Redaction Criticism, Star Trek, and the Bible (Director’s Cut)

To err is human. To learn to take the time to revise and improve on first drafts of one’s work may not be divine but it sure is important. In the freshman class I teach, students are required to submit a first draft of most papers, which is then graded and given feedback, after which [Read More...]

Judgment Day

This is the PBS NOVA documentary about the Dover trial related to Intelligent Design. HT Jerry Coyne [Read more...]

Bibliographies in Separate Documents

If you are a student, and you have not explicitly been told otherwise, please don’t put your bibliography in a separate document. There is no reason for doing this. Sometimes publishers will ask for bibliographies of books to be submitted as a separate document because it makes formatting easier for them. But for assignments and [Read More...]

Essential Tech Skills for Today’s Students

Digital, technological and information literacy are increasingly major focuses of mine in my teaching. But I am also involved in a committee at my university that focuses on emerging technologies and their relation to our work as educators. One question that we found ourselves pondering at a recent meeting is this one: What are the [Read More...]

Evolution and Creationism around the Blogosphere

Several posts related to the bogus claims of proponents of young earth creationism and intelligent design have appeared in the blogosphere over the past 24 hours or so… Karl Giberson asked why Evangelicals prefer to get their information from the discredited Ken Ham rather than an actual Evangelical scientist like Francis Collins. Darrell Falk responded [Read More...]

Antievolutionism in the Classroom and around the Blogosphere

My freshman “Faith, Doubt and Reason” class yesterday took an unexpected turn, as a discussion of Paul Tillich’s treatment of symbols in his Dynamics of Faith raised the issue of whether faith is necessary in the natural sciences, which led some students (the vast majority, at least of those who spoke) to express a “lack [Read More...]

More on Ancient Language Acquisition

Amber Baker shared contrasting experiences of learning Hebrew. Brian Schultz posted about fluency and reading comprehension. Jim Davila did better on Daniel Streett’s quiz than most. Steve Caruso asked us to try the same quiz with Aramaic. Jim Davila shared information about a course on Zoharic Aramaic (with links to pdfs of the text). [Read more...]

No Dinosaurs in Heaven

Here’s the trailer for a new movie focused on the attempt of religious fundamentalists to hijack science education. The film is called “No Dinosaurs in Heaven.” [Read more...]

What Students Don’t Know: Mindset Lists and Digital Natives

I had a post on this topic in mind since I read the piece in Inside Higher Ed a few days ago entitled “What Students Don’t Know.” This sample quote sums up a situation that has increasingly become the focus of my teaching and my classes: The most alarming finding in the ERIAL studies was [Read More...]

Correlation Between Income and Test Scores

Scott F shared this chart showing how higher income and higher standardized test scores correlate: I think there is a simple explanation for this phenomenon: when you have to work two jobs trying to make ends meet, or work a very tiring job for little money, the odds are that you will not have the [Read More...]

Liberal Arts Education: Bench Press for the Brain

Many students show up in required core curriculum courses uncertain why they are being made to take it, and as a result resentful. One of the ways I try to explain the necessity of Liberal Arts elements of education even for those pursuing professional degrees is as follows. If you bench press/lift weights, the reason [Read More...]