EARLY ENSIWEB ARCHIVES
Formerly
WHAT'S NEW?
THIS SECTION IS NO LONGER UPDATED
NEW TEACHER RECOGNITIONS ARE NOW
POSTED IN THE "PEOPLE" SECTION NOW
NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS, LESSONS AND LESSON UPDATES
ARE POSTED ON THE HOME PAGE NOW.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Last Update: 14 August 2004

 SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS 10/15

 WEB SITE CHANGES/ADDITIONS

LATEST LESSONS ADDED 8/14/04

 ARTICLES OF INTEREST
 PEOPLE NEWS  BOOK NEWS


PEOPLE NEWS

 Another SENSI-Trained Teacher
Added to the OBTA Winners Circle
From Michigan, SENSI '94
VINCENT LUMETTA, OBTA 2001
Congratulations to you, Vince!!!

 OBTA 2001 winner for Ohio
MICHAEL KIMMEL (ENSI 91)
Lead Teacher for 5 SENSIs, in
Cleveland, OH and Lafayette, IN
Congratulations, Mike!!!

 Two More SENSI-Trained Teachers
Added to the OBTA Winners Circle
Both from Indiana, and Both in SENSI 1994
KRISTI SLABY '94 OBTA
KIRK JANOWIAK '97 OBTA

 TONY HIATT
Kentland, IN
(SENSI 1994)
PRESIDENT''S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN
MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHING
1998
CONGRATULATIONS, TONY!

 LATEST OBTA WINNERS
TWO SENSI-TRAINED TEACHERS
Announced December, 2000 in NABT News & Views

JUDY LACHVAYDER, Parma, Ohio
In SENSI 1993, with Lead Teachers: JoAnn Lane and Michael Kimmel

ROBERT LEGGE, Aurora, Colorado
In SENSI 1995, with Lead Teachers: Susan Hicks and Beth Kramer

CONGRATULATIONS!

CRAIG NELSON
Professor of the Year

 

 Our very own
CRAIG NELSON
Wins
Top University Professor
Award

On 14 November, the Carnegie Foundation announced that Craig was one of the four university professors in the country, out of 500 nominations this year, to win their prestigious "Professor of the Year" award. This was in recognition for his outstanding work in raising the caliber of teaching at the university level.

An excellent article in the Hoosier Times for 27 November 2000, by John Meunier, delves deeply into the delightful soul of this remarkable man we all know and admire. Be sure to read it. [Since this link will take you out of ENSIweb, just click "Back" to return here.]

Another fine article, by Alison Schneider, is from The Chronicle of Higher Education of 24 November 2000. Be sure read excerpts from her article, especially some of Craig's remarks near the end of the article.

In addition, see the excerpts from still another article (by Mary Beth Marklein in USA Today); it presents a very nice overview of the award and Craig's many contributions.

 

 


 Try the Contest! (click here)


 

 


BOOK NEWS

The Creation Controversy & The Science Classroom
NSTA Press. Includes essay by ENSI Co-Director Craig E. Nelson. 2000

 

"Effective Strategies for Teaching Evolution and Other Controversial Topics".
The Published Version is available from NSTA in the booklet titled: The Creation Controversy and the Science Classroom. (2000). It's 32 pages long (pages 19-47), and well-worth purchasing from NSTA for about $15 (same web page).

Author Craig Nelson's comments:
"In this I propose about a dozen specific strategies. Some of them suggest teaching young-earth and progressive and gradual creation as well as non-thesistic evolution in science classes IF AND ONLY IF they are taught in a framework that commpares their scientific strength and asks what views on non-scientific consequences might lead one to adopt each of them. This seems to me to fit with the view from physics that the only way to deal with alternative conceptions in science is to put them on the table, ask how they match the evidence and also ask why many people believe them."

"I realise that some of the strategies I have used and present may not be prudent in some local political situations (though we have found that many high school teachers do find them useful even in quite conservative communities)."

Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution. by Kenneth H. Miller. 1999

 

 The first half does excellent job of revealing popular misconceptions about both science and evolution. Particularly noteworthy items:

Age of the Earth and Radiometric Dating, beautifully explained and described; could be a basis for developing an effective classroom activity or two. See "DEEP TIME" lesson.

Punctuated Equilibrium vs Gradualism

Macro- vs Micro-evolution

"Intelligent Design": critically evaluated for what it is: the pseudoscience of creation science being paraded as "legitimate science"; nicely destroyed. More points to discredit the arguments of Phillip Johnson and Michael Behe. Also, more good ideas for classroom lessons here.

Second half: an attempt to resolve perceived conflicts between evolution and belief in God. Some interesting ideas some might find useful, but not too compelling.

CLICK HERE to order ($15 for 1999 hard back; $8.96 for 2000 paper back).

Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism
by Robert T. Pennock. 1999

  An excellent resource, especially valuable for any teacher of Biology. Not only paints a compelling case for evolution and science, but also offers clear rationales for the appropriate compatibility of those topics with the premises of creationism. Using strong parallels between biological evolution and the evolution of languages, Pennock utterly destroys the anti-Darwinian efforts of Johnson and Behe, pointing out the many subtle fallacies and other errors in their arguments. He also points out the importance for Biology teachers to teach evolution and NOT give "equal time" to creation, while making clear to students that neither science nor evolution are atheistic. 429 pages.
CLICK HERE to order the book from AllDirect.com (discount booksellers) for$21 plus about $3.45 S&H.

At the Water's Edge - Macroevolution and the Transformation of Life

 

 This recently published book (1998), by Carl Zimmer, presents the growing body of evidence for the evolution of tetrapods from fish in the Paleozoic, and the evolution of cetaceans (whales and porpoises) from land dwelling tetrapods in the early Cenozoic. It is done as an engrossing narrative, embedded in its historical context. The latest anatomical, fossil, and molecular data are examined and discussed, as are the techniques of constructing cladograms to clarify relationships. It reads almost like a mystery novel, with intriguing little stories about the scientists involved, and how their discoveries happened. A must-read book for any biology teacher.

As you read this book, try to imagine how you could share the material in an instructive way with your students. What kinds of activities could you create to do this? Try it, and please share your creations with us.

Biology: A Human Approach

 Book Cover: BSCS Text: Biology, A Human Approach  A BSCS product, published by Kendall/Hunt in 1997. The most relevant feature of this new biology text is the fact that its first unit is "Evolution", and begins with "The Human Animal", followed by a treatment of human evolution and the main elements of the process and mechanisms of evolution in general. This theme, in addition to a realistic treatment of the nature of science, is carried throughout the text. A text which comes closer to the philosophy of the ENSI/SENSI program would be hard to find.

 

 

 



SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

 Skeptical Inquirer: Special Issue on Science and Religion
Sept/Oct, 2001, vol. 25, no. 5

Lots of interesting and relevant articles. Was especially impressed with article by Massimo
Pigliucci: "Design YES, Intelligent NO - a Critique of Intelligent Design Theory and
Neocreationism
." One of the clearest, most concise treatments of the IDT premises I've seen. Takes particular issue with the rebuttals by ID proponents to earlier critiques (e.g. Dembski and Behe). If you are getting questions from your students from Johnson's "Defeating Darwinism...." or any of the other IDT proponents, take a look at this article. And here's another useful collection of Resources for Skeptics.

 NOVA series for Fall 2001
some programs especially relevant to evolution:

Week of Oct. 30: "Sex Unknown" <http://www.pbs.org/nova/gender>
Week of Nov. 13: "Neanderthals on Trial" <http://www.pbs.org/nova/neanderthals>
Week of Nov. 20: "Life's Greatest Miracle" <http://www.pbs.org/nova/miracle>
includes evolutionary benefits of sexual reproduction on increasing variation
Week of Dec. 11: "Methuselah Tree" <http://www.pbs.org/nova/methuselah>
on tree-ring dating

See lessons on line at: <http://www.pbs.org/nova/teachers>

 VIRTUAL AGE DATING
Radioactive Decay Concept
Isochron Dating Concept
Radiocarbon Dating Concept

Don't miss this excellent tutorial for teaching these critical aspects of geological age dating. Each part is totally interactive and animated. Check questions are asked along the way for the visitor to assess understanding. The final phase of the two dating concept routines provide an opportunity to simulate data collection and analysis. Those who complete a tutorial will have a real sense of achievement and understanding.

CAUTION: The applets used require considerable memory, so expect some pauses for them to load from phase to phase. High speed connections (e.g. DSL) are a big help. In addition, be sure to check the System and Technical Requirements provided. One of the Isochron routines (near the end) didn't want to run on a Netscape 4.7 browser (in a PowerBook G3), but Internet Explorer v 5.0 worked fine.

This interactive experience is one of the products of the Virtual Courseware/Geology Labs Online project, California State University, Los Angeles, Co-Director: Gary Novak, Geology Department. CLICK HERE TO GO DIRECTLY TO VIRTUAL DATING.

"How to Answer 'Why' Questions"
A novel way to introduce evolution

Looking for a really neat, new, simple, compelling way to introduce evolution? Don't miss this "sleeper" article in the latest NABT journal

The American Biology Teacher, Jan. 2001, vol. 63 no. 1, page 16:
"Teaching How To Answer "Why' Questions About Biology"
by Tom Shelberg.

It's an approach that could be (should be?) introduced in middle school, maybe earlier. Tom does this in his community college biology classes, with great success.

In short, what he does is to get his students to realize that "Why" can be answered in 3 ways:
1. Teleological reasons (which turn out to be essentially the RESULTS of the questioned condition);
2. Proximal reasons (the immediate causal factor, or chain of events); and
3. Ultimate reasons (evolutionary answers, "why" based on natural selection).

Doing this little exercise brings out the power of natural selection to provide very good testable explanations for "why" we sleep, or "why" snowshoe hares turn white, etc., paving the way for your later introduction to evolution.

CRAIG NELSON
Professor of the Year

November, 2000
Click here for details

 

 JOHN BANISTER-MARX

Wins NCSE "Friend of Darwin" Award
21 August 2000

Announced in the NCSE Reports (Vol. 20 No.1-2, page 22), John Banister-Marx (ENSI '94) was appropriately honored with this distinctive honor, recognizing his outstanding efforts supporting NCSE and advancing its goals. In addition to his very innovative and energetic classroom teaching, John has presented very popular workshops at virtually all of the NABT national conventions over the past decade, featuring his spin on ENSI-oriented lab experiences. I'm sure most of you are familiar with his "Hooey Stick" schtick, and possibly you've also seen his very effective "Varve-Dating" lab (both available on ENSIweb). He has also been very active in advising the Arizona Board of Education, defending the teaching of evolution, leading to its inclusion in the science content standards for Arizona schools.

John will be working for the next two years in the Teacher Education Department at Tufts University in Boston.

CONGRATULATIONS, JOHN

JEAN BEARD
Honored as AAAS Fellow

February, 2000
Click here to see her recieving her award from Stephen Jay Gould 

 "What Evolution is NOT... and what it IS"

New Lesson Plan for introducing evolution: Handout and overheads which address some of the popular myths about evolution. Used successfully by the webmaster for many years. Click on the title to check them out. More to come.

"Colossal Classroom Cladogram
of Vertebrate/Human Evolution
"

If you saw this Wall-Sized Cladogram at the Ft. Worth NABT Convention,
Check out the new lesson just added to this website.

SLIDES USED IN MARTIN NICKELS' NABT SESSION
1. Pelvis-to-Newborn Head Problem in Humans
2. Airway - Foodway Crossover: Choking in Humans
LINKS TO THESE ILLUSTRATIONS
FROM NICKELS' PAPER
CLICK HERE

================================

National Geographic Magazine
November 1999, Pags 99-107

"Feathered Dinosaurs"
Feathers for T. rex?

 

AND NOW FOR THE CONTEST!
WE NEED LESSONS

We are looking for some additional good, effective lessons which address our ENSI concepts in the area of the Origin of Life. If you have something that works for you, and you can share it with us, please do. For compensation (besides fame and notoriety amongst your peers in cyberspace), we will award PRIZES for the lessons we deem worthy of inclusion on our site.

We are also looking for unusually creative (AND effective) lessons in which students can discover examples of imperfections and/or contrivances, and the reasons why these provide such compelling support for the reality of evolution. (For an excellent resource on this topic, see the article in the ABT journal for Nov./Dec. 1998, page 662, and descrbed below in the "Articles" section.

 


WEB SITE CHANGES/ADDITIONS

"Effective Strategies for Teaching Evolution
and OtherControversial Subjects
"
by Craig Nelson
Added to the "Teaching Units" section


Sample Surveys (pre/post tests):
Science Survey: The Nature of Science

Evolution Survey

Student Handout / Activity
Comparison of Evolution Mechanisms:
Lamarck's vs Darwin's
Common Misused Terms & Phrases in Evolution

Evolutionary Trees and Classification
How Macroevolution Results from Microevolution
A Simple Graphic Description of Evolution

#####################################

Three New Papers Presented by the Society for the Study of Evolution
NABT 1999, Ft. Worth, TX:

Evolution: Variation is the Theme
Focus on heritable variations in DNA and speciation, forensics, genetic engineering;
Horizontal Transfer: "Gene-Hopping"; antibiotic resistance, drug discoveries.
Marta L. Wayne, University of Florida
For the Symposium Presented by the Society for the Study of Evolution
"Building the Web of Life: Evolution in Action" : NABT Ft. Worth, 10/99

Applied Evolution: Technology for the 21st Century
A sampling of the many practical applications and major importance of evolution.
James Bull, University of Texas at Austin
For the Symposium Presented by the Society for the Study of Evolution
"Building the Web of Life: Evolution in Action" : NABT Ft. Worth, 10/99

Patterns and Processes of Macroevolution - Examples from Dinosaurs
Problems mapping macroevolutionary patterns; radiation of living dinosaurs: birds;
humans as the most severe cause of dinosaurian (bird) extinction today.
Timothy Rowe, University of Texas at Austin
For the Symposium Presented by the Society for the Study of Evolution
"Building the Web of Life: Evolution in Action" : NABT Ft. Worth, 10/99

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Twelve Lines of Evidence for Evolution of Humans and Other Primates
Martin Nickels, Anthropology Program, Illinois State University
Presented at NABT Convention, Reno NV, November 1998,
and again in Ft.Worth, TX, October, 1999.

*******************************

Australopithecus garhi: A New-Found Link?
by Colin Groves.
This is an excellent summary of the latest hominin discoveries and a discussion of their interpretations. Reprinted from Reports of the NCSE.

========================

"The De-riving Force of Cladogenesis"
by Andrew J. Petto
A clear and concise explanation of the concepts and terms of cladistics.
This could be copied and printed as a student handout.


LATEST LESSONS ADDED

 8/14/04  Perception is Not Always Reality by L. Flammer
 3/30/02  Why Don't Whales Have Legs? by S.J. Bedell
 2/16/2002 Pseudogene Suite (Lessons A, B, & C): Vit. C and Common Ancestry (Authors: anonymous)
 12/12/01  Classification: Arbitrary or Not? An Introduction. by Martin Nickels
 12/1/01  Lamarck vs Darwin: Dueling Theories by Richard Firenze
 11/19/01  Molecular Sequences & Primate Evolution by Nelson and Nickels
 10/16/01  Tutorial: Investigating Evol. Quest. Using Online Molec. Databases
 10/5/01  Chromosome Comparison (Beth Kramer's) Updated, sharper images
 9/14/01  Becoming Whales (Whale Evolution: Macroevolution, Process of Science)
 3/30/01  Theory, Theory (Social Context of Science)
 2/25/01  Sunsets, Souls and Senses (Realm of Science)
 10/6/00  Island Geography and Evolution: A Lizard Tale by R.P. Filson (UCMP)
 4/22/00  Women's Brains (Bias in Science)
 3/2/00  Foosteps in Time: Laetoli Footprints (substantially re-revised, with keys)
 2/6/00  Checks Lab (Nature of Science Lesson)
 1/30/00  Cladistics Is a Zip...Baggie (revised for easier downloading of pages, e tc.)
 1/19/00  CONPTT: Science vs Non-Science (Mini-Lesson)
  1/17/00  Foosteps in Time: Analysis of Laetoli Footprints (substantially revised)
 12/26/99  Classroom Cladogram of Vertebrate/Human Evolution



ARTICLES OF INTEREST

   
 4/2000

 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, April 2000

Article: "Who Were the Neandertals?" by Kate Wong, Erik Trinkaus, et al. Deals with controversies over how much they were like us behaviorally and biologically; discusses different hypotheses as to their origins and their demise, and the latest evidence bearing on these events.

 2/2000

 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, Feb. 2000

Article: "Uprooting the Tree of Life" by W. Ford Doolittle (page 90). About 10 years ago scientists finally worked out the basic outline of how modern life-forms evolved. Now parts of their tidy scheme are unraveling. The latest version of the "Tree of Life".

Book Review (by Kevin Padian, page 102): "In Search of Deep Time: Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life" by Henry Gee (1999, $26). How scientists actually do their work; how and why the Linnaean system of taxonomy is being replaced by a wholly evolutionary way of looking at nature; the origin and nature of cladistics...the new taxonomy, well told.

 10/10/99   The De-riving Force of Cladogenesis by Andrew J. Petto.
It is a clear and concise explanation of the concepts and terms of cladistics. This could be copied and printed as a student handout.
 9/16/99  Is Life Too Complex to Have Simply Evolved?
A Critical Review of Michael Behe's Darwin's Black Box
Biochemist David Ussery deftly demolishes Behe's arguments that the molecular complexity of life demand a creator. Lots of amazing biochemical info bits to share with your students, too.


 

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