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Balcombe’s (2000, 2001) case for replacing learning methods that require pain, suffering, and death for animals with methods that do not (computer-assisted learning, three-dimensional models, videotapes, and other alternatives) can be seen as motivated by this evidentialist perspective. Balcombe provided a wealth of empirical evidence from educational studies to show that in most contexts animal dissection is not necessary—and even counterproductive—to achieve valid educational goals, especially higher order goals (concept learning and problem solving). He demonstrated that no sound defense of dissection has been given.


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Balcombe, J. P. (2000). The use of animals in higher education: Problems: Alternatives and recommendations. Washington, DC: Humane Society Press. (Available at

Balcombe, J. P. (2001). Dissection: The scientific case for alternatives. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 4, 118–126.