BAS SkepTalk: Steve Newton - Sh*t Students Say: Strange ideas about the planet

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Sh*t Students Say:
Chem trails, hollow earths, and other strange ideas about the planet

From rejection of evolution and plate tectonics to questions about chem trails and crystal energy, many introductory science students come to class with strange ideas about the earth. Can animals predict earthquakes? Is the Earth hollow? Is climate change a hoax? Spoiler alert: no. Steven Newton draws from over twenty years of undergraduate geoscience education to illustrate how mistaken views show up in geoscience classes—and what all educators can do to promote good science.

About Steven Newton
After a long stint as a professional gambler, alpaca farmer, and yogi—a career which ended abruptly in what has become known in Ecuador as the ‘Night of the Supple Alpaca’– Steven Newton decided to re-invent himself as an intrepid geologist devoted to defending science education at the National Center for Science Education. Today, from his lair as the Ignatius J. Reilly Chair of Geology at College of Marin, Newton attempts to amuse confounded millennials with a combination of science memes, obscure references to events in Tudor-Stuart Britain, and pontifications about which cafes have the best coffee. Frequently voiced student concerns asking ‘Isn’t this supposed to be a geology class?’ are brushed aside with musings about the details of early Star Wars scripts.