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Research by DYC Professor Shows Majority of Biology Students Accept Evolution

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Research by DYC Professor Shows Majority of Biology Students Accept Evolution

Research by DYC Professor Shows Majority of Biology Students Accept Evolution

Martin Kelly, PhD, assistant professor of biology, will have his research presented at the prestigious Oxford Education Research Symposium.

Buffalo, New York – July 7, 2015 – Martin G. Kelly, PhD assistant professor of biology at D’Youville College, is the co-author and lead investigator of a major research project titled “Simultaneous Measurement of the Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution at Regionally Distinct College."

The project has been accepted and will be presented at the prestigious Oxford Education Research Symposium at Pembroke College, Oxford University, England in December by the project’s co-author David W. Allard, PhD, professor of biology at Texas A&M University-Texarkana.

“The survey has twenty statements that a respondent evaluates and was sent to introductory Biology students,” Kelly said.

“Six items were designed to capture descriptive demographic information and included gender, ethnicity, religious identity, academic major, academic class and college.”

The survey revealed the average acceptance score for evolution was 69.6 points out of a possible 100 points.

Three major survey areas where students were the most undecided include the concept that the theory of evolution cannot be tested scientifically, if organisms on earth come into existence at about the same time, and that the theory of evolution cannot be correct since it disagrees with the biblical account of creation.

“Statistical analysis found that the overall acceptance of evolution was dependent on the student’s religious identity or the college they attended,” Kelly said.

By using this survey in Introductory Biology before instruction on evolution at select colleges the professors claim to have identified the evolutionary concepts that the students have difficulty accepting.

“This information can be used to develop a strategy to address student misconceptions,” Kelly stated.

The Oxford Education Research Symposium is a forum for presentation of papers and discourse by scholars who have a particular interest in the theory and practice of universal education.

Dr. Kelly is a graduate of the University of Tennessee where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Zoology and a master’s degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Indiana University. His Ph.D. is from the University of Texas in Austin and he was a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Ecology & Evolution at the University of Chicago.

Contact:

Dr. Martin Kelly

Phone: 829-7885 or martink@dyc.edu

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