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Book 2: "A Nonfiction book"   I came across this one while looking for an e-book to put on my iPad so I'd have something to read on those full-to-bursting-backpack days. It completes the item for "a nonfiction book," and wow...I tore through this book faster than I think I've read a nonfiction in a very long time. My favorite part about this one was Bill Nye's writing style: conversational, informal, strewn with jokes (such as the running gag of his old boss as a lesser-evolved life form), and unquestionably him. Fans of the Bill Nye the Science Guy show from the 90's (like myself) will be able to hear his voice quite clearly in their heads as they read - it's like an adult version of his show in book form! I was also really impressed with the content of the book - I'd expected it to be much more about the debate with Creationist Ken Ham (the impetus for Bill writing this book in the first place). But he actually only touches on the debate... read more

One of the great challenges in teaching evolution is understanding the flow of time.  Humans have 75-year lifespans, on average.  Our generations are approximately a third of that.  Our existence as anatomically modern humans has only lasted for about 200,000 years.   Only!   A popular analogy for conceiving geologic time on Earth is the clock, or the calendar, where humans occupy the last second or the last chunk of December 31.  This still doesn't give you a very good idea of how long 4 billion years is.   I suggest therefore a new analogy, which compares time with distance.  For the purposes of this blog post, let's say 1 year = 1 meter.   1 meter is an easily conceivable length, and so is 1 year.  Divide it into days, and each day is about one-fourth of a centimeter.   100 years = 100 meters.  Google any one of Usain Bolt's record-breaking 100-meter dashes and see how far he runs... read more

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