We start evolution soon.
I've already had enlightening literature left on my desk:
If you reject Jesus, your Creator, that will be your worst mistake ever! You'll be in the lake of fire with billions of others who believe we evolved from monkeys.
I never tell anyone we evolved from monkeys, because it's simply not true. Half of teaching descent with modification is unteaching the nonsense people already believe. I'm not talking about religion; I'm talking about bad science.
Again, I will start with a seemingly simple question: which is more evolved, a sophomore high school student or an earthworm?
It's a trick question--humans and worms have been descending from a common ancestor for a long time now, but neither holds an advantage in time.
I suppose the correct answer would be that neither is more evolved than the other. Since earthworms have had more generations to evolve, though, I'll give the edge to them this year.
That will go over well at dinner--"Mom, Dr. D says earthworms are more evolved than you are."
Our universes collided yesterday, human and earthworm. I was doing a human thing, diverting water using my brains, my fingers, and my credit card. The earthworm was doing its thing, munching through soil, warmed by the composting earth I just dug up to bury a discharge pipe.
Which of us is better adapted for its environment? Which of us will successfully reproduce ten thousand more generations?
The mysterious appearance of Moving On Up, as creepy as it is, does have a bright side--at least a few of my students will be unusually attentive, looking for chinks in my armor.
Hey, they're only 15 years old--there's hope.
I fear more for my students who believe in evolution, and try to rise to my defense when the monkey muckers start tossing pamphlets at me. Their smug acceptance of a theory they do not yet grasp is ultimately more dangerous.
The heart of Darwin's work, the dark and terrible beauty that makes On the Origin of Species such a powerful work, is the overwhelming evidence that natural selection is sufficient to explain speciation from common ancestors.
Chance variations in heritable characteristics separated me from the earthorm, both of us from a common ancestor, both of us now reasonably suited for our respective habitats.
When you grasp this, your universe shifts.
Best I can hope for now is to expose my kids to the evidence, and at least keep monkeys out of the equation.
I don't need believers. I need skeptics.
Maybe I'll even shift a universe or two.