Posted on May 01, 2014 * Comments

Andrew C. Moore

What is it with the surname Moore? It’s common, of course: the eighteenth most common surname in the United States according to the census results for 2000. Even so, the creationism/evolution controversy seems to attract more than its share of Moores.

Posted on April 30, 2014 * Comments

My visit to Heron Island revealed that evolution does not always generate elegant or even obviously efficient solutions. Instead, the island ecosystem, with its bird-killing trees and turtle-gobbling sharks, is built on what appear to be profligately inefficient exploitation of the rich resources generated by the reef.

Posted on April 29, 2014 * Comments

In “Your Neil Shubin and friendInner Monkey,” the third episode of PBS’s “Your Inner Fish,” Neil Shubin did his usual globe-trotting to meet interesting scientists and fossils while we learn about our ancestors gaining traits that humans now have—opposable thumbs, finger and toe nails, bipedalism, large brains, and bad backs.  It’s a pretty short list (mammary glands were not mentioned) but Shubin gave extensive airtime visiting two researchers on NCSE’s Advisory Council, Donald Johanson and Tim White.

Posted on April 29, 2014 * Comments

“Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?” by Savile Lumley

How would the creationism-evolution controversy have been different if World War I had never happened? Today the question is answered by Adam Laats, Associate Professor of Education and History at Binghamton University (SUNY). He is the author of The Other School Reformers: Conservative Activism in American Education (forthcoming). He blogs about conservatism, creationism, and education at I Love You but You’re Going to Hell.

Posted on April 28, 2014 * Comments

Last week on Fossil Friday, I presented you with a tooth from a sea animal. What is it? I asked. Where is it from? Many of you were quick to identify it as a shark tooth, but Dr. GS Hurd was the first to get the species right: Otodus obliquus.

From the Australian Museum:

Posted on April 26, 2014 * Comments

In last Sunday's Cosmos episode, “The Clean Room,” Neil deGrasse Tyson gave one of the most detailed and compelling explanations of how we know the age of the Earth. This predictably made some creationists grumpy.

grand canyon

Posted on April 25, 2014 * Comments

Today in Oakland we actually got hit by what is becoming a rare occurrence around here—rain. The streets are flooded, my garden is blooming, and people are running through the streets screaming "I'm melting! I'm melting!"...Californians, you know?

Posted on April 25, 2014 * Comments


Steve Newton and I have shared Cosmos reviewing duties, and this week Neil deGrasse Tyson and his team served us an overflowing plate.

Posted on April 24, 2014 * Comments

When esteemed experts question the value of education in addressing climate change–which  happened to me again last week at Stanford–I’m initially surprised. But then I remind myself that, while they may be experts in their realm, they don't necessarily appreciate the worth of providing young people with the background and skills so they can understand the causes, effects, risks, and responses to climate change.

Posted on April 24, 2014 * Comments

Back left: Glenn Branch, Ann Reid, Bill Nye, Genie Scott
Front left: Joshua Rosenau, Minda Berbeco, Lindsay Miller

What's it like to intern with the National Center for Science Education? Lindsay Miller, a current NCSE intern and undergraduate student at Northwestern University, shares her insights.