A new study shows that schools and many education programmes are failing to provide students with a basic understanding of evolution.
It is famously difficult to explain evolutionary principles without resorting to anthropomorphic or figurative language. Evolution ‘selects’ the fittest individuals; species ‘adapt’ to change. Both of these phrases are commonplace when explaining the very complex processes involved in evolution. However, this use of language implies that there is an agency or cognition involved in evolution. This misunderstanding is being picked up on by students in the classroom and could form part of a wider desire to fit evolutionary theory into broad social narratives.
Rob Moore and colleagues (University of Cape Town, South Africa), writing in the Spring issue of the Journal of Biological Education, call for more care in the use of language in science education. ‘Given the centrality of evolutionary theory to a clear foundation in biology, the widely documented difficulty that many students have in coming to terms with these concepts is of enduring concern…Establishing a clear conceptual grasp of evolutionary theory will need to include an enhanced sensitivity to language usage.’
Natalie Partridge | alphagalileo
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01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College
Sustainable Development Goals lead to lower population growth
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
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