychology (3) none
EGC 7701 Role of the Teacher in Guidance (3) none
EGC 7704 Case Problems in Guidance (3) none
EGC 7705 The Counseling Process (3) none
EDP 7749 Terminal Master Dissertation (4) was encountered in my research.
PSY 0303 Intro to Experimental Psychology (6) briefly mentioned
PSY 0562 Psychology of Influence (4) none
PSY 0628 Psychoanalytic Theory (4) none
PSY 0330 Psychophysiology (4) briefly mentioned
PSY 0480 Concept Dev. in Children (4) none
PSY 0508 Behavior Pathology I (5) none
PSY 0509 Behavior Pathology II (5) none
PSY 0440 Social Issues in Child Dev. (4) none
PSY 0580 Psy of Chiliastic Movements (4) none
REH 0567 Community Approach to Counseling (4) none
PSY 0682 Issues in EEOC Compliance (3) none
REH 0558 Psychosocial Aspects of Disability (3) none
Total hours: 137
SOC 0251 Introduction to Sociology (4) none
SOC 0514 Social Stratification (4) none
SOC 0541 Juvenile Delinquency (4) covered briefly
SOC 0202 Social Problems (3) discussed in connection with biological theories of crime.
SOC 0506 The Family (4) covered in class, not in textbook
SOC 0600 Methods in Social Research (4) none
SOC 0616 Industrial Sociology (4) none
SOC 0508 Race Relations in the U.S.A. (4) none
SOC 0550 Marriage & Family Problems (4) none
SSC 0151 Foundation of Modern Society, I (4) covered briefly
SSC 0152 Foundation of Modern Society, II (4 ) covered briefly
EDS 7621 Educational Sociology (3) none
EDS 7623 Intergroup Rel. Comm. & School (4) none
POL 0511 Public Opinion & the Political Process (4) none
POL 0151 American Government (5) none
SOC 0460 Social Psychology (4) none
ECI 0251 Basic Economics (5) social Darwinism covered briefly
ANT 0210 Introduction to Anthropology (5) covered rather extensively in both reading and lectures.
SOC 0612 Community (4) none
SOC 0680 Women and Institutions (4) none
SOC 0670 The Sociology of Homosexuality (4) none
SOC 0540 The Sociology of Education (4) none
SOC 0561 Corrections (4) discussed in connection with biological theories of crime.
SOC 0599 Master's Thesis (10) none
SOC 0590 Juvenile Delinquency (4) none
SOC 0544 Deviant Behavior (4) none
SOC 0682 Issues in Criminology (4) none
SOC 0570 Studies in Suicide 4) none
SOC 0652 Collective Behavior (4) none
SOC 0504 Development of Modern Sociology (4) none
SOC 0680 Ethnic Groups in America (4) none
SOC 0562 Criminal Law (4) none
SOC 0523 Sociology of Organization (4) none
SOC 0525 Demography (4) covered as related to population problems.
SOC 0535 Proseminar in Social Psychology (4) none
SOC 0680 Police and Community (4) none
SOC 0580 Social Gerontology (4) none
SOC 0580 World Poverty (4) none
SOC 0580 Theories of Social Problems (4) none
SOC 0580 Sociology of Sport (4) none
SOC 0580 Applied Social Research (4) none
SOC 0502 Modern Social Theory (4) none
SOC 0460 Family and Sex Roles (4) none
SOC 0660 Theories of Criminology (4) none
SOC 0670 Male Sex Roles (4) none
SOC 0660 Myth and Myth Making (4) some coverage as related to world myths
Total hours: 191
Education/Library Science  
ED 3015 Schools and Society (4) none
SSE 4571 Methods Social Stud. Ed. (4) none
SSE 4572 Student Teaching Seminar--High School (4) none
ELE 3321 Literature for Children (4) none
ELE 4312 Student Teaching (Elementary) (16) none
SSH 4572 Student Teaching (Secondary) (16) none
SPE 5404 Diagnostic Speech Improvement (3) none
ELE 3317 Methods & Materials of Lang. Arts Ed. (4) none
EDP 3601 Introduction to the Philosophy of Ed. (4) covered both in the text and in class
LIB 0101 Introduction to Library (4) none
LIB 0103 Introduction to Audio-Visual Material (5) none
IT 5761 Technology in Education (4) none
Total hours: 72
HIS 0201 American Democracy to 1815 (4) none
HIS 0202 American Democracy 1815-1885 (4) none
HIS 0110 The World and the West-Foundations (4) covered briefly
HIS 0120 The World and the West 800-1700 (4) covered rather extensively in both the text and classroom lectures.
HIS 0130 The World and the West-Modern (4) covered in relation to the Scopes trial.
Total hours: 20
Other Course work  
DRT 0111 Lay Out Drafting (4) none
DRT 0112 Production Drafting (4) none
ENG 0205 Composition and Literature (4) none
ENG 151 English I (4) covered indirectly.
ENG 152 English II (4) covered indirectly
ENG 261 Public Speaking (4) not covered
GER 0090 German Ph.D. Reading Requirement German(6) not covered
GRK 0101 Elementary Greek (4) not covered
ENG 0234 English Bible as Literature (4) covered in class discussions
ART 0156 Art Appreciation (4) not covered
PE 0134 Handball (1) none
PE 0135 Archery (1) none
PE 0136 Bowling (1) none

Appendix III

Undergraduate and Graduate Biological Sciences Classes completed in the University of Guelph Honors Program
Course Title Darwinism Content
Fundamental Chemistry None
Organic Chemistry None
Biochemistry None
Introductory Zoology Darwinism discussed or implied in text, at best a minor part of the course
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy Text contained some discussion of evolution, assumed to be true
Biophysics I None
Biophysics II None
Calculus None
Advanced Calculus None
Introductory Statistics None
Genetics None
Electives None
Preveterinary Year (Major course work only)  
Health Management I None
Health Management II None
Animal Nutrition None
Veterinary Embryology None
Year One, Doctor Veterinary Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph  
Veterinary Biochemistry None
Veterinary Anatomy None
Veterinary Physiology None
Veterinary Histology None
Veterinary Bacteriology None (did mention antibiotic resistance)
Veterinary Virology None
Veterinary Parasitology None
Veterinary Medicine I None
Veterinary Genetics None
Health Management I None
Clinical Medicine I None
DVM Year Two  
Health Management II None
Veterinary Pathology None
Clinical Medicine II None
Theriogenology None
Veterinary Anesthesiology None
Principles of Veterinary Surgery None
Veterinary Epidemiology None
DVM Year Three  
Clinical Pathology None
Food Animal Medicine and Surgery None
Bovine Medicine and Surgery None
Equine Medicine and Surgery None
Small Animal Medicine and Surgery None
Surgical Exercises None
Clinical Medicine III None
Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery None
Veterinary Clinical Rotations None
Veterinary Internship None

Jerry Bergman has seven degrees, including in biology, psychology, and evaluation and research, from Wayne State University, in Detroit, Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and Medical College of Ohio in Toledo.  He has taught at Bowling Green State University, the University of Toledo, Medical College of Ohio and at other colleges and universities.  He currently teaches biology, microbiology, biochemistry, and human anatomy at the college level and is a research associate involved in research in the area of cancer genetics.  He has published widely in both popular and scientific journals.  [RETURN TO TOP]

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