Excellent websites present the basics of evolution and the scientific method

March 2, 2011 | By | Reply More

The University of California Museum of Paleontology and the National Center for Science Education have offered an excellent remedy to the increasingly vocal anti-science chorus one hears in the United States. This remedy is a website called “Understanding Evolution.” The site is a link-rich resource for both teachers and for the general public. From the About page:

Understanding Evolution is a non-commercial, education website, teaching the science and history of evolutionary biology. This site is here to help you understand what evolution is, how it works, how it factors into your life, how research in evolutionary biology is performed, and how ideas in this area have changed over time.

Consider these pages to get you started:  “What is the evidence for evolution”  and “Misconceptions about natural selection and adaptation.”

And why stop at evolution while you’re in the learning mood? Why not also explore the scientific method at a related site titled “Understanding Science.” As was the case with “Understanding Evolution,” “Understand Science” was produced by the UC Museum of Paleontology of the University of California at Berkeley, in collaboration with a diverse group of scientists and teachers, and was funded by the National Science Foundation.   Here’s an excerpt from the About page:

The mission of Understanding Science is to provide a fun, accessible, and free resource that accurately communicates what science is and how it really works. The process of science is exciting, but standard explanations often miss its dynamic nature. Science affects us all everyday, but people often feel cut off from science. Science is an intensely human endeavor, but many portrayals gloss over the passion, curiosity, and even rivalries and pitfalls that characterize all human ventures. Understanding Science gives users an inside look at the general principles, methods, and motivations that underlie all of science.

At this site, you’ll find answers to such questions as “What is science?” and “Why science matters.” At this site, readers can also access information “correcting misconceptions” about science and teachers have access to numerous resources.

Image by Zabiello at dreamstime (with permission)

Both of these sites are both well-written and well-designed.  You might want to keep these links handy for those increasingly frequent occasions when you hear evolution-ignorant and science-ignorant folks spout off the that the earth is 6,000 years old or that “evolution claims that people came from monkeys.”

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Category: Evolution, Science, scientific method

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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