EVO Teacher Guide: Ten Questions Everyone Should Ask About Evolution. With DVD/Video of 10 video segments (~11' each). 2012 (added 2016).



EVO Teacher Guide: Ten Questions Everyone Should Ask About Evolution:
With DVD/Video of 10 video segments (~11' each). 2012 (added 2016).
Teaching Evolution

Gold Medal Film, highly rated by NABT, available from NSTA.

CLICK HERE for comments, suggestions, errors repaired, links.

Teaching About Evolution
and the Nature of Science
by the National Academy of Sciences, 1998



Teaching About Evolution
and the Nature of Science:

This "must-have" publication is the closest embodiment of the spirit and content of ENSI. It contains much of the philosophy and background information of the ENSI program. Included are a sampling of lessons reflecting the title. The ENSI web site expands that resource many times. 140 pages.

Among its many features is a nice description of the "5Es" teaching format, developed by the BSCS.

To read book online (scroll down to the selectable list of chapters), download free PDF, or order your own printed copy
($15.95 + $4.50 s&h; quantity discounts available)
by phone: 1-800-624-6242, or
from their web site.

Evolution: Teacher's Guide, by WGBH/PBS




This 41 page booklet is a gold mine collection of useful teaching ideas and lessons, many contributed by ENSI teachers and reflecting the ENSI philosophy. It provides extensive support for each of the 7 parts of the excellent PBS Evolution TV series (available on VHS or DVD).

Get this FREE booklet by contacting the PBS-Evolution web page for Teachers and Students. Here you'll also find links to an online course for teachers and online lessons for students, as well as videos for teachers and students. And be sure to check out the many other useful items in this very rich online resource.

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 $7.95 sale price (same web page) as paper back or e-book. Also available at Amazon.

The author'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-theistic evolution in science classes IF AND ONLY IF they are taught in a framework that compares 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 favor them."

"I realize 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)."

Science and Creationism
A View from the National Academy of Sciences
Second Edition, 1999



This is a companion booklet to Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science. It is an excellent resource providing further clarification of the issues raised by some creationists against evolution and science. 35 pages.
CLICK HERE to read book online, or order your own printed copy
($9.95 + $4.50 s&h; quantity discounts available)
by phone: 1-800-624-6242, or
from their web site.

SEE BELOW for NEW, MUCH EXPANDED and MUCH IMPROVED 3rd Edition: Science, Evolution and Creationism (2008)


by John Pojeta, Jr. and Dale A. Springer
American Geological Society and the
Paleontologocial Society


Excellent booklet (26 pages) that could be used as text supplement / handout to students (middle school to high school). Contents include:
Geologic Time Chart
Fossil Record
Change Through Time
Darwin's Revolutionary
A Mechanism for Change
The Nature of Species
The Nature of Theory
Paleontoology, Geology, &
Dating the Fossil Record
Examples of Evolution
(includes Vertebrate Legs,
Birds, Mammals, and

Note page 15 with its chart showing the stepwise emergence of each vertebrate class, from the Cambrian through the Jurassic. It vividly shows there were NO mammals prior to the mid-Triassic, for example. See our Patterns in Time lesson to emphasize this point.

Available from
item # 300113 for $8.95
or call 1-703-379-2480 (VA)

The Evolution / Creation Controversy
by Arthur N. Strahler, 1987, Prometheus Books




 This book is packed with tons of information, useful for any biology teacher. It served as one of the texts and was given to all ENSI participants and many of the SENSI participants as well. One of its unique features is its many explanations of the misconceptions about science and evolution as presented in the "Creation Science" literature. It also addresses many of the issues associated with geology, astronomy, and paleontology.

It is available at discount from NCSE. If you don't have it, order it. You will turn to it again and again.

There is a 1999 edition, which you should request if a new purchase. However, it is apparently little changed from the 1987 edition.

by Monroe W. Strickberger, 1996, Jones & Bartlett Publishers




An excellent text on evolution. This was our other text for the ENSI program, also an excellent resource, and available from NCSE.

AT THE WATER'S EDGE - Macroevolution and the Transformation of Life
by Carl Zimmer, 1998, Simon & Schuster


 This book beautifully 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.

EVOLUTION: The Triumph of an Idea
by Carl Zimmer, 2001,
WGBH Educational Foundation and Clear Blue Sky Productions.


The eyes have it! This is a must-read for all teachers of biology, and anyone else even fleetingly interested in evolution. In this book, Zimmer has woven many poignant moments and insights from Darwin's life through a rich fabric of the fascinating story of evolution: its history, its evidence, its importance, and its reality. As familiar as I am with much of the story, I was amazed at many turns with recent research, old intrigues, and the intimate details of some critical episodes in our search for a better understanding of this "grandeur of life". Lots of great stuff with which a dedicated teacher could enrich any narrative shared with students about the most fundamental theme for all of biology.

Zimmer has addressed virtually all of the critical issues associated with the subject, and leaves the reader with the satisfaction of a road well-traveled, and a deep appreciation for the many shoulders climbed in our efforts to understand this all-pervasive phenomenon. Loosely coordinated with the recent outstanding PBS series on Evolution, Carl Zimmer has written another "page-turner", a book that it is very hard to put down.

Available from NCSE: Hardcover: $28, Paperback: $16.07.

by Kenneth R. Miller, 1999, HarperCollins


Highly recommended for all biology teachers. The book is devoted to exposing the many myths surrounding popular perceptions about both science in general and evolution in particular. If you have been confronted with any of the anti-evolution challenges from Phillip Johnson, Jonathan Wells, Michael Behe, and others, take a look at this book for concise enlightenment. It's a book you might want to recommend to any student grappling with the inner conflicts between personal beliefs and what evolution has to say.

One of the many topics addressed is the reason for our high level of confidence in how we measure the ages of geological deposits. Based on this treatment, a new classroom lesson was created and added to the ENSI site. It's called "Deep Time", and can be found at <>.

Available from NCSE: Hardcover: $17.50, Paperback: $11.20.

by National Academy of Sciences (2008) Third Edition


This is the third and much improved edition of the NAS's Science & Creationism (1999, see above). It is far more comprehensive, yet brief enough to use as a classroom supplement. It clearly presents and explains the essential features of the nature of science, evolution, creationism in all its variations, and their critical interactions. Highlights include a discussion of evolution as fact and theory, and an example of an industrial application of natural selection. There are excellent explanations of how molecular biology repeatedly confirms evolution.

For an extended review, along with teaching suggestions and ordering information, click here.

- DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution
by Sean Carroll (2006)


This extraordinary book, beautifully and clearly written, provides an abundance of observations that only make sense in the light of evolution. Highly recommended for teachers and students. Teachers, read this book so that you can share some of the startling observations, of fish without hemoglobin, and the patterns of color vision in animals, and how evolution makes perfect sense explaining these phenomena.

Teachers will find many observations and stories to share, along with much information suitable for developing new interactive lessons.

For an extended review, along with teaching suggestions, click here.

- A Journey into the 3.5 billion year History of the Human Body
by Neil Shubin (2008)


Co-discoverer of the "fish with wrists" fossil Tiktaalik in Canada, 2006, Shubin traces many of our human traits and problems back to their origins, many of them inside our cells and found in the bacteria of today. This paleontologist also teaches anatomy, and tecounts how knowledge of the nature and ages of existing fossils from around the time that vertebrates moved onto land led to his predictions for where he might find better evidence of that transition. Many examples of how science works.

Very readable, certainly for high school students, and even middle school students. Teachers will find many observations and stories to share, along with much information suitable for developing new interactive lessons.

For an extended review, along with teaching suggestins, click here.

The Nature of Science and the Study of Biological Evolution
BSCS. (2005)


Ways of Knowing Life
Charles Darwin and the Development of an Idea
Evidence of Evolution
The Genetic Basis of Evolution
Evolution in Action
In the Light of Evolution

Excellent diagrams, many useful illustrations, and lucid explanations. in this 120 page book.

Click Here to purchase at NSTA Bookstore.

The Counter-Creationism Handbook by Mark Isaak 2007) Berkeley: University of California Press. 330 pages.

Excellent resource for all science teachers. Easy to use, Clearly and fairly answers all questions and challenges raised against evolution, fossils, geologic time and related topics, with sources provided.

Not intended for teachers to contradict anti-evolution challenges in class (inappropriately confrontational in that context, conflating a social challenge with a valid scientific challenge, thereby distracting from the scientific treatment of questions about the natural world). But some teachers might want to be prepared to encourage and channel critical thinking about specific anti-evolution assertions to the class in general (never directed to any individual), or outside of class, if preferred.

Click Here to purchase at NCSE Bookstore.

Nonsense on Stilts by Massimo Pigliucci, 2010
University of Chicago Press, 336 pages.


As science teachers, we are (or should be) charged with the awesome responsibility of helping kids to think critically, be objective, and be skeptical of tempting ideas. Unfortunately, science textbooks are not very helpful for doing this. It won't happen magically by reciting or even practicing "The Scientific Method." So what are we to do? This book does provide some helpful insights and suggestions.

Click Here for Review of this book.

Click Here for Sampling at NCSE:
Chapter 7: Science in the Courtroom - The Case Against Intelligent Design

Quirks of Human Anatomy
by Lewis I. Held, Jr. 2009
Cambridge University Press, 152 pages of text.

"An Evo-Devo Look
at the Human Body"
Genetic Control Mechanisms
Terrible Engineering
The Evolution of Symmetry and
Asymmetry, Dorso-Ventral orientation
How Humans Acquired Intelligence

Click Here for Review

Click Here for Review in pdf.

Evo-Devo lessons on ENSI site

How the Snake Lost its Legs...
by Lewis I. Held, Jr. 2014
Cambridge University Press, 156 pages of text.


Quirks author Held reveals our growing evo-devo knowledge of other creatures in the animal kingdom.

From the publisher:
"How did the zebra really get its stripes, and the giraffe its long neck? What is the science behind camel humps, leopard spots, and other animal oddities? Such questions have fascinated us for centuries, but the expanding field of evo-devo (evolutionary developmental biology) is now providing, for the first time, a wealth of insights and answers."

Click Here for Review

Click Here for Review in pdf.

Evo-Devo lessons on ENSI site

Thinking Evolutionarily
Evolution Education Across the Life Sciences

by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. 2012

How the Snake Lost its Legs...
by Lewis I. Held, Jr. 2014
Cambridge University Press, 156 pages of text.


Thinking Evolution

This little booklet (96 pages) is a treasure of useful information for biology teachers, especially those who may be a bit anxious about teaching evolution.

Take a look at its Table of Contents


Science Surprises:
Exploring the Nature of Science
By Lawrence Flammer, 2014: eBook or Printed



A unique student text supplement, to be used with several of the excellent NOS lessons on the ENSI site. Go HERE for more information, including link to supplier (Smashwords), to check reviews,  sample the book, or purchase a copy. Big discount for classroom sets of eBooks for students. Science Surprises is a must before you teach evolution or other “controversial” issues.




Updated 6 June 2009

Access Excellence: Beaks of the Finches
This resource for Biology teachers includes teacher-developed lessons on many topics. This URL will take you to a 1996 AE Follow's lesson on "The Beaks of the Finches". You can navigate from here to look for other lessons and announcements of interest.

Access Excellence / Woodrow Wilson: Evolution
This is a collection in their Activities Exchange which presents a large number of evolution lessons developed by Woodrow Wilson Fellows in its 1995 Summer Workshop.

Action BioScience
A good source for basic science about evolution. Papers are written by recognized scientists at a level suitable for students and the lay public. Dedicated to promoting literacy in the biosciences, their non-commercial, ad-free, educational site features peer-reviewed articles and class lessons on the following issues: biodiversity, environment, genomics, biotechnology, evolution, new frontiers in the sciences, and education.

BioForum: California Academy of Sciences: Evolution & Systmatics
An Access Excellence page for the San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences annual lecture series by professional biologists for Bay Area Biology teachers on current topics relating to evolution and modern systematics.

BioZone: Evolution
This will take you to their categorized collection of biology links. Click on the Evolution or Human Evolution buttons. This is a commercial site in New Zealand, selling student manuals and overhead transparency masters, but it's an excellent collection of links to most areas of Biology.

This exciting area of evolution research is bringing profound insight into mechanisms of evolutionary change that are expressed during development, providing clear explanations for the emergence of major anatomical changes faster than we once expected. Coupled with our growing knowledge of genomes and how DNA does what it does, developmental biology has opened many new windows into evolutionary research. For basic information and useful links about Evo Devo, click here. For evo devo connections to macroevolution, click here. For a paper on evo devo research with the Stickleback fish, click here.

EvoS: Evolutionary Studies Program
A novel paradigm developed at Binghamton University in New York, in which the principles of natural selection are extended to questions and problems encountered in all fields of human activity, including history, political science, literature, religion, art and education. This program, initiated by David Sloan Wilson, is the first of its kind to teach evolution in a truly integrated fashion, beginning with core principles and extending in all directions, from molecular biology to art and religion. Discover how evolutionary theory provides a way to think productively about such a broad range of subjects.

Evolution Symposium 2008
Rockefeller University - May 1-2, 2008
18 Slide-lectures freely available online.
A chance to upgrade your knowledge in several related areas of evolution research, and to provide examples of legitimate cutting edge scientific controversies in these fields.
The lectures explore the current status of research into the origins of life, earliest life, evolutionary processes and paradigms, human evolution, and possible re-thinking of systematics and the tree of life (see W. Ford Doolittle's lecture).
(click on video camera to see each lecture)

Guide to Evolution / Paleontology
Several aspects of evolution are listed and annotated. Informative, with links to many sources, in these categories: Sources of Evidence, Mechanisms of Change, Outcomes of Evolution, Examples of Evolution, and Other Resources for Evolution and Paleontology. (Added June 2011)

Harvard Univ. Molecular & Cellular Biology: Evolution
A collection of professional links, software, journals, and meetings, on the Harvard Univ. Dept. of Molecular and Cell Biology site.

HHMI Evolution Lecture Series (December 2005)
This excellent resource is available on a set of DVDs free for the asking from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). It consists mainly of four lectures given by two biologists to an audience of high school students. If they are simply shown "as is" without suitable preparation, discussion and pacing, the "talking heads" format by itself may not be terribly inspiring, and may not be well received by many students. However, the content and sequence is excellent. There are many excellent animations and video clips that teachers can easily access and use in their own presentations. Click title for review of (and link to) this resource.

HHMI Evolution Lecture No. 2: Ken Miller (2006)
This excellent resource is available on a DVD free for the asking from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). It consists a most engaging lecture by scientist and biology textbok author Ken Miller. He effectively discusses "intelligent design" and other religious concerns related to evolution and science. Lots of material that could be useful to share in your classroom.

NESCent: (National Evolutionary Synthesis Center) Education & Outreach
Goal: to help foster a grand synthesis of the biological disciplines through the unifying principle of descent with modification. The Education & Outreach branch provides an evolutionary biology resource for educators, students, scientists and the general public.

PBS - Evolution
This site extends and supports the excellent 7-part TV series, produced for PBS by WGBH. In addition to its very useful Teacher's Guide (see Books, above), there is an online course for teachers, online lessons for students, video tapes for teachers and students, helpful links and many other gems in this gold mine of riches.

Science Buddies
Online source for lessons (or projects) for science fair or classroom use.
This award-winning, non-profit site has many sponsors and supporters, including the NSTA. A site-search for project ideas on evolution (which could also be easily adapted to class assignments) brings many suggestions, including many specific projects with detailed tutorials for using online molecular data banks and comparison tools. Access to experts for project topics.

Teaching Evolutuion & the Nature of Science
Loaded with multimedia materials from 11 notable speakers at a symposium presented by the New York Academy of Sciences. April, 2006. Topics are presented in 3 categories (accessible in video, slides, and/or audio):
The Nature of Science and the Evidence for Evolution
Pedagogy: A View from the Trenches
Meeting the Challengers: Reconciling Evolution and Morality

Teaching Evolution and the Affective Domain in Geoscience Learning
From Carleton College, suggestions for teaching evolution effectively in a congenial context.

Understanding Evolution
One-Stop outstanding resource, professionally and academically developed site. For teachers, for students and public. Developed by the UCMP and NCSE. Topics: Teaching Evolution, including misconceptions about evolution, and evolution lessons; What is evolution and how does it work? How does evolution impact my life? What is the evidence for evolution? what is the history of evolution theory?

Natural Selection in Guppies:
Article: “The Guppy Game” by Margaret Blattner, Barbara Hug, Patrick Watson, and Donna Korel,
The Science Teacher, NSTA, Summer 2012, pp. 32-37.

The Guppy Game allows students to learn science content (in this case, natural and sexual selection) in an interactive, student-driven manner. The concept of fitness builds in this open-ended inquiry. It has been used effectively in AP Biology, and would certainly work in regular Biology and even middle school Life Science. Materials and instructions can also be found on the Neuron website.

HHMI BioInteractive Resources
Free BioInteractive resources you can use to teach evolution and other topics in the classroom. (July 2012, Howard Hughs Medical Institute).



Human Evolution: Interpreting the Evidence
Boston Museum of Science: Excellent for extension or alternative to our Skulls Lab and Chronology Lab. Emphasizes comparison of different interpretations of how fossils might be related, looking at 3 different provisional phylogenies. (2004)
The Hominid Journey
Mesa Community College Anthropology site. Excellent photos
Human Origins Program
American Museum of Natural History. Lots of useful info.
Human Origins: Facts, Photos and Analyses
TalkOrigins: Analysis of individual fossils. Excellent photos.
Human Origins: Photos and Descriptions
Michigan State University. Well organized, useful photos and fossil descriptions.

Human Origins & Evolution
Useful information and links, from Indiana University

Chimpanzee Culture
This site brings together the growing number of studies which are showing that chimps (like humans) have an elaborate learned culture...another plank in the independent confirmations showing how close, biologically and evolutionarily, chimps are to US. Links from this site will also take you to considerations and programs dealing with the decimation of chimp populations in the wild, and the ethics of research on chimps.

List collated by ENSI Co-Director/Anthropologist Martin Nickels, 21 Feb. 2003

The Origin of Modern Humans
HHMI 2011, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
The two DVD discs in this package focus on various aspects of human evolution. Three very good speakers present those aspects quite effectively. They are engaging, and their rich content presents multiple lines of compelling evidence all pointing to the reality of human evolution. Many students, with little understanding of evolution or science, may have some difficulties, because so many examples are given in fairly rapid succession. For that reason, if teachers use these materials, they should plan to either pace their presentation, with frequent stops for questions, clarifications and replays of critical segments, or only show selected parts in a context suitable for their students that helps them understand those parts.

Teaching Evolution through Human Examples
For AP Bio: Excellent collection of free units developed by the
Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

EVOLUTIONARY MEDICINE: This is a growing field, becoming a part of the training for medical professionals across the country. This is another reason for effectively and accurately teaching evolution, especially human evolution to all of your students (as potential medical patients), and of course to any students who might become health professionals. Use human evolution lessons to meet evolution standards in the NGSS.






About Darwin
A comprehensive, well-developed site featuring the life and work of Charles Darwin - with lots of photos and links. Excellent timeline, and picture of his grave at Westminster Abbey.

The Writings of Charles Darwin - Online
These writings, carefully checked for accuracy, include all essential bibiligraphical information important for accurate citations in academic work.

Charles Darwin
Brief Biography and general information. Books by Darwin and about Darwin. Useful links.

Darwin's House at Downe: Tour
Directions, maps, links for tickets, and tour guide to Down House, Darwin's residence for most of his life.

Darwin's Tomb at Westminster Abbey
Comments and description of Darwin's entombment and marker.

Darwin Digital Library of Evolution
The Darwin Digital Library of Evolution is based at the American Museum of Natural History Library. The goal of this undertaking is to make the full literature of evolution available online within a historically and topically coherent structure. The work of Charles Robert Darwin is our pivot, but our framework includes the 17th century to the present and encompasses the history of evolution as a scientific theory with deep roots and broad cultural consequences.

Alfred Russel Wallace Site
Wallace is recognized as one of history's most important naturalists (e.g., as
the "other man" in the development of the theory of natural selection, as the
founder of the modern school of zoogeography, and as a leading authority on
the peoples and biodiversity of tropical regions), and as a prominent and
far-seeing anthropologist, social critic and theorist. This site contains the
full-text of well over 150 of his writings extending to all these subjects,
plus much other information including extensive bibliographies, indexes, and



NCSE: National Center for Science Education
An excellent resource for any teacher, school, or district encountering efforts to dilute, eliminate, or compromise the teaching of evolution and the nature of science. There is a very useful annotated list of books and other publications, available at discounts to members. This is an organization which all Biology teachers should support if they care about the integrity of Biology teaching.

Creation/Evolution Journal (Back Issues, at NCSE)
These back issues (beginning with the first Summer, 1980 issue) are being added to the NCSE site. Many articles, excellent resources. Eventually their article index will be added.

The Talk.Origins Archive
A collection of articles and essays, mostly by scientists, which address the many questions arising out of popular misunderstanding of evolution and the nature of science, especially as these questions relate to one's religious beliefs. Here is a wealth of information. Check it out, use the SEARCH function.

Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells: Critical Evaluations
A collection of links to letters, reviews, and ciritical essay sites which address the many fallacies and errors in this book by Wells. If you are challenged with any of the "Ten Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher" from that book, here is the place to go for the rebuttals from scientists, and how to share with your students.

Intelligent Design Critique: "Design YES, Intelligent NO - a Critique of Intelligent Design Theory and Neocreationism" By Massimo Pigliucci, published in the Skeptical Inquirer for Sept./Oct., 2001, vol. 25, no. 5. One of the clearest, most concise treatments of the ID 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 ID proponents, take a look at this article.

AAAS Press Room: Evolution on the Front Line
Current news articles on evolution from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Evolution vs Creation
Eight articles which discuss creationists' ideas. Included is a link to a discussion group for teens on this subject.

Frequently Encountered Criticisms in Evolution vs Creation
A very extensive list of claims and criticisms launched against evolution, science, Darwin, etc., and effective rebuttals. Compiled and neatly categorized and indexed by Mark Vuletic, a PhD candidate in philosophy at the Univ. of Illinois.

15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense
From the editor in chief of Scientific American, July 2002. Fifteen frequent claims by creationists are briefly but nicely addressed. Also some excellent resources.

Evolution Resources (AAAS)
Articles and links from the AAAS Program of Dialogue Between Science and Religion.

National Academy of Sciences: Evolution and Creationism [site offline now]
A new web site specifically for information and resources on teaching about evolution and the nature of science and creationism. The site includes statements from the National Academy of Sciences, information for teachers, books & videos, science organizations, and links and other resources. It's rich and growing rapidly.



LEGAL ISSUES in teaching evolution and/or creationism:

A PowerPoint presentation, by award-winning science teacher Tony Hiatt. briefly outlines highlights of the major court cases, their decisions, and a very good summary. He goes on to share recent political activity, including the Santorum Amendment (and its final form in the US Senate Committee Report), followed by anti-evolution legal activity in many states. Finally, Tony provides a nice summary of current law regarding the teaching of evolution and/or any belief-based alternatives, e.g. creationism, "creation science," or "Intelligent Design." A few informative websites are also provided. The presentation is suitable for presenting to a science department, or even a board of education if they are considering the possible adoption of requirements that would compromise the validity or competence of a science curriculum. If you are interested in seeing this PP, send request to the ENSI webmaster, specifying "PPT: Teaching Evolution: the Legal and Political History." It will be sent to you as an email attachment.

If you are having any confrontations from parents, students, administrators, or other teachers, you will find this PP a useful overview of the issues and the legal status of the situation. In addition, be sure to consult these websites for information and support to protect your rights:
National Center for Science Education
Society for Evolutionary Analysis in Law (SEAL See below)

For specific challenges coming from Jonathan Wells' "Icons of Evolution," usually in the form of "Ten Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher," you might want to see the critical reviews at, and other papers on the subject at:, where you can click on Evolution vs Creation issues. One of the links there will take you to "Answers to Jonathan Wells' "Ten Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher," where you will find a link to a sampling of another PowerPoint presentation by Tony Hiatt, suitable for presenting to a science department, showing answers and sources for proactive lessons that reveal the errors in Wells' allegations, something worth doing even if not confronted with those questions. Again, for a copy of the PP, email the ENSI webmaster asking for Hiatt's "Icons" PP.

The Society for Evolutionary Analysis in Law (SEAL) is a scholarly association dedicated to fostering interdisciplinary exploration of issues at the intersection of law, biology, and evolutionary theory, improving the models of human behavior relevant to law, and promoting the integration of life science and social science perspectives on law-relevant topics through scholarship, teaching, and empirical research. Relevant disciplines include, among others, evolutionary and behavioral biology, cognitive science, complex adaptive systems, economics, evolutionary psychology, psychiatry, behavioral ecology, behavioral genetics, primatology, evolutionary anthropology, and gender relations. SEAL welcomes all those with serious scholarly interests in evolutionary processes and law.




Review: Teaching the Nature of Science, by D. Allchin
In this new book, Allchin makes the excellent case for using authentic science historical narratives to teach what the real processes of science involve. Eveyone loves a good story! In addition to providing the rational for this, and several excellent examples, Allchin offers a rich collection of tips for developing your own narratives. 2013.

Alliance for Science
Purpose of this organization is to heighten public understanding and support for science and to preserve the distinctions between science and religion in the public sphere. We bring together scientists, teachers and science-related companies with the many religious bodies that have found no conflict between religion and science. Together we work to reawaken America's love of science, and to restore our competitive edge in science and technology. Content includes definitions of science and evolution, and an evolution essay contest (March 2007).

Optical Illusions
A variety of optical illusions. Great ideas to use for discrepant events, and also to make the point that much of nature is illusory, requiring the incisive tool of science to reveal its reality. (Heavily graphic, slow-loading, but worth waiting for.)

More Optical Illusions: Vision Education Activities
More optical illusions, and other vision activities. Great ideas to use for discrepant events, and also to make the point that much of nature is illusory, requiring the incisive tool of science to reveal its reality.

Donald Simanek's Page: Psuedoscience Critiques and similar stuff.
An excellent collection of links to all sorts of psuedoscience, fringe science, weird science, scepticism, illusions, science and religion, history and philosophy of science, and an abundance of other "related" stuff, by a professor of physics.

Understanding Science
One-Stop outstanding resource, professionally and academically developed site. For teachers, for students and public. Developed by the UCMP and NCSE. Topics: What's Science? How Does Science Work? Scientific Evidence; Science and Society; Why Science Matters; Your Science Toolkit; Processes of Science; Teaching Science, including links to lessons; New Interactive Graphic Organizer for "How Science Works"

Revising Instruction to Teach Nature of Science - Using the timing of the stages of Mitosis
by Lederman & Lederman in NSTA's The Science Teacher (accessed through UCMP's Understanding Science site):
In this common biology lesson (on the timing of stages of mitosis), students learn about the time required for different phases of the cell cycle. The primary point of this version of the activity is to show how to teach key points of the nature of science, using specific reflection questions that explicitly focus on those aspects as critically important for all citizens to understand the nature of scientific knowledge.




 There are several excellent articles on transitional fossil series and the proper use of phylogenetic trees and cladograms, all in the June 2009 issue of Evolution Education & Outreach Online. They are written by professional scientists, but in relatively non-technical language for use by teachers and students. They are freely accessible and downloadable. For reviews and access information, CLICK HERE.
Transitional Fossils: Information, and Many Examples
An excellent source of info by Kathleen Hunt. This abbreviated version was taken largely (with permission) from her more expanded version on Talk Origins.

VIRTUAL AGE DATING (off site, not an ENSI lesson)
Radioactive Decay Concept, Isochron Dating Concept, Radiocarbon Dating Concept

Don't miss this excellent tutorial for teaching these three aspects of geological age dating. Each part is totally interactive and animated. Check questions are asked along the way 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 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.

UCMP (UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology) Web Exhibit
An excellent source of info on phylogeny/cladistics, geology/geologic time, and evolution theory/history.

UCMP's Learning from the Fossil Record
This takes you directly to a very nice collection of lessons and learning activities, geared for different grade levels (many modifiable to your class level). They address mainly the geological / paleontological aspects associated with evolution: geological dating, fossil formation and analysis, climate changes, etc.

UCMP Explorations Through Time
A growing interactive site for teachers and students, structured for use at three different grade levels.

Links for Paleobotanists
This is a massive collection of international links, mostly of paleobotany interest, but also to other paleo, geo, and biological sites of interest. Those of you interested in adding more plants to your course, especially fossil plants, check this out; could be a great source of ideas for creating new lessons. If you do, please share with us. The site is located at the Institute of Mineralogy, University of Wuerzburg in Germany.




Active Learning: How to Do It (NEW 5/14):
All of the lessons on the ENSI site involve (and expect) active learning (or interactive learning) that is student-centered. This involves frequent use of “Think-Pair-Share” strategies and other tools. If you are not familiar with how to do this, or would like some help to implement or improve interactive learning in your classroom, then this collection of “Active Learning” teaching strategies is a “must” for you.

Biology Animations Master Index
Excellent collection maintained by Lonestar College: Interactive Activities: Animations, Movies, and Interactive Tutorials. Most topics in biology, including Evolution, DNA, Genetics, Bioenergetics.

Intute - Evolution Links
Gateway to quality evaluated and annotated internet resources in the natural world, coordinated by The Natural History Museum, London. Part of BIOME, an integrated collection of internet gateways covering the health and life sciences.

Excellent resource for materials, techniques, and ideas for lab activities, many or which lend themselves to class studies in variation, selection, and the nature of science. Ask to be put on the mailing list for their excellent newsletter... use email.

The Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, began in 1959 as a progressive biology curriculum development group, and continues today on the cutting edge. As one example, see its new biology text: Biology: A Human Approach (described in the "What's New" section on this ENSI site). Subscriptions to the newsletter are free upon request.

NABT Resources - Evolution
The National Association of Biology Teachers provides major support to biology teachers through its excellent journal and annual conventions.

Action Bioscience
Seven bioscience challenges, with short peer-reviewed papers by knowledgable scientists. For each, links to "Learn More" (extensions, depth) and "Get Involved" (educational activities, sites, etc.). The seven challenge areas: Biodiversity, Environment, Human Genome, Biotechnology, Evolution, New Frontiers, and Education. Provision for teachers and students to submit materials, ideas. Also, some articles on Origin of Life ideas (in the New Frontiers area. Don't miss the Correlation Charts between the articles and the National Science Education Standards. All in all, a very promising resource site.

Science IQ Links
An extensive collection of links for all areas of science, quality-rated by users. This is a commercial site dedicated to enlightenment in science for teachers, students, parents, and all interested people. You can request engaging "Science Facts" be delivered automatically to your email, collected from an impressive staff of scientists, educators and writers.

Bio Explorer (Added Dec. 2014)
Shares breaking science news and articles on variety of topics from the leading universities and research institutions around the globe. Your ultimate guide to Biological Web Resources ranging from DNA to Plants & Animals and everything in-between. Bioexplorer.Net was originally developed for the researchers involved in biological studies. Now it makes science more enjoyable and accessible to everyone. Arranged into many topics for easy searching:
Bioethics, Societies, Companies, Organizations, Universities, Journals, Databases, Divisions of Biology, Educational Resources, Employment, Grants, Bio History, Research Institutes, Labs, Libraries, Methods/Protocols, Zoological Museums/Exhibits, Bio Online Tools, Research Centers, Bio Science Publishers, Bio Search Engines, Bio Software

Environmental Activism: Going Green Begins in the Classroom
(Added: Nov. 2015) This new website suggests a multitude of ways that students can actively engage in reversing the damaging impact of people on our planet, and help to sustain healthy ecosystems. This includes recognizing good, solid science behind the indications of human causes of environmental problems, as opposed to the poor science or pseudoscience of science deniers. A solid understanding of the nature of science and critical thinking is fundamental to this. An obvious example of this concern is the existence of climate change denial - especially with all the evidence clearly showing human activities exacerbating climate change.


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