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Changes in Evolutionary Acceptance Following Introductory Biology, 2011-2021

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Sawyer Baum

In 2019 Miller and colleagues found that 52% of the general public accepted evolution compared to only 45% in 1985. This change in acceptance is most likely influenced by multiple factors, education, decreased religiosity, age, role models, and survey format (Miller et al., 2006; Barnes et al., 2019; Holt et al., 2018 & Pew Research Center, 2019). Our objective in this study was to identify any trends that might have been present among Introductory Biology students at a large public university over 2011-2021. During that time period students were asked if they accepted biological evolution before and after the semester's instruction. We found an increase in both student's acceptance of evolution over that time period with 25% of students accepting evolution in 2011 and 44% in 2021. In this study, there were two types of course delivery, face-to-face and online courses, all of which were given the same question and survey delivery. There was no significant difference in acceptance between course structure as there was a 28% and 26% increase on average in acceptance for face-to-face courses and online courses following respectively. Overall, acceptance of evolution is increasing among Introductory Biology students both prior and after the semester.
University / Institution: Utah Valley University
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION D (3:30-5:00PM)
Area of Research: Science & Technology
Faculty Mentor: T. Heath Ogden
Location: Union Building, COLLEGIATE ROOM (3:30pm)