Posted on September 02, 2015 * Comments

Thomas Henry Huxley

Although William Paley’s Natural Theology (1802) represented a tradition of thinking about the natural world that was supplanted by Darwin’s revolution, Darwin himself expressed admiration for Paley. In his autobiography, for example, he mentions having read Paley’s Natural Theology as well as his View of the Evidences of Christianity and Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy at Cambridge University: “The careful study of these works...was the only part of the academical course which, as I then felt and as I still believe, was of the least use to me in the education of my mind.” Writing to John Lubbock on November 22, 1859—two days before the publication of the Origin of
—he confided, “I do not think I hardly ever admired a book more than Paley’s Natural Theology: I could almost formerly have said it by heart.—”

Posted on September 01, 2015 * Comments

AP GeologyClimate change is the most urgent existential issue we face, yet education about climate change is often missing in action from K–12 schools. Every high school offers biology courses, but few offer earth science courses in which climate change would be a major topic. Why?

Posted on August 31, 2015 * Comments

Nikita Daryanani is a summer intern at NCSE. She recently graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning, and is interested in global climate change and environmental justice.

Posted on August 31, 2015 * Comments

Last week, I unleashed my inner Ansel Adams and gave you a dramatically lit fossil with distinct ridges. What was it?

Posted on August 28, 2015 * Comments

It’s a piece of modern sculpture! It’s a hilly landscape! It’s....what the heck is this thing? Fridays are always better with fossils, no?

Posted on August 27, 2015 * Comments

paris hilton that's hotJuly was hot. It was the hottest July on record, but more than this: it was the warmest month ever recorded on Earth. Let that sink in a moment. The first seven months of 2015 were all record breakers, and 2015 is on track to take the record for warmest recorded year. As Paris Hilton likes to say, “That’s hot.”

Posted on August 26, 2015 * Comments

Darwin quotation at the Field Museum. Photograph: Andrew Crusoe,, used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) license quotation at the Field Museum. Photograph: Andrew Crusoe,, used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) license

Posted on August 24, 2015 * Comments

The Grand Canyon rafters, in Red Wall CavernThe best thing about NCSE’s Grand Canyon trip is the rafters. Also, the Canyon itself. And the food. And the amazing guides who run the boats and cook the meals and lead the hikes and know every bit of river lore you could desire.

Among the best things about NCSE’s Grand Canyon trip are the rafters.

Posted on August 24, 2015 * Comments

Last Friday we examined a very geometric view of an unusual fossil. Here it is in full, complete with scale.



Posted on August 21, 2015 * Comments

This week on Fossil Friday we have a specimen that I think looks super-metal. Check it out. Extremely spiky and dangerous.



Also, no scale bars in the picture, but I will tell you that this fossil is not small. Frankly, it is big enough that lifting it was a bad idea on my part. The first person to identify it wins bragging rights for the week!