Free teaching tools
I have begun an ambitious effort to inventory and assess the concepts I want my students to master. Check out my Conceptual Teaching Assessment Project!
Recent Major Posts
- My Evolution 2014 talk is on YouTube
- Evolution 2014: Overall Impressions
- Evolution 2014: Day 4
- Evolution 2014: Day 3
- Evolution 2014: Day 2
- Evolution 2014: Day 1
- Evolution 2014: Day 0
- Evolution 2014: Preview
- Open Information Environments and the 21st Century College Classroom
- Moodle Tip: Using anchor links to create your own course page menu
Recent Minor Posts
- Recommendations for creating a more student-centered classroom
- Evolution 2014: Synthesis centers can serve as incubators if they buffer researchers from the risk of failure
- Evolution 2014: Want to teach both sides? Have your students deconstruct creationist propaganda!
- Evolution 2014: EvoGrader will take the grading out of assessing student learning outcomes
- Evolution 2014: A clever way to see if creationist students understand evolutionary concepts
- Evolution 2014: The Evolution Film Festival was on fire!
- Evolution 2014: Could the right symbionts provide protection from chytrid infection to amphibians?
- Evolution 2014: Are island mutualist communities more likely to be nested because they are inherently more unstable?
- Evolution 2014: Is thyme a facultative mutualist with leguminous plants?
- Evolution 2014: Lemurs display huge diet diversity, and their gut microbes track this diversity
Category Archives: Human Evolution
The Chronicle of Higher Education “Dolphin Talk and Human Credulity” Great short here (and further evidence that TED Talks entice scientists to lose their heads and say unfounded things). Anyone who has carefully watched a child learn to talk comes to realize … Continue reading
Science News “Babies cry at night to prevent siblings, scientist suggests” What’s particularly interesting here is not just the parent-offspring conflict proposed but also the conflict between mothers and fathers that is implied in this theory. In fact, it seems that … Continue reading
On Being “Reimagining the Cosmos” I always find myself stuck on the fence when it comes to the confrontation between physics and philosophy (and by extension religion). This episode effectively captures my ambivalence. On the one hand, I like that … Continue reading
The Economist “The genetic contribution Neanderthal man made to modern humanity is clearer” Although this article makes a bigger deal than it should about the “human construct” of the species concept (evolutionists are already well aware of the gradations of isolation … Continue reading
On Being “Teilhard de Chardin on The “Planetary Mind” and Our Spiritual Evolution” We often give credit to Richard Dawkins — who is undeniably the inventor of the term “memetics” — for introducing an evolutionary approach to cultural change. But as … Continue reading
The cover story of November’s National Geographic is about the death of storm chaser Tim Samaras, who was killed along with two of his collaborators (including one of his sons) during a monster tornado outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Samaras is … Continue reading
The New York Times “Skull Fossil Suggests Simpler Human Lineage” It is interesting how terrible fossils are: generally, they represent only a part of one individual who was part of one population in one place at one point in time. Not … Continue reading
The Chronicle of Higher Education “Bringing up brainchildren” This is such a fun and insightful essay on the relationship between our pursuits that yield — alternatively — genetic and memetic fitness. It effectively captures the wish of the intellectual producer … Continue reading
The Chronicle of Higher Education “Sex on the Mind” Ugh. How do I decompose this enough? I have always had a fear that David Barash is more pundit than academic, but this column is really scary. There is complete agreement among … Continue reading
WMAC Northeast Public Radio “Academic Minute: Dr. Alicia Melis, University of Warwick – Cooperation and Chimpanzees” Chimps’ ability to take the perspective of others has been questioned, but this set of experiments seems to show that chimps can mentally put … Continue reading
NPR Shots “Gut Bacteria We Pick Up As Kids Stick With Us For Decades” NPR Shots “Staying Healthy May Mean Learning To Love Our Microbiomes” NPR Shots “Diverse Gut Microbes, A Trim Waistline And Health Go Together” NPR Shots “How … Continue reading
NPR Morning Edition “From Birth, Our Microbes Become As Personal As A Fingerprint” It’s a bit corny, but this is a great tour of our diverse microbiome. It is critical that people start to recognize how potentially-damaging overuse of antibiotics … Continue reading
National Public Radio Morning Edition “For Some Mammals It’s One Love, But Reasons Still Unclear” Although brief, I appreciate how this article lays out the three hypotheses for monogamy: Monogamous co-parenting increases the survival rate of offspring as compared to parenting … Continue reading
The Quarterly Review of Biology “Homosexuality as a Consequence of Epigenetically Canalized Sexual Development” What makes this theory so compelling is how it addresses the “heritable but not at all clearly genetic” problem of explaining the very high prevalence of homosexuality … Continue reading
Wired “Humanity’s Recent Evolution” Of course increased genetic diversity just makes evolution more possible… but there still still needs to be some viable selective force to do something with all this variation. One could argue that the amount of variation … Continue reading
WNYC “NYC’s Top Dogs: Mapping Names & Breeds in the City” WNYC “Dogs of NYC” Data sets like these, even flawed by their incompleteness (only 20% of dogs in New York City are registered) are fascinating. The human relationship with dogs has … Continue reading