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Scientists Take Charles Darwin On the Road 170

Hugh Pickens writes "A team of evolutionary scientists recently traveled to the heart of America, visiting rural schools and communities in Nebraska, Montana, and Virginia to share their excitement about science on the birthday of Charles Darwin, and were overwhelmed with the graciousness, enthusiasm and sincerity of the teachers, school administration and particularly the students that hosted them. 'Over the course of our visits, the questions we received from students were thoughtful and founded in sheer curiosity about the science we presented,' writes MacClain. 'Indeed, the questions were the most exciting part of our collective visits.' Another purpose of the trip was to introduce people to the diverse types of research scientists do, open students' minds to the possibilities of careers in science, and offer an alternative to stereotypes of science and scientists in general. Some criticize the Darwin Day Road Show for being nothing more than a 'Darwinist ministry,' others for it not being more explicit in its discussion of evolution and Darwin, but with this year's success, there will be a Darwin Day Road Show 2012 and the National Center for Science Education is planning to hit all 50 states by 2015. MacClain says the team has found a middle ground that allows scientists to stop communicating at and start communicating with the public. 'It reminds us all that interactions between science and society need not be contentious. At its heart, science is about questions, and we all naturally ask them.'"
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Scientists Take Charles Darwin On the Road

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  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @06:21AM (#36207164)

    Please please, PLEASE! Come to Texas all 50 times!..
    . . . .
    The problem is that here in Texas religious zealots are pushing to get "intelligent design" taught instead of the Science of evolution; Currently I.D. is being pushed as an alternative, with the hope that teachers can be found that will only want to teach one alternative -- I.D.

    The children will not learn without exposure to the scientific information -- I used only MS OSs since MS DOS 3.1 because I did not know about Linux! No one was there to teach me that I had other options than MacOS or Windows.

    This is either hysterical nonsense, or a troll. Texas Science education standards [] require the teaching of evolution [].

    (b) Introduction.

    (1) In Biology, students conduct field and laboratory investigations, use scientific methods during investigations, and make informed decisions using critical-thinking and scientific problem-solving. Students in Biology study a variety of topics that include: structures and functions of cells and viruses; growth and development of organisms; cells, tissues, and organs; nucleic acids and genetics; biological evolution; taxonomy; metabolism and energy transfers in living organisms; living systems; homeostasis; ecosystems; and plants and the environment.

    (2) Science is a way of learning about the natural world. Students should know how science has built a vast body of changing and increasing knowledge described by physical, mathematical, and conceptual models, and also should know that science may not answer all questions.

    (3) A system is a collection of cycles, structures, and processes that interact. Students should understand a whole in terms of its components and how these components relate to each other and to the whole. All systems have basic properties that can be described in terms of space, time, energy, and matter. Change and constancy occur in systems and can be observed and measured as patterns. These patterns help to predict what will happen next and can change over time.

    (4) Investigations are used to learn about the natural world. Students should understand that certain types of questions can be answered by investigations, and that methods, models, and conclusions built from these investigations change as new observations are made. Models of objects and events are tools for understanding the natural world and can show how systems work. They have limitations and based on new discoveries are constantly being modified to more closely reflect the natural world.

    (7) Science concepts. The student knows the theory of biological evolution. The student is expected to:

    (A) identify evidence of change in species using fossils, DNA sequences, anatomical similarities, physiological similarities, and embryology; and

    (B) illustrate the results of natural selection in speciation, diversity, phylogeny, adaptation, behavior, and extinction.

    Evolution is being taught in Texas.

    There is another bit of nonsense popular on Slashdot - that Christians cannot be scientists, let alone good scientists.

    Collins: Why this scientist believes in God []

    April 03, 2007|By Dr. Francis Collins Special to CNN

    I am a scientist and a believer, and I find no conflict between those world views.

    As the director of the Human Genome Project, I have led a consortium of scientists to read out the 3.1 billion letters of the human genome, our own DNA instruction book. As a believer, I see DNA, the information molecule of all living things, as God's language, and the elegance and complexity of our own bodies and the rest of nature as a reflection of God's plan.....

  • by belthize ( 990217 ) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @09:32AM (#36208052)

    That appears to be a document written by a creationist who claims to be an Evolutionary Biologist from Ball State. I looked him up and while he did get a PHD from Ball State it was in Education. His dissertation was "Relationship of programmed instruction to test and discussion performance among beginning college biology students".

        He quotes Gould and then clearly misinterprets what Gould says about micro vs macro Evolution. He quotes Pierre Grasse as if he were a modern Evolutionary Biologist rather than the last Lamarckist (a 19th century competing theory to Darwin) to hold the Chair of Evolutionary Biology in Paris.

        He then quotes the frequently misquoted Albert Szent-Gyorgyi and his theory of syntropy and external force as proof of Creationism and goes so far to imply that Gyorgyi developed the model due to some discomfort with Evolution and Genetics. Gyorgyi developed that theory by first postulating a connection with quantum mechanics and then free radicals leading to his 1974 syntropy model for causes of cancer.

          I particularly liked this bit:
                Grasse’ is not (yet) a creationist. But he does say that his knowledge of the living world convinces him that there must be some “internal force” involved in the history of life.

            Grasse was born in 1895 and died in 1985, he stopped being scientifically active in the 70's, yet Parker seems to imply that he's having some ongoing debate.

          It's not a terribly rigorous document to begin with which would be fine but taking quotes out of context or intentionally misinterpreting the quotes so he can say 'see even these esteemed biologists knew evolution was wrong' is pretty pathetic.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"