Re: EvolutionVsDevelopment

Brian T. Greuel (
Sat, 25 Jan 1997 02:04:55 -0500

Gilbert's "Developmental Biology" text published by Sinauer Associates,
Inc. is currently in its 4th edition (copyright 1994). You may also
want to check out Klaus Kalthoff's text, "Analysis of Biological
Development," published by McGraw-Hill, Inc. (copyright 1996). Unlike
Gilbert, the Kalthoff text does not have a separate chapter devoted to
developmental mechanisms of evolutionary change, but most of the
concepts in Gilbert's chapter are included in various chapters of the
Kalthoff text. I've decided to switch to the Kalthoff text for my
Developmental Biology course this Spring.

Perhaps I should take this opportunity to introduce myself. I have been
a silent participant in this listserver for quite some time; this is my
first posting. I am currently an Assistant Professor of Biology at the
University of Scranton in Scranton, PA. Besides teaching General
Biology, I teach lecture and laboratory courses in Cellular Biology and
Developmental Biology. My research relates primarily to cellular and
molecular mechanisms of trophoblast development in mice.

I have followed many of the discussions on this listserver with great
interest. If I may, I'd like to propose a new topic for discussion. I
would be interested in hearing how professors at secular and Christian
colleges/universities integrate their faith in the teaching of
science-related courses. How much freedom do you feel you have inside
or outside the classroom? What, specifically, do you do in the
classroom or in your interactions with individual students (or other
faculty and staff) to communicate your faith?

I teach at a Jesuit university, but I am an active member of an
Evangelical Free Church. Although there may be a little more tolerance
for discussing matters of faith in the classroom compared to a fully
secular university, I do feel a bit stifled at times. I am always
looking for "creative" ways to share my faith with my students. My
lectures on the origin of life and cellular evolution provide a good
opportunity to point out diverse viewpoints, but I could probably do
more to integrate faith into these discussions. In my Developmental
Biology course, we have had discussions on ethical and moral
implications of various human reproductive technologies. Each of these
discussions in the classroom has spawned excellent discussions with
individual students outside of the classroom. There have been a few
occasions where a meeting with a troubled student has led to an
unexpected opportunity to share my faith in Jesus Christ. Aside from
this, I try to conduct myself in such a way that will communicate
Christian values, albeit on a more subtle level.


Brian Greuel OR