Posted on February 09, 2016 * Comments

What do you do when you learn that an ally is a science denier?

Posted on February 08, 2016 * Comments

This past month I’ve slept terribly and it’s all because of the Big Bang. You see I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with Brian Kruse over at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific on a teacher workshop about the Big Bang this week (and again at NSTA next month).

Posted on February 08, 2016 * Comments

As I anticipated, you guys jumped all over this one. Congratulations to Dan Coleman, who got it right in about 0.3 picoseconds.

What is it? Edaphosaurus boanerges!

Posted on February 05, 2016 * Comments

Ce n’est pas un football Just a few choice reads this weekend because I know you’ll all be busy watching the Super Bowl L festivities. Wait, you don’t know what that is? It’s a football game—football, it turns out, is quite popular in the U.S. This is the last football game of the year and it’s being played right here in San Francisco. Well, technically, about an hour away in Santa Clara, but don’t let the organizers know that, since they’ve taken over much of downtown San Francisco with a Super Bowl “City.” Anyhoo, once that’s out of the way, we can get back to watching the Warriors play the most beautiful basketball ever. Or reading about science. Your call.

Posted on February 05, 2016 * Comments

I’m not going to lie, guys: I’m still feeling pretty smug about stumping you all last week. Will I be able to do it again? I rather doubt it. Surely you’ll recognize this creature. It’s the next stop on my tour of awesome backbones. If you know what it is and leave the first comment identifying it here, you’ll get to brag about it all next week!

Until Monday!

Posted on February 03, 2016 * Comments

John Hutton Balfour, via Wikimedia Commons

Carelessness, thy name is T. T. Martin. Martin (1862–1939) was, as you’ll recall, the Mississippi evangelist described by Ronald L. Numbers in The Creationists (1992) as “among the earliest and most outspoken critics of evolution … an itinerant evangelist with a reputation for combining doctrinal fanaticism with compassionate Christianity,” perhaps best remembered for his unforgettably titled indictment of the teaching of evolution Hell and the High Schools (1923). Here at the Science League of America I’ve mentioned his attempting to hoax Maynard Shipley (the founder of the original Science League of America) and his being hoaxed in turn in Dayton, Tennessee, by H. L. Mencken and Henry M. Hyde, and more recently I investigated his use of a quotation from “Sir Roredick Murchison”—a typographical error, obviously, for Sir Roderick Murchison (1792–1871)—in chapter 5 of Hell and the High Schools, entitled “Evolution Repudiated by Great Scientists and Scholars.”

Posted on February 01, 2016 * Comments

Last week, I told you that you’d all recognize this specimen once I told you what it was, and I stand by that. Meet Deinonychus.

Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

You don’t recognize the name? Or the skull? Well, do you recognize this foot?

Posted on January 29, 2016 * Comments
The Apollo 10 crew: Gene Cernan, John Young, Tom StaffordThe Apollo 10 crew, credited as the fastest people in history.
Posted on January 28, 2016 * Comments

This week’s fossil will be familiar, I’m sure, to all of you once it’s revealed. As presented here, however, it is perhaps not obvious to most of you. I’m being cryptic, I know… so here’s a hint: I’m feeling thematic, so this week’s fossil is in some way connected to last week’s

Have you figured it out yet?

Catch you Monday!

Posted on January 28, 2016 * Comments

NCSE’s Science Booster Clubs are off to a great start in 2016. We now have clubs operating at four locations: our original club in Iowa City, as well as three new clubs in West Branch, Cedar Rapids, and Clear Creek Amana. Membership is growing, and so is community enthusiasm. We have fun science events on the calendar from January to June throughout our region. And momentum is building—we’ve connected with more people in the last week than we did in our first four months (and our first four months weren’t too shabby)!