Fused chromosomes: A proof of human evolution

January 20, 2008

Yes, I know: It’s a test of human evolution, and evolution passed. When I put “proof” in the headline, more people will give it the attention it deserves.

Go look at this clip from PBS’s NOVA’s “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.” It features Dr. Kenneth Miller explaining the significance of the fused human chromosome to evolution evidence; the graphics are great, and Miller is clear.

Teachers, you can register for the teacher information, and download this video for free use in your classroom presentations. I recommend it highly. (These rights are rather fuzzy about blogs, so I have not put the video here.)

This has become part of Ken Miller’s presentation to teachers — it was part of his lecture at Southern Methodist University on November 16, and I suspect it was a key part of his presentation to the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST) in Austin, on November 17 — a conference sponsored by the Science Teachers Association of Texas (STAT) and at which attendance would probably get Texas state education officials fired.*

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* Chris Comer was a featured speaker at this meeting. It’s likely the poobahs at the Texas Education Agency didn’t figure out that any meeting of science teachers and scientists in Texas would feature evolution; one may hope that they don’t figure that out, if they continue to campaign against evolution and other science.

NAS evolution book too technical?

January 20, 2008

Joe Lapp, from Austin, Texas, posted this review on Amazon.com of the National Academy of Science’s book Science, Evolution and Creationism. It’s worth reading, and repeating. Despite Joe’s criticism, the book is well worth your time to read; if you know about the example Joe uses, you’re ahead of the game.

Cover of NAS book, Science, Evolution and Creationism

Beneath the fold.

In addition to Amazon, the book is available for free download at the National Academy of Science’s site. It’s a great backgrounder for anyone interested in learning “what scientists say” about evolution and creationism, from our nation’s oldest and most trusted society of science advisors (Lincoln called on NAS for advice, and wise policy makers still do).

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Texas teachers: 9th Legacies Dallas History Conference, January 26

January 20, 2008

You’re not registered yet?

Students learn history best when it affects them directly, or when they can see the stuff close up. The Legacies Dallas History Conferences focus on history in and around Dallas, Texas. This is prime material for Texas and Dallas history, economics and government classes.

The 9th Annual Legacies Dallas History Conference is set for next Saturday, January 26, in the half-day from 8:30 a.m. to 1:10 p.m: “Dallas Goes to War: Life on the Homefront.” $40 for nine presentations — or $100 brings an invitation to schmooze with the presenters on Friday night, before the conference. The conference will be at the Hall of State at Fair Park. The conference was assembled by Dr. Michael V. Hazel.

If you’re teaching at a high school or middle school in the Dallas area, print this off for every social studies and English teacher at your school, and pass it out to them Tuesday (or Monday if you’re open then).

Nancy Harkness Love and Betty Huyler Gillies, first women to fly B-17, during WWII

Many of the conference presentations roll down that alley of a topic most Texas students need more of, the events around World War II. One session dives into Vietnam, one goes back to the Civil War, and World War I is remembered.

Bob Reitz, the public historian who curates the amazing Jack Harbin Museum of Scout History at Dallas’s Camp Wisdom, alerted me to the conference with a plug to his colleague’s presentation. Anita Mills-Barry will present her paper, “Homefront Scouting During World War II: Participation by Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the Civilian Effort in Dallas County.”

A copy of the web invitation to the conference below the fold.

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