In honor of the 100th anniversary of Alfred Russel Wallace’s death, I thought I’d post an essay I wrote for a special biogeography issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach. Wallace, in addition to being a co-discoverer of evolution through natural selection, is also the father of biogeography.
Last week, in a desperate attempt to do anything but a skull, I gave you an invertebrate specimen from our planet's past. Who was this delightful shrimp-like creature?
It was the infamous Waptia fieldensis from the Burgess Shale in what is now British Columbia. According to the UCMP website, "the Burgess Shale represents one of the most diverse and well-preserved fossil localities in the world."
Photograph by Steve Newton
Congrats! You survived the month-long Day of the Dead Skull-a-thon. In celebration of our first non-skull Fossil Friday in a long time, I decided to go non-vertebrate...or rather, invertebrate, as some might say.
Who was this lucky fellow?
First one to get it right wins bragging rights for a week.
A friend e-mailed the other day wondering just how many people in the United States are young-earth creationists.
The answer begins with a question the Gallup poll has been asking since the early ’80s:
Update: The survey described below reflects the input from a group of self-selected educators, not a randomized sample. A more robust national survey to determine whether, where, and how climate and global change topics are being taught is much needed, but until such a survey is deployed, the "user needs" survey described below provides a snapshot of the interests and practices of many science educators today in the United States.
Stefaan Blancke, a postdoctoral researcher in the department of philosophy and moral sciences at Ghent University in Belgium, and the lead author of “Creationism in Europe: Facts, Gaps, and Prospects,” is here to answer a few questions about the article, as described in part 1.
You would be surprised how hard it is to light a candy bar on fire. Last week I had an inspiring adventure in middle school science education: I was invited to help my son Robert and his classmates burn food for science. Robert is an eighth grader at a Roman Catholic school in Berkeley, California, the School of the Madeleine. With very high academic standards the Madeleine achieves excellent results, and its alums move on to fine universities and distinguished careers.
Discussing creationism in 1999, Stephen Jay Gould contended, “This controversy is as locally and distinctively American as apple pie and Uncle Sam.” But even before Gould offered his view, the historian of science Ronald L. Numbers had already devoted a section of his monumental history of creation science, The Creationists (1992), to the global spread of creationism, observing, “By the 1990s scientific creationism, though made in America, had become a small-scale international phenomenon.”