Miss Misconception Mondays? You're in luck. Science writers and communicators don’t seem to be reading this blog. Or, at least, they are offering me ample opportunity to revisit some old favorites.
Not every educator experiences pushback when teaching about climate change. When it does happen, though, it can be surprising, particularly for someone who has been teaching for many years. Jana Dean is a middle school science teacher in Olympia, Washington. She has been teaching for over 20 years, but that doesn’t mean that new challenges never arise in her classroom.
The history of the creationism/evolution conflict is stalking me again, and in the unlikeliest contexts. I was recently reading Jason Fagone’s Horsemen of the Esophagus (2006), a book about competitive eating that I acquired on a whim from a used book store in Clovis, California. In a chapter entitled “The Gurgitator Islands”—“gurgitator” is the trademarked term for competitive eaters preferred by the International Federation of Competitive Eating—Fagone relates his visit in March 2005 to Metairie, Louisiana, to attend the Acme World Oyster Eating Championship. While there, he encountered a seventy-eight-year-old federal judge who proudly displayed a plaque commemorating a feat from his younger days: eating forty-one oysters in a minute. “If they gave me two minutes, I think I could eat my age,” he bragged: that would be thirty-nine oysters in a minute. (That’s nothing: the current record for the event is apparently forty-seven dozen oysters in eight minutes, averaging to 70.5 oysters per minute.)
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.
I admit, I thought more of you would get the locality! To me “famous locality” plus light sandy color could only be the Solnhofen limestone.
We covered the Burgess Shale in my last Fossil Friday, and this week keeps up the theme of famous localities.
In part 1, I described how I responded to an interesting question about the extinction of the Neanderthals. My correspondent was perplexed. Although he could see how competition, disease, interbreeding, and hunting might have reduced the population of the Neanderthals appreciably, he didn’t see how any of these forces could have driven them to extinction. It’s a big planet, after all, and various hominids had managed to coexist on it for a long time.
Lindsay Miller was an intern in spring 2014 at NCSE, where she worked with Minda Berbeco on the Understanding Global Change project. She is a student at Colorado College.
This month’s evolution resource comes from a marvelous site full of great stuff and with deep ties to NCSE: the Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes (ENSI). Who wants to “dig” for “fossils”?