Monday, September 24, 2007

The Textbook Used by Scopes

During Banned Books Week (beginning Sept. 24) we have on display at the circulation desk a copy of the 1914 textbook used by Tennessee high school teacher John Thomas Scopes, which led to his arrest and trial for teaching evolution. [more on the Scopes trial]

Authored by George William Hunter, A Civic Biology: Presented in Problems, the book devotes just five pages to evolution, leading to this statement: "We have now learned that animal forms may be arranged so as to begin with very simple one-celled forms and culminate with a group which contains man himself." [p. 194] On the next page, Hunter notes "If we follow the early history of man upon the earth, we find that at first he must have been little better than one of the lower animals." Interestingly, although Hunter references Charles Darwin as "the great English scientist" he does not specifically cite Origin of Species or any other work by Darwin in this particular section of the book. A separate section on "Some great names in biology" gives Origin its due, along with tributes to Edward Jenner, Louis Pasteur, Gregor Mendel, and others.

The display copy of Hunter's text belongs to Ohio State University, on loan through OhioLINK. Stop by for a glimpse into legal, social and biological history.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Earthquake Prediction on Shaky Ground

From Science News of the Week

by Richard A. Kerr

"The recent run of large quakes off the Indonesian island of Sumatra is providing fodder for both sides in the debate over whether earthquakes behave consistently enough to be reliably anticipated." Read the full story at

Deep Earthquakes by Cliff Frolich (Cambridge, 2006) offers an excellent review of the subject. Get it in the Science Library.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hurricanes, Heaven's Gate, Ice Age Caves, and Mine Disasters

This week's shipment of new books brings some fascinating titles, come in and browse!

Two on hurricanes and storms related to climate change include
Storm World by Chris Mooney (author of the Republican War on Science). Mooney was interviewed last month on Talk of the Nation - Science Friday (Aug. 24 broadcast).

Harcourt Books links to a number of interesting reviews and other information about the book.

As for Heaven's Gate, Ice Age Caves, and Mine Disasters... browse the new books list online, and find these and other intriguing titles!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Study Carrels Available! Sign-up anytime.

Initial study carrel assignments have been made, based on requests made before September 10. There are 13 carrels still unassigned, you are welcome to make one of them your study space. Just stop by the science library circulation desk and ask to see the list of available carrels - pick out the one you want, and fill out the carrel form. It's all yours!