January 19, 2010
By Odin – he’s done it!
Everyone’s favorite goat herding Junior Skeptic editor, Daniel Loxton, has finally finished his illustrated compendium of knowledge on the subject of evolution. A commenter was recently asking whether there were any decent books on natural selection to share with kids. Well, ask no more. If this new evolution book is anything like the quality that is produced for Junior Skeptic magazine, then I will wager to say that it’s worth purchasing.
Buy it at Skeptic.com
Also, buy it at Amazon!
May 18, 2009
A few months back, I was dismayed that the local public library had an entire shelf of religious literature for kids, and not one book about Charles Darwin.
I was beginning to lose hope in Cincinnati, my hometown… and neighboring town to the dreaded Creation Museum. Even our local zoo almost joined forces with the creationists until people protested. But then, a ray of light appeared on the horizon. I was excited to see that the Cincinnati Museum Center was opening a new Darwin exhibit.
Would it be a traveling exhibit like the Dinosaurs Unearthed currently visiting? Would it have an animatronic Darwin greeting me as I entered? Would there be a special IMAX movie? Would they sell Darwin action figures and t-shirts in the gift shop?
The lady at the front desk hadn’t even heard of the exhibit. I had to hop on my data phone and search for the info myself. When I discovered the wing of the museum in which I could find the exhibit, the greeter at the door had never heard of the exhibit. I was beginning to think that this “exhibit” would be a diorama of The Beagle and a glass case full of finches. Surely the Museum Center wouldn’t shove Darwin in a corner and hide him from their own employees.
Finally, I found what I was looking for…
That sign with the tiny words that I can barely read is a metaphor for my experiences at the museum trying to find an exhibit that was smaller than my bedroom. I know that there were people who worked hard on putting this together, and I must give them credit for trying, but I live 15 miles from an entire museum dedicated to Young Earth Creationism, a place where they put saddles on dinosaurs and force you into a hell house room before you exit.
In a world where creationists can make denialism and ignorance a fun experience for kids, and a natural science museum can make the undeniable fact of evolution even more boring than it is, something has gone terribly wrong.
November 28, 2008
Today is Black Friday. I’ve been up since 4am helping my FIL buy a 42″ flatscreen at Wal-Mart. I ordinarily wouldn’t voluntarily visit a Wal-Mart on any day, let alone on a day when the place is swelling with rabid shoppers, but family comes first.
For those of you who are snobby science-loving shoppers, like myself, I have three gift ideas picked out to recommend. Please understand that I have not used these products or tested them myself. These are just the coolest looking science toys that I could find. I recommend that you read the reviews for each product before taking my blind advice.
I think the best science toys explain not only “what we know”, but “how we know what we know”. That’s why I am excited about the Milestones in Science kit by Thames & Kosmos. This kit will walk you and your child through the history of scientific discoveries and help you reproduce the very experiments that had our wise ancestors saying “EUREKA!”. I love the concept. I can only hope that they executed it well.
Charlie’s Playhouse has Darwin-inspired toys that engage young minds about evolution, including a giant time line with info cards of several ancient creatures. This gift really helps young minds understand our diverse ancestral tree of life, and gets the kids thinking about fact-based reality before the phone book ripping zealots can brainwash them.
This being a skeptic blog, I do want to encourage logic and reasoning, which is why the last gift I’m recommending is the new incarnation of Clue called Clue Suspects. This seems like a neat twist on the classic game, except instead of using process-of-elimination, the game is played by using reasoning and deduction. This is meant to be a solitaire game, so it’s perfect for the only-child. I like the idea, it sounds like fun, and I think I found the perfect Secret Santa gift. Sh… don’t tell.