I got caught up in the holidays and completely forgot to mark the 10-year anniversary of Cobb County’s “evolution disclaimer” court case (which started in 2004). In case you missed it, the Atlanta area school board decided to glue this sticker onto the front inside cover of students’ biology textbooks:
This sticker was designed, of course, to make it seem like evolution is just an interesting idea, one that might be useful, but only time would tell. The sticker delighted the creationists in town who had pushed for the language.
I played a very, very small part in the trial: I sent a page of snarky disclaimers (below) to the plaintiff’s lawyer to amuse her, and she decided to print some up as posters to show in the courtroom. I heard the judge liked them a lot. If you are having a Darwin Day party on February 12, consider printing a bunch as party favors. Print some as bookmarks for kids while you’re at it.
If you liked the above, you might also like the version I did for the New York Times. I had titled it “Dissent with Modification” but the editors changed it. That made me so mad …
The Pew Research Center just released poll data on how adults in the United States explain the existence of humans: 57% believe that a supernatural being created humans either gradually, through artificial selection, or instantly, in a single poof. If you teach biology in public school, you should be addressing this ignorance. If you need resources, here are disclaimers for biology textbooks, Charles Darwin Has a Posse stickers, and a Portable Darwin for your classroom.
Just a silly pie chart I created for “Designing conference posters” to argue that graphs with illustrations can help viewers absorb results a bit faster than those with just labels and legends. (Please note that although the graphic is a tad silly, the data are real: less than 10% of Americans accept that humans evolved without supernatural help.)