In Part 1 of this post, I introduced this new series, Misconception Monday, and let you in on the secret to my misconception know-how: student test papers. In this conclusion, I want to get into some ways that this misconception, that natural selection eliminates all bad variations, could be tackled, or even headed-off, in the classroom.

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This is going to be the first in what I hope will be a series of posts devoted to common misconceptions about evolution, climate change, and the nature of science. I’ve already talked about one of the most pervasive evolution misconceptions, that evolution occurs to serve a particular purpose, but there are oh so many more out there that I thought it’d be worth the electrons to dig into a few.

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Last week on Fossil Friday, I presented you with a tricky identification task. This egg-shaped rock was far afield from the jaws, spines and shells you've been used to.

So what was this unique rock? It was a dinosaur gastrolith from the late Jurassic!

What is a gastrolith?

From the UCMP:

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Last week’s winner of Fossil Friday, GrizzlyD, requested that we do a pseudofossil this week.

“I work at a museum and have to crush many hopes of ‘dinosaur eggs’ that are just round rocks,” he said.

But why would I give you a pseudofossil, when I have a giant archive of real fossils to work from?

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06.26.2014

Historians of science Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, authors of Merchants of Doubt, have written a new book as ambitious as it is concise. The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future is told from the perspective of a Chinese historian several centuries in the future, looking back at our current time and attempting to explain to readers the irrationality of our behavior. In the manner of Margaret Atwood’s classic The Handmaid’s Tale—a novel that explores a future world overrun with religious fundamentalism—Collapse uses fiction to deliver serious, thought-provoking insight that should spark much discussion.

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