The latest issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach


The latest issue of Evolution: Education and Outreach — the new journal promoting the accurate understanding and comprehensive teaching of evolutionary theory for a wide audience — is now published. The theme for the issue (volume 4, number 3) is Material Cultural Evolution, edited by Anna Prentis. Articles include "Get Rad! The Evolution of the Skateboard Deck"; "Patterns of Evolution in Iranian Tribal Textiles"; "Exploring Mouse Trap History" (which will be of particular interest to anyone familiar with the use of the mouse trap in the "intelligent design" literature); "Convergent Evolutionary Paths in Biological and Technological Networks"; "Natural Selection and Material Culture"; and "History Written in Stone: Evolutionary Analysis of Stone Tools in Archeology." Plus there are various articles on the teaching of evolution, book reviews, and commentaries.

Also included is the latest installment of NCSE's regular column, Overcoming Obstacles to Evolution Education. In "Banning Evolution," NCSE's Eric Meikle discusses the history of statutory bans on teaching evolution, devoting attention to a 1929 article in Popular Science describing how educators in Arkansas and Tennessee were planning to cope with the ban. Despite the eventual demise of such bans, he writes, "Unfortunately, there are still teachers who seem to have imposed a ban on themselves: Berkman and others (2008) report that 2% of high school biology teachers responding to their survey omit the topic of evolution altogether, with as many as 17% omitting the topic of human evolution altogether. ... We may not have advanced as far from the days of banning evolution as we would like to believe."