Sorry for the dearth of new posts — classes start this week and my wife and I have been too busy to write. But in case you missed it, here’s a quick interview with Bill Nye (the Science Guy). In it, Nye discusses his love of evolutionary biology. He says, “When you’re in love, you want to tell the world.” So Nye’s in love with evolution and I am, too.
Teachers operate on the assumption that students are “empty vessels” they can fill with new information. But many students begin classes with assumptions about the world that, although intuitive, are actually incorrect. For example, many students incorrectly believe that individuals can evolve or that all members of a species evolve together. Teachers assume that instruction and testing will make students understand that both of these assumptions are wrong and that only populations evolve. However, recent research suggests that simply providing students with factual information doesn’t make them drop their faulty assumptions. As it turns out, old misconceptions die hard. Continue reading →
The GOP presidential candidates have been in a race to announce either their acceptance or skepticism of scientific topics like evolution and global climate change. I’ve previously commented on both Michelle Bachmann’s and Rick Perry’s stance on evolution. Both Bachmann and Perry support teaching Intelligent Design Creationism in public schools, and so I’ve dumbed them IDiots. Well, now former Utah Governor and US Ambassador John Huntsman made his position known via Twitter — and you’re in for a surprise! Continue reading →
If you’re like me, the first thing you read when you open Sunday’s newspaper is the comics. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in twenty years of reading the comics, it’s that being featured in the funny pages is usually an ignoble privilege at best. Well, this Sunday, cartoonist Garry Trudeau lampooned Louisiana’s Science Education Act (LSEA) in his famous comic strip Doonsbury.