The origin and evolution of life in Pakistani High School Biology

Anila Asghar, Jason R. Wiles, Brian Alters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This study seeks to inform science education practitioners and researchers in the West about apparent attempts to reconcile science and religion in Pakistan's public school curriculum. We analysed the national high school science curriculum and biology textbooks (English) used in the Government schools in Pakistan, where Islamic faith is the cornerstone of the national curriculum, and we found that both religious and scientific perspectives are treated in relation to the origin and evolution of life. The religious text presented in the curriculum draws on the relevant Quranic verses about creation, while the scientific text discusses naturalistic, evidence-based theories about the biochemical origin of life and evolution. Evolution by natural selection is discussed in detail along with the evidence supporting the scientific understanding of evolutionary history. Interestingly, where scripture is presented in the biology textbooks, it is generally interpreted to be compatible with evolutionary understandings of the living world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Biology curriculum
  • Evolution
  • Islam
  • Pakistan
  • Science education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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