If you have been reading my posts for a while now, this will come as no surprise: I like order. I am the girl who puts away markers and crayons in rainbow order, who always keeps her money in descending order by denomination, who organizes books on the bookshelf in order of decreasing size…well, you get the idea. So you’d think that I’d love Linnaeus, right? He was all about order…and class, phylum, kingdom, species, genus, and family! It’s all so neat and tidy. Or it would be if it worked—but it doesn’t really.

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I want to start this week’s entry by saying that I really hadn’t intended this topic to take up three posts! It’s just that I kept adding and adding to make it all make more sense and before I knew it, I had 3000 words on dating fossils! Words fly when you’re geeking out…

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Last week, we discussed some of the ways paleontologists order events in Earth’s history—using the principles of original horizontality, superposition, and faunal succession—but we did not talk about actual dates. Let’s do that now.

Who’s up for some chemistry?

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I have a three-year-old daughter who is obsessed with Curious George. I think I can recite every word to every one of the 102 episodes, which means that I know roughly 102 scenarios in which the Man with the Yellow Hat tells George, “Be a good little monkey,” which in turn means my daughter is familiar with the 102 scenes in her favorite show that make her mother yell “APE!” Yes, Curious George is not a monkey; he is a chimpanzee, which makes him an ape, as the Man with the Yellow Hat should well know as a scientific illustrator of some kind and with a scientist (who, alas, wears a lab coat) for a best friend. But I am digressing a little bit because ape vs. monkey is not the subject of this post. The subject is:

Misconception: Humans evolved from monkeys.

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Last week, I discussed the misconception that everything is adaptive. This week, I want to talk about ways we can help our students see and appreciate the wonder of life without their adaptation-everywhere goggles on.

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