Teaching Evolution

A blog devoted to teaching evolution, both in our schools and in our communities.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

'Galileo Was Wrong,' claims geocentrist writer

Motivated by Biblical teachings, Robert Sungenis has written a 1,000-page work that shows that the sun actually revolves around the earth. How long until some school district demands that its science teachers teach this controversy?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Hunt for Genes That Betrayed a Desert People

An interesting piece from the always worthwhile science section of the New York Times discusses the Bedouins, an ethnic group whose ancestors long roamed the Middle East and married their cousins. The Bedouins now have some serious genetic diseases. Money quote:

Bedouins do not carry more genetic mutations than the general population. But because so many marry relatives — some 65 percent of Bedouin in Israel's Negev marry first or second cousins — they have a significantly higher chance of marrying someone who carries the same mutations, increasing the odds they will have children with genetic diseases, researchers say. Hundreds have been born with such diseases among the Negev Bedouin in the last decade.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Still Evolving, Human Genes Tell New Story

Researchers have found 700 regions of the human genome where genes appear to have been shaped by natural selection within the last 15,000 years. Taste, smell, digestion, bone structure, skin color and brain function all appear to have evolved relatively recently.

I'm most interested in what this says about the concept of race. That racial differences have evolved so recently reinforces that those differences are relatively slight and have to do mostly with surface appearance.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

At Least He Didn't Smoke Pot

You no doubt know about Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-California), who was just sentenced to more than eight years in prison for taking bribes. I'm not going to rehash the whole story here, but I do want to point out the great piece of reporting that broke the whole thing wide open. When first confronted with the odd fact that a defense contractor had bought Cunningham's house for $700,000 more than it was worth, Cunningham said,

"My whole life I've lived aboveboard," Cunningham said. "I've never even smoked a marijuana cigarette. I don't cheat. If a contractor buys me lunch and we meet a second time, I buy the lunch. My whole life has been aboveboard and so this doesn't worry me."

I think it's extraordinary that we live in a country where some people think smoking marijuana is a greater offense than accepting bribes. But we do.