Archives de Tag: biology

Harry Potter and the Opportunity for Science Education

A whole generation grew up on the Harry Potter books and the films adapted from these books. So, what does it mean? Everybody and their little sister is going to pay attention if you use dear Harry as a teaching prop!

For zoologists, both books and movies are a mine of educational opportunities. All those owls flitting to and fro, bringing wizards messages — oops! The species mentioned in the books are not always the same as those used in the films. In part because, for instance, it would be difficult, and quite dangerous, to have a huge eagle owl landing on the tender shoulders of a school-age kid… (Yes, even Draco.)

Harry Potter and the PSA, by lyosha

Now, if you are a botanist, how about telling us what a real willow looks like? Not like the films’ poor angry Whomping Willow, in any case!

And then, there’s genetics. This is straight from book canon, and basic knowledge about how wizards can be born from Muggles stock. (Hat tip: @SLSingh).

That’s creativity for you, people! Yes, creativity. Science can has it too.

Neandertal and us, the comic strip

Science made easy! With pictures! Thanks to @BoraZ for the link: Neandering Genes, by Dwayne Godwin and Jorge Cham, in Scientific American MIND)…

Oh, and by the way, remember: the «as much as 4% of our genes» coming from Neandertals is only true for people of European & Asian descent. If you’re African, you should be pure Homo sapiens. Congratulations!