Evolution Resources

Here is a list of resources that may aid you in teaching evolution. Most of these resources are national organizations offering practical advice and perspectives about how to teach evolution and how to respond to challenges and questions from students and parents:

National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA) Evolution Resources
Evolution Resources is a web-based evolution resource site for science teachers. The latest “NSTA Reports” for Sept/Oct. 2005 published a portion of the Frequently Asked Questions from the site. NSTA offers good, practical advice for classroom teachers in dealing with the variety of protests/complaints/comments that might arise from students who are part of creationist families. Please note that there are many varieties of creationism from Intelligent Design at one end of the spectrum to strict, young-Earth, literal Genesis Biblical creationists at the other. (See the National Center for Science Education site for more information on this spectrum.) The NSTA site is available to members and non-members alike.

National Center for Science Education (NCSE): Defending the Teaching of Evolution in the Public Schools
NCSE provides resources to support the teaching of evolution in public schools. NCSE is a nationally-recognized clearinghouse for information and advice to keep evolution in the science classroom and "scientific creationism" out. NCSE is the only national organization to specialize in this issue. NCSE provides:

  • Reviews of current anti-evolution activity in the United States and around the world
  • Background to the fundamentally creationist and anti-evolution movement known as "Intelligent Design"
  • Detailed information on the Creation/Evolution controversy from 1859 to the present
  • Resources for parents, teachers, school boards, and the general public
  • Links to statements from professional scientific organizations regarding evolution.

Contact NCSE if you need advice, information, or help in defending the teaching of evolution. They also work to increase public understanding of evolution and of the nature of scientific knowledge.

Talk Origins is a Usenet newsgroup devoted to the discussion and debate of biological and physical origins. Most discussions in the newsgroup center on the creation/evolution controversy, but other topics of discussion include the origin of life, geology, biology, catastrophism, cosmology and theology.

The Talk.Origins Archive is a collection of articles and essays, most of which have appeared in talk.origins at one time or another. The primary reason for this archive's existence is to provide mainstream scientific responses to the many frequently asked questions (FAQs) that appear in the talk.origins newsgroup and the frequently rebutted assertions of those advocating intelligent design or other creationist pseudosciences.

University of California Museum of Paleontology: Understanding Evolution This is an especially useful resource for teachers. Topics include: What is evolution and how does it work? How does evolution impact my life? What is the evidence for evolution? What is the history of evolutionary theory? The site explores both learning about evolution and teaching evolution with a special section for teachers that clear explanations of common misconceptions about evolution.

Evolution and Natural Selection Online Lecture
An online lecture (copyright, Regents of University of Michigan) that clearly describes the basic principles and scientific basis of evolution: adaptation and natural selection. Teachers as well as students have many misconceptions about adaptation and natural selection, and this may be a useful resource as a review for the teacher.

"Evolution: a journey into where we’re from and where we’re going"
PBS has a robust site on teaching and learning evolution supporting its seven episode NOVA series, Evolution: a journey into where we’re from and where we’re going.

The site includes seven lesson pages for students and seven short online videos for students.

PRINT: American Geological Institute: Evolution and the Fossil Record
This non-technical introduction to evolution, produced by the American Geological Institute in cooperation with the Paleontological Society, aims to help the general public gain a better understanding of one of the fundamental underlying concepts of modern science. Colorful photos, drawings, and illustrations complement the authors' conversational style as they discuss geologic time; change through time; Darwin's theory of evolution; evolution as a mechanism for change; the nature of species; the nature of theory; paleontology, geology, and evolution; and determining the age of fossils and rocks. Four "case study" examples from the fossil record - evolution of vertebrate legs, evolution of birds, evolution of mammals, and evolution of whales - are presented to provide a time perspective for understanding the evolution of life on Earth. The booklet contains straightforward definitions as well as discussions of complex ideas. Booklet available for purchase, to view online, or as a PDF file to print (36 pages, color).

PRINT: An Ancient Universe: How Astronomers Know the Vast Scale of Cosmic Time
The Ancient Universe-How Astronomers Know the Vast Scale of Cosmic Time is a publication for teachers, parents and students on the age of the universe, and the evidence scientists have for the big bang, evolution of galaxies and stars. This is a non-technical publication intended to assist people in learning about the universe, and in dealing with creationists who are now also taking on geology and astronomy. Order or download the booklet

PRINT: “Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science”
an excellent introduction for the teacher with 8 activities that introduce science as a process, and evidence supporting evolution. The Frequently Asked Questions deals directly with common questions asked by teachers and students about teaching and learning evolution, and why creationism is not an alternative scientific theory. There are useful appendices on the US Supreme Court decisions regarding teaching evolution as well as references to statements by religious organizations and scientific societies. This is from the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, and is highly useful for middle and high school teachers. “Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science” is available as a paperback book, or free-of-charge online at the National Academies Press Online.

PRINT: “Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Science”
An excellent short publication on evolution in the broadest terms. It presents an overview of the origin and evolution of the universe, the planet, life and humans. There is a section on creationism, and frequently asked questions about evolution and creationism (adapted from “Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science”). “Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Science” is available as a paperback book, or free-of-charge online at the National Academies Press Online.

PRINT: “Voyages Through Time”
The SETI Institute is a scientific research organization that seeks to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. In partnership with NSF, NASA, the California Academy of Sciences, and San Francisco State University, the Institute’s education team developed “Voyages Through Time,” a high school science curriculum in 6 modules: Cosmic Evolution, Planetary Evolution, Origin of Life, Evolution of Life, Hominid Evolution and Evolution of Technology.

To purchase the publication go to:

Sampler CD-ROMs (free): request at ed_dept@seti.org

"Voyages Through Time" does have online resources, including sample lessons and more are available at: