evolution

Until about 600 million years ago, seeing colors didn't matter so much to Earth's inhabitants — nobody had eyes.

"Before the eye evolved, you just wouldn't have seen what was there," says Andrew Parker, a biologist at London's Natural History Museum who studies the evolution of color.

State and local-level school officials would be required to develop guidelines for teaching evolution under legislation making its way through the Missouri House.

If passed, school districts would have to, “encourage students to explore scientific questions” regarding the “strengths and weaknesses” of both biological and chemical evolution.  The sponsor, State Representative Andrew Koenig (R, Winchester), says House Bill 179 stresses academic freedom.

“It does not mandate curriculum to the teacher," Koenig said.  "It’s really up to the school district, and if evolution is gonna be taught, it just allows them to teach the scientific strengths and weaknesses.”

Lawmakers discuss bill to teach evolution in schools

Feb 21, 2013
Ryk Neethling / flickr

A Missouri State Representative thinks evolution needs to be more clearly taught in schools.

Representative Andrew Koenig’s House Bill 179 was discussed at a public hearing Wednesday morning by the Committee for Elementary and Secondary Education.

Koenig’s bill would allow teachers to teach the strengths and weaknesses of evolution freely. He said this approach will encourage students to explore science.

Rehman Tungekar / KBIA

New research out of the University of Missouri shows that when it comes to female mate preference in a certain species of tree frog, there may be more than meets the eye.  Females may actually prefer the calls of males that share the same number of chromosomes.