Category Archives: education

“MOOC”s on critical thinking at Michigan State and on genetics and evolution at Duke

I hate the acronym “MOOC” almost as much as I do the word “blog.” But what it stands for—”massive open online courses”—are innovations that promise to make education widely available to those who aren’t near universities or lack the time or exorbitant tuition that modern universities demand. My ex-student, Mohamed Noor, is again running a […]

Evolution cover boy on a science magazine

I doubt that this will make many hearts flutter, and there’s no centerfold, but the latest issue of the wonderful Spanish-language science magazine Órbitas Cientificas is all about evolution—50-odd pages worth!. It also has yours truly on the cover, and a longish interview with me (in Spanish).  You can download the whole magazine, which is […]

BBC’s Science Club with Dara O Briain

I’ve always been a fan of Dara O Briain—well, at least since I’ve known of this “strident” atheistic comedian and science love, which has been about a year.  Reader Tom told me that not only did O Briain have a new show, “Science Club” on the BBC, but that the first episode was on YouTube. […]

Science class in Louisiana, ctd.

by Greg Mayer In my previous post I noted that Zack Kopplin, at the time a Louisiana high school student and now a Rice University undergrad, has led efforts to repeal Louisiana’s creationist Science Education Act of 2008. Zack saw the post, and contacted Jerry, asking us here at WEIT to highlight some of the […]

Science class in Louisiana

by Greg Mayer Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed notes an AP story about how publicly-supported private schools in Louisiana are not required by state officials to meet state curriculum standards, and combines this with a sample of science textbook pages from (I’m not making this up) BJU Press, which offers “Christ-centered resources for education, edification, and […]

Steve Pinker on how to write science

I have it on reliable authority that Steve Pinker’s next book will be on modern grammar and usage: a Pinkerian update of Strunk and White’s famous The Elements of Style (a book I wore out with frequent use, but learn from the lecture below is flawed). And Steve’s already giving talks about this book to […]

U.S. school science standards pronounced “dismal”

The conclusion above came to my attention from Scientific American‘s “Budding Scientist” website, which has a report by Anna Kuchment with the frank title, “U.S. state science standards are ‘mediocre to awful.’” Kuchment’s piece is based on a report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, “The State of State Science Standards, 2012,” released on January […]

It’s the day after Carl Sagan’s birthday

If Carl Sagan had lived (he died at the young age of 62), he would have been 78 yesterday.  What a venerable old man he would have been: an elder statesman of science, still with that that deep and booming voice! Although I didn’t put anything up about the anniversary yesterday, it’s always a good […]

Evolution: Making Sense of Life

by Greg Mayer Another book that was just published in August is a new textbook of evolution intended for biology majors, Evolution: Making Sense of Life, by Carl Zimmer and Douglas Emlen; the title evokes Theodosius Dobzhansky‘s famous 1973 paper “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” (pdf). Carl Zimmer, a […]

Video Q and A with Mohamed Noor about genetics and evolution

Yesterday I did a one-on-one interview on Skype with Mohamed Noor, an ex-Ph.D. student of mine who is now a professor at Duke. Mohamed, a great (albeit fast!) lecturer, is teaching an online course in Genetics and Evolution that formally starts October 10.  Enrollment is free and there are no prerequisites, so if you’re interested […]


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