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Danger: Indoctrination

When most of us think of the controversy over evolution in the public schools, we are likely to think of fundamentalists pulling teachers from their classrooms and placing them in the dock. Images from the infamous Scopes “monkey” trial of 1925 come to mind. Unfortunately, intolerance of this sort has shown itself in California in the 1990s as a result of students complaining about a biology instructor. Unlike the original Scopes case, however, this case involves a distinguished biology professor at a major university — indeed, an acknowledged expert on evolutionary theory. Also unlike Scopes, the teacher was forbidden to teach his course not because he taught evolutionary theory (which he did) but because he offered a critical assessment of Read More ›

molecular models classroom.jpg
Students sit in the classroom and listen to a lecture in science. Plastic molecular educational model. Soft focus background image
Photo by svetlanaz on Adobe Stock

Danger: Indoctrination

A distinguished biology professor, Dean Kenyon, was forbidden to teach his course not because he taught evolutionary theory (which he did) but because he offered a critical assessment of it. Read More ›
Photo by Jordan Harrison

Metcalf’s Law and Legacy

The world of networks breaks into two polar paradigms. Most familiar is the Public Switched Telephone Network. From the tiniest transistor flip-flop on a modem chip through labyrinthine layers of rising complexity on up to a 4ESS supercomputer switch linking 107,520 telephone trunk lines (itself consisting of millions of interconnected transistors), the public network is a vast, deterministic web of Read More ›

The Whispers of Strangers

Today is my 76th birthday,” the letter began. “Unassisted and by my own free will, I have chosen to take my final passage.” Suicide. My friend Frances died in a cold, impersonal hotel room after taking an overdose of sleeping pills, with a plastic bag tied over her head suffocating the life out of her body. Frances was not a Read More ›

Photo by Dave

The Issaquah Miracle

In the spring of 1989 when Michael Bookey first visited the Middle School in Issaquah, Wash., to help the school system with its computers, he was reminded of his early ventures into Communist China. After 20 years of working with computer networks, to enter Issaquah seemed to me like encountering an exotic tribe of primitives untouched by the modern world. Read More ›