February 7, 2011 |
Despite seeming victories for evolution over creationism in major court battles - most recently in Dover, Pa. - American students are still losing out when it comes to getting a solid biology education. A new report on a 2007 national survey of high school biology teachers found that most still didn't teach evolution adequately. And today, evolution is more than just a chapter in the biology field; it's the backbone of the whole discipline. "Nothing counts in biology except evolution," said Haig Kazazian, former chair of genetics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and now a professor at Johns Hopkins University.
October 9, 2010 |
Next week, PBS will spend six hours examining one of the major underpinnings of the American experience: religion. With the straightforward title God in America , the coproduction of Frontline and The American Experience airs at 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday on WHYY TV12. Frontline executive producer Mike Sullivan told TV critics at their summer meeting in Los Angeles that people at Boston's WGBH, which produced the monumental show, settled on the idea after recognizing that Americans, the majority of whom say they believe in God, had a "religious illiteracy problem.
July 22, 2010
Kevin Kolb's ascension to starting quarterback is the most prominent - and perhaps final - step in the transformation into the next generation of the Eagles' offense. Todd Herremans is the only member of the projected starters, pending center Jamaal Jackson's recovery from knee surgery, to be a full-time starter for the team before 2008. With 30 games as an Eagles starter, DeSean Jackson, at 23, is second on the offense in seniority as a full-time starter. The average age of the starters is 25.4 years old, with the number dropping to 24 for the skill-position players.
July 21, 2010
RE GERALD S. Jankaitis' July 16 misguided letter about the misunderstood pit bull: The origin of the domestic dog, from poodles to the St. Bernard, began with the domestication of the gray wolf tens of thousands of years ago. Domesticated dogs provided early humans with a guard animal, a source of food and fur, and a beast of burden. The process continues to this day, with the intentional crossbreeding of dogs, to create the so called "designer dogs. " The writer's statement that pit bulls were "crossbred by humans, not by natural evolution" is foolish.
June 4, 2010
By David Holahan We are nothing if not a proud species, we Homo sapiens . We are the apple of God's eye, the pinnacle of evolution, the raison d'être of the known universe and its 70 sextillion stars. (That's a 7 followed by 22 zeros, or more than 10 times the grains of sand in all of the world's beaches and deserts.) We have dominion over the land and the fishes and the fowl (and presumably over the land and fishes we have fouled), not to mention hundreds of TV channels (when we can find the remote)
March 16, 2010 |
Darwin's detractors have devised what they consider an intelligent design joining their doubts about evolution and global warming, according to the New York Times. In Kentucky, for instance, a bill in the state legislature would encourage teachers to discuss "the advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories," including "evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning. " In Louisiana, a 2008 law says the state board of education may help teachers promote "critical thinking" on all those subjects.
February 18, 2010 |
Clint Eastwood will turn 80 in May. Yet it seems inconceivable that the multiple Oscar winner, whose work is celebrated in a new 35-film boxed set, could ever cease to be. That's certainly true of Eastwood the screen icon, who distilled the myth of American masculinity playing roles such as The Man With No Name and "Dirty Harry" Callahan - men's men long part of our cultural vocabulary. But Eastwood the director is nothing if not aware of fallibility. Clint Eastwood: 35 Films 35 Years at Warner Bros.
February 12, 2010 |
Creation marks Paul Bettany's second go-round as a 19th-century naturalist in a movie from screenwriter John Collee. In Master and Commander, Bettany was the proto-Darwin whose findings about how animals use camouflage to elude predators had immediate application during the Napoleonic Wars. In Creation, he is Darwin himself, decades pregnant with the research for his seminal On the Origin of Species, but too hopeless to deliver the manuscript. Does Darwin have prepartum depression because he fears the laws of natural selection he has so carefully documented will challenge the laws of God?
February 12, 2010 |
I write to recommend two texts on this, Charles Darwin's birthday. The first is Darwin's 150-year-old On the Origin of Species, which is among the classic works of science most accessible to non-scientists. To read the work is to embark on an adventure of forests, islands, and mountaintops - all in the company of a guide with an eye for details that tell riveting stories. Follow him into his back yard, to a six-square-foot clearing where he has been counting the seedlings that emerge; across the globe to New Zealand, where he explains why birds occupy niches occupied elsewhere by mammals; and into the past to study the last ice age and its effect on the dispersal of Alpine fossils.