Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'm better than you . . .

Well, that's not really true, but I am "published" now. (Although, Cassie, I think you stole my thunder in the race to be the first '04 MSU grad among us to get something sciency published. Blast!) That is, of course, only if you consider the Michigan Science Teachers Assocation Journal as being "published." It's really low-key. But I'm excited nonetheless. This past summer I spent six weeks working in a lab in the Plant Biology department at MSU studying a group of single-celled, photosynthetic freshwater algae called euglenoids. They're incredibly ancient--one of the first known eukaryotes (organisms whose cells have a nucleus) and, accordingly, incredibly diverse. As a side project I developed these activities as a (hopefully) fun and interesting way to allow students to learn about animals' response to their environment. Check it out, y'all: - Then click on "Phototaxis in Euglenoids."

Coincidentally, I find it interesting that I split the bill with yet another piece concerning the teaching of evolution through natural selection and of Intelligent Design. I am becoming increasingly critical of Darwinian Evolution, because not only mathematic probabilities but also the rules of scientific empiricism are violated by a number of the claims its adherents (often unnecessarily) make. Yet I am actually in favor of rejecting Michigan House Bill 5251, as is the MSTA. There is no need to single out Evolution and global warming as targets of critical study as to their arguments' strength or weaknesses, though I do plan on using Evolution as an area of greater scrutiny with my students.


halfmom said...

Avery nice job of writing - and published is published for a scientist - it all counts.

Couple of questions - just where do you stand on creation vs evolution and how is it that you will use evolution with your students? I am curious, both as a believer and as a scientist (neurobiology).

Cassie said...

Dude, I'm not published yet. We just submitted the paper. So you did beat me, and don't downplay the article, it's fab!