Enrico Fermi

Once in a while, a journalist will ask a question that really makes me think. Such a question arose recently, when I was asked whether Missouri’s House Bill 1472—which I earlier said “would eviscerate the teaching of biology in Missouri”—was the worst antievolution bill to come down the pike in a long time. At first, I was inclined to respond by saying that they’re all horrible, which indeed they are. But pondering it further, I realized that there was enough survey data available for me to make a back-of-the-envelope estimate of the expected effect—measured in lost student-hours of effective evolution education—of the two antievolution bills currently before the Missouri General Assembly.

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I’m in the process of rereading Donald R. Prothero’s Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future, in preparation of writing a review of it. It’s a fantastic book. Unfortunately, “it’s a fantastic book” is four words long, leaving me the task of finding a further 1996 words to say about it.

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