Physical Sciences Preservice Teachers’ Religious and Scientific Views Regarding the Origin of the Universe and Life
This paper explores final-year physical sciences preservice teachers’ religious and scientific views regarding the origin of the universe and life. Data was
obtained from 10 preservice teachers from individual in-depth interviews conducted at the end of the Science Method module. Their viewpoints were analyzed using coding, sorting, and categorizing. They attributed the origin of the universe and life to a blend of theistic, intelligent design or scientific beliefs. Moreover, their academic backgrounds, exposure to topics in Cosmology in the Science Method module, and classroom dialogues did not significantly influence or change their original religious beliefs. However, the dialogues did create an awareness of their own reflected positions regarding the tenacity of beliefs in religion and their inadequate cosmological understandings. The paper has implications for Science Education in addressing preservice teachers’ religious beliefs in contrast to scientific evidence.