The first live radio broadcast from a trial was the Scopes trial in 1925. John Scopes, a Tennessee high school biology teacher, was convicted of violating the Butler Act, which prohibited teaching evolution in schools. His trial highlighted the divide between science and fundamentalist (literalist) religion in the United States.
Flash forward to 2011: only one contestant in the 2011 Miss U.S.A. pageant (out of 51) said that she believed in evolution (“I’m a big science geek”) when asked if evolution should be taught in schools. That was Miss California, Alyssa Campanella, and she was crowned the winner on Sunday. Runner-up, Miss Tennessee, Ashley Elizabeth Durham, on evolution: “that’s not my belief” although she said evolution should be taught in schools. Most contestants said that evolution should be taught alongside other points of view, like creationism (or “Biblical stuff”).
It is almost a full century after Scopes and 202 years after Darwin’s birth, yet evolution remains controversial here, and Americans are scientifically illiterate. Read my complete analysis at The Moderate Voice.
Note: The two articles that tipped me to this story have incorrect headlines/information. Think Progress says two contestants “believe in evolution” — that’s not supported by the video clips on YouTube. USA Today (the primary source for Think Progress) is incorrect on several points.
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If you are interested in science, math and engineering — or teach these subjects — have I got news for you.
The National Academies – National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council – is offering free PDFs of its catalog of more than 4,000 titles.
The National Academies Press produces about 200 titles a year and has made PDFs free to developing nations since 1994. From the press release: Continue reading
The factoid, from the June Harper’s Index, sent my blood pressure north and my fingers to the keyboard:
Amount of federal money that went to National Public Radio in 2010: $2.7 million
To Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University: $446 million
Those of us immersed in the real-time web like Twitter and Facebook are aware of the impact these tools are having on dissemination of information about breaking news — real (Egypt, Japan) and fake (various false celebrity deaths).
This week, Robert Quigley (Facebook, Twitter), the social media editor for the Austin Statesman, had students at the University of Texas re-imagine the JFK assassination. What would it be like in this age of smartphones, Twitter and Facebook? Continue reading
While many of my peers were breathlessly following the Apple iPad2 announcement, I was online with Howard Rheingold (@hrheingold) and a host of other educators and thinkers from around the world. The occasion was session one of Howard’s MindAmplifier class.
Ah, the experience of being back in the learner’s seat!
A reminder that every teacher would probably benefit from putting herself in a situation where she is not all-knowing. This nudge came to me as I struggled with my bluetooth headset, which failed to work, and then my login, which also failed to work, initially. Both speedbumps had me fall a little behind everyone else. It was a good reminder about pacing — something that I think that I’m aware of but …