IntroductionExeter College students met Egenis professors to consider Darwin’s impact on religious faith.
The 25 students, all working towards the International Baccalaureate, took time out from their regular curriculum to hear different points of view about the effect of the theory of evolution in a workshop on 11 March organised by Egenis as part of the Darwin200 celebrations.
Professors John Dupré and John Bryant spoke about whether or not the theory of evolution first put forward by Darwin 150 years ago undermines religious faith, while Professor Barry Barnes asked the students to consider how far the arguments on either side relied upon the words of ‘authorities’ and how easily those were accepted.
The students, all studying biology with the College’s head of Maths and Science Dr Andy Truscott, debated what they had heard in small groups before presenting their ideas to the whole class.
The opportunity to talk over what they had heard and to present their own ideas was welcomed by the students. “I thought it was really good to let us get involved with our own discussions and let us express our views to the rest of the class,” said one. “The group discussion was cool!” agreed another.
“It’s great to have the students step slightly outside the usual curriculum and think about what they are learning from another perspective,” said Dr Truscott. “We look forward to working with staff from Egenis again on other topics.”
“The students were a receptive and a thoughtful audience,” said Professor Dupré. “They asked some excellent questions and put forward some very good points.”