Carnivalia: Education, Liberals (liberal education?)

January 3, 2008

A couple of carnivals I recommend: At So You Want to Teach? the Carnival of Education #152

Horace Mann Elementary, Duncan, Oklahoma

And once you’re stocked once again with notions of a liberal education, go check out the Carnival of the Liberals #54 at Neural Gourmet.

New report from National Academy of Sciences: ‘Teach evolution’

January 3, 2008

Science, Evolution and Creationism was released today by the National Academies of Science (NAS), restating the position of the nation’s premier science organization that creationism has no place in science classrooms.

Read this FREE online!

The press release is here; the book itself is available free here (or you can order a print copy for $12.95 from NAS).

Here is the NAS press release:

Date: Jan. 3, 2008
Contact: Maureen O’Leary, Director of Public Information
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail


Scientific Evidence Supporting Evolution Continues To Grow; Nonscientific Approaches Do Not Belong In Science Classrooms

WASHINGTON — The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and Institute of Medicine (IOM) today released SCIENCE, EVOLUTION, AND CREATIONISM, a book designed to give the public a comprehensive and up-to-date picture of the current scientific understanding of evolution and its importance in the science classroom. Recent advances in science and medicine, along with an abundance of observations and experiments over the past 150 years, have reinforced evolution’s role as the central organizing principle of modern biology, said the committee that wrote the book.

“SCIENCE, EVOLUTION, AND CREATIONISM provides the public with coherent explanations and concrete examples of the science of evolution,” said NAS President Ralph Cicerone. “The study of evolution remains one of the most active, robust, and useful fields in science.”

“Understanding evolution is essential to identifying and treating disease,” said Harvey Fineberg, president of IOM. “For example, the SARS virus evolved from an ancestor virus that was discovered by DNA sequencing. Learning about SARS’ genetic similarities and mutations has helped scientists understand how the virus evolved. This kind of knowledge can help us anticipate and contain infections that emerge in the future.”

DNA sequencing and molecular biology have provided a wealth of information about evolutionary relationships among species. As existing infectious agents evolve into new and more dangerous forms, scientists track the changes so they can detect, treat, and vaccinate to prevent the spread of disease.

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This morning! Texas science standards on radio and internet

January 3, 2008

P. Z. Myers tells us to tune in to a Houston radio station (and he’s in Minnesota, so it must be important to come from so far away):

I was just notified that one of the people working for Texas Citizens for Science (the good guys) will be discussing the Chris Comer incident with someone from the Texas Freedom Network (more good guys). It doesn’t sound like there will be a lot of drama and confrontation, but there will be information and an opportunity to see the decent, intelligent side of Texas represented.

Thresholds’ host George Reiter will be interviewing Steven Schafersman, President of Texas Citizens for Science, and Dan Quinn, communications director for the Texas Freedom Network, on the politics in Texas that led up firing of Chris Comer, director of science at the Texas Education Agency for ‘misconduct and insubordination’ and of ‘siding against creationism and the doctrine that life is the product of ‘intelligent design.’ The show is on KPFT, Houston, 90.1 FM, from 11am-12noon this Thursday, Jan 3, 2008. It can be picked up live on the website,

And in his comments, this one is rather vital:

That’s 9 am Pacific, 10 am Mountain, 11 am Central, noon Eastern. Wherever you are, you can go to and click on the ‘listen now’ button.

The host (G. Reiter) is also a professor of physics at U. of Houston and so presumably knows a thing or two about science. (I’m his postdoc, but that might not be much of an endorsement.)

Listen and learn!

Update:  You may download the program for a limited time, in MP3 format, from the radio station’s website.

People listening to radio, from

Quote mystery

January 3, 2008

Who said “There’s nothing so powerful as truth,” and was that what he really meant?

Follow a graduate student to Antarctica

January 3, 2008

Penguin Burgers appears to be a blog of a graduate student who will be off to Antarctica on a project, working with a team at North Carolina State University.

The blog appears to be rather an afterthought, an add-on. But consider: What if your class were able to follow this guy to Antarctica, and keep up regular communication with him through the blog?

There’s some great potential there. I plan to watch. Looks like this fellow is really looking forward to the trip.

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