Monthly Archives: June 2008

Evolution 2008, Day 3: Evolution in the Classroom

There were presentations on Sunday about at least two software packages that allow students to investigate evolutionary processes in the classroom. Rob Pennock gave a talk about Avida-ED, a version of the Avida artificial life platform that adds a graphical user interface with a number of features useful for interactive use. Typically, running Avida is… Read More »

The Practice of Science: Broken

I’m going to make what is likely to be taken as an extreme criticism. I hope to start some discussion by this, and perhaps get people to think about a problem in a somewhat different way. So here goes… Back in graduate school, Diane and I would attend conferences with our advisor, Bill Evans. At… Read More »

Evolution 2008, Day 3: Encyclopedia of Life

I just heard a talk about the Encyclopedia of Life, a project to put up a page for every named species. They already have something like a million pages up, though many are stubs. Another aspect of their project is to digitize every publication touching upon taxonomy. That reminded me of a draft post I’ve… Read More »

Louisiana: An Open Letter to Gov. Jindal

The Louisiana legislature has passed a bill allowing teachers to insert essentially whatever they want into curricula about evolutionary science. The only thing that remains is for Governor Jindal to either sign it into law or allow it to take effect without his signature, and thus the only thing to stop it is a veto… Read More »

Evolution 2008, Day 1

I arrived last night here in Minneapolis. This morning, Weezie Mead from NCSE and I made our way over to the Bell Museum of Science for a K-12 Education workshop. The primary goal was to provide teachers with materials about effective teaching of evolutionary science to students. This evening, there was a reception at the… Read More »

Things That Make You Go, “Hmmmm.”

For the past several weeks, I’ve been getting email from L. Scott Smith announcing his new blog. I took a look on the first email, but it wasn’t really the sort of thing I’m looking for in reading material. And then there were the repetitions, with as many as three of the identical email announcements… Read More »

Ohio: The Next Lawsuit Arrives

The Mount Vernon News reports that a civil rights complaint has been filed against “Mount Vernon City School District Board of Education, superintendent Stephen Short, middle school principal William White and science teacher John Freshwater.” Freshwater, it appears, is a real piece of work, a 21st century Bernardo Gui: In December 2007, the complaint continues,… Read More »

A Wide Experiment

I’m putting a poster together to take to the Society for the Study of Evolution meeting next weekend, and the recommended facility for printing is the MSU library. It turns out they have an HP 4500PS wide-format inkjet printer that prints stuff on 36″ wide rolls of paper. And they charge $6.00 per linear foot,… Read More »

Ken Miller Was on Science Friday Today

NPR’s Science Friday hosted Ken Miller. Miller is promoting his new book, Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul. And he’s doing a good job of it, too. A student called in asking about evolution being forced on children in school, and Miller rebutted that, saying that evolution is no more forced… Read More »

Tom Willis Has a Problem

Remember Lauri Lebo discussing the social costs of confronting religious intolerance in her book, “The Devil in Dover”? Did you think that the problem was confined to rural Pennsylvania? Here’s Tom Willis, one of the architects of the evolution and cosmology-less science standards in the state of Kansas back in 1999: The Real Meaning of… Read More »


Literally. Bad weather yesterday knocked out power in a variety of spots in and around Lansing. DTE, bless their hearts, still haven’t upgraded their outage reporting phone bank, so while the power went down around 4:30 PM where I was, I didn’t actually get connected to their automated system until about 11 PM. That system… Read More »

Welcome to the Pack, Little One

OK, there’s a new critter underfoot here. Follow the link for a “cute” overdose. But there is some method here… we’re looking for a canine substitute for a weasel or ferret, to pop down rabbit holes and flush the rabbits out where the hawks can have a chance at them. This one should be about… Read More »

Biologic Institute Releases “Stylus”

The Biologic Institute, the Seattle research arm of the Discovery Institute (not to be confused with the older North American Biologic Institute of Boca Raton, FL, lab for blood chemistry analysis and medical supplier), has a paper on PLOSone announcing a software package, Stylus. Stylus is supposed to do something relative to investigating protein chemistry… Read More »