Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis
by Tim Flannery
NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Tim Flannery's Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis (Grove Press, 2016). The preview consists of chapter 4, "How Are the Animals Doing?", and the Afterword. Tim Flannery is a scientist, explorer, conservationist, and author. From 2001 to 2013 he was Australia's climate commissioner.+ read
by Rob Wesson
NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Rob Wesson's Darwin's First Theory: Exploring Darwin's Quest for a Theory of Earth (Pegasus Books, 2017). The preview consists of chapter 14, "From Natural Selection to Plate Tectonics," which offers a personal and historical exploration of the connections between Darwin's travel and science and the development of+ read
Anti-evolutionists get a lot of mileage out of this chestnut because it uses scientific terms like “thermodynamics” and “entropy” to bolster their contention that evolution is unscientific. In fact, local increases in complexity/order are not only completely consistent with thermodynamics, but even expected by the theory. Nevertheless, anti-evolutionists contend: “Evolutionary theory stands in obvious defiance of the Second Law” and “Evolution teaches that life increases in complexity, and therefore defies the second law. …The second law says that everything in our world
In the March 25, 2005, issue of Science, paleontologist Mary Schweitzer and her co-authors reported the discovery of intact blood vessels and other soft tissues in demineralized bone from a 65- million-year–old specimen of Tyrannosaurus rex housed at the Museum of the Rockies (MOR). Scientists’ reaction to this discovery has been cautious; Schweitzer and others have not provided the biochemical data necessary to decide whether or not the “flexible vascular tissue that demonstrated great elasticity and resilience” is, in fact, T rex soft tissue. But while+ read
In 1965, the young American scientist Leland Hartwell had to make a decision crucial to his research on understanding how cells divide, a key step toward curing cancer.
Hartwell had to decide whether to place his bet on simple single-celled organisms like baker's yeast, which were easy to study but might be too distantly related to humans for the information to matter. Or he had to cast his lot on cells from humans and mice, which were clearly relevant but difficult to study. Hartwell gambled that over the course of evolution, certain genes would be so important that natural
On August 21, 2005, The New York Times published an article entitled "Politicized scholars put evolution on the defensive." This otherwise excellent article unfortunately contained several errors that resulted from treating some false information from the Discovery Institute as accurate. One major error was accepting the claim that New Mexico has "embraced the institute's 'teach the controversy' approach." This is absolutely false, as the following evidence will show.
New Mexico Standards Development Process and History
New Mexico's Public Education+ read
As I was working on a proposal for a project at the Evolution Education Research Centre at McGill University in Montréal, I received an e-mail from an old friend back in Arkansas, where I was raised, whom I had known since high school. She was concerned about a problem her father was having at work. "Bob" is a geologist and a teacher at a science education institution that services several Arkansas public school districts. My friend did not know the details of Bob's problem, only that it had to do with evolution. This was enough to arouse my interest, so I invited Bob to tell me about what+ read
A PDF version of this article is available here.
1) Quality Control: So much of the mass communication of evolution is dull and uninspiring. For example, the AIBS-sponsored video Evolution: Why Bother? is tragically bad — nothing but talking heads and still images. Any introductory film student could have explained to them that in film and video the primary communication takes place through the images presented. When all we show are faces talking, we communicate virtually nothing. We need the simple, honest feedback
Please note: This text is part of Species, Kinds, and Evolution, by John Wilkins, Reports of NCSE 26 (4), 2006.
Summary of 26 species concepts
There are numerous species "concepts" at the research and practical level in the scientific literature. Mayden's (1997) list of 22 distinct species concepts along with synonyms is a useful starting point for a review. I have added authors where I can locate them in addition to Mayden's references, and I have tried to give the concepts names,
Creationists oppose the idea that species can evolve indefinitely and charge evolutionary biologists with failing to define their terms properly. In this article I want to trace briefly the history of the idea of species and show that it is in fact a virtue of biology that it tries to make its terms follow the evidence rather than to define them all up front. The idea that species were universally thought to be fixed prior to Darwin is simply wrong — many creationist thinkers of the classical period through to the 19th century thought that species
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