You know how they used to peddle orange juice by saying, “It isn’t just for breakfast any more?” That’s how I feel about informal science education. No, silly: not that it isn’t just for breakfast any more. That it isn’t just for kids any more. (Unlike Trix, silly rabbit, which are just for kids.)
Last Friday we took a look at a nicely preserved fossil from the Pennsylvanian. Since this is Answer Monday, I will drop the cagey act and tell you now that it is clearly a plant. Here you can see the fossil with scale.
This week on Fossil Friday, we have a lovely specimen.
We’ve been developing some new initiatives at NCSE to try and better serve teachers. After all, teachers are ultimately going to make the difference if the next generation is to get an evidence-based science education.
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 Species—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.—”
Climate 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?
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.
Last week, I unleashed my inner Ansel Adams and gave you a dramatically lit fossil with distinct ridges. What was it?
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?
July 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.”