Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Students, in this blog post you will find many important resources and updates to the syllabus.  In particular....Your last regular Unit Test has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 30th .   There will be an After-School Study Session beginning at 3:15 and going until 5:00 on the prior date, Wednesday, April 29th.

To help prepare for that Test, here is the latest set of  Lecture Notesand here is the PDF file of the Lecture Guide based upon the notes.   The previous sections of notes to be covered appears here, and here.

Perhaps most importantly, here is the link to the previous blog post describing your 600-point final semester project  , which consists of writing multiple drafts of a guided essay.   THE FIRST DRAFT IS DUE MONDAY, April 27th!!!

Finally, the title of the latest group of notes, incidentally, is taken from the Daniel Dennett book which also inspired a two-hour episode of the NOVA 'Evolution' series.    This episode is being shown in class in its entirety over the course of several lessons, and students are expected to complete a Study Guide based on this program. 

To help students master this material,   the entire video has been made available through this YouTube channel, broken into 11 segments, shown below:

(For your convenience, I have embedded all 11 videos on this page, but these may not be visible on FUSD computers or on others that do not have recent versions of Java to run flash-based media.  If you are unable to open the individual videos on this post, go to the link above and watch them directly on YouTube)

Chapter 1. Prologue
Chapter 2. Common Ancestry

Chapter 3. Ecuador and the Tree of Life

Chapter 4. Natural Selection

Chapter 5. Mutation and HIV

Chapter 6. Complexity

Chapter 7. How The Eye Evolved

Chapter 8. God

Chapter 9. A Scientist Discusses Religion

Chapter 10. The Human Question

Chapter 11. Humans and The Tree of Life Chapter 12. Epilogue

Finally, here is the PBS web site that accompanies the entire series.
You can also watch parts of the videos there, but they are lower in resolution.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


This week, students in Mr. Hatfield's Biology classes will receive instructions on their final Semester Project, which involves writing a 1,000-word essay in a series of drafts from a topic chosen by students related to the material in Chapters 15 and 16 of the text:

The essay has requirements in terms of format, bibliography and citations, sources and student integrity.   Mr. Hatfield discusses those requirements, at length, in the following video excerpt:

 Students who have additional questions about this assignment should refer to the syllabus and discuss their concerns with the instructor as soon as possible!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


The Power Point Lecture Notes on 'Deep Time' are available here.

Students who were absent on any date between Friday the 10th and Wednesday the 14th are almost certainly missing much of these notes. Mr. Hatfield will review the final slides with students in class on Thursday, and make sure that they have the Lecture Guide based upon these notes.....

FACT: The fossil record (and other lines of evidence) show us that populations of living things have "changed over time" (evolved)....

QUESTION: How can we explain this pattern of change in terms of NATURAL causes?

Monday, April 13, 2015


Monday's class (TODAY) featured excerpts from 'Extinction!', which is Episode 3 from NOVA's 'Evolution' series (2001).   A worksheet was given.   If it is not completed at school, in class, students must go on-line to the class blog to complete the worksheet, which is due at the beginning of class tomorrow!

The video begins with paleontologist Peter Ward hunting for Permian fossils in South Africa's Karoo Desert, and relates ecological pyramids (which are like a 'house of cards') to mass extinctions, which are believed to be rare but important events in the history of life.

It then follows the work of American Museum of Natural History researcher Michael Novacek in building the fossil record of small, shrew-like mammals from the Mesozoic, representative of the lineage that will survive the next mass extinction (the K/T event), which will claim the dinosaurs.

It concludes with an examination of the role of human activity in accelerating the rate of extinction, with important attention to conservationists like Alan Rabinowitz. I encourage students to watch the video in its entirety for themselves if there are points that they don't get in class. We simply do not have enough class time to review this, but I know many students will want to see the whole story again, either by going to Google Video or watching it here: