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Evolution and Ecology Across Latitudes students in January, 2016, at Ingapirca, an Inca and Cañari site in Ecuador

In the 2015–2016 academic year, Bret Weinstein and I co-taught a year-long, full-time, upper-division science program at The Evergreen State College, which contained, in the middle of it, an 11 week study abroad trip to Ecuador. I have already posted about some of my philosophy of and approach to higher ed, a summary of my approach to study abroad, and also about the boat accident that nearly killed me and some of our students in Galápagos at the end of that study abroad trip. In early August, 2020, we were asked by a fellow academic if we would post one of the covenants that we produced for our programs. …


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All of these things can be true. All of these things are true:

1. Systemic racism has a long history throughout the world, and the legacy of slavery in the U.S. is a particularly salient example.

2. In the U.S., we were making progress against racism, both at the societal and individual level. We were not there. We were not “post-race.” …


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Los Tuneles, Isla Isabela, Galápagos. Photo by Bret Weinstein.

I have often said to my students: Nature is not out to get you.

In fact, the truth is worse. Nature is not out to get you. It is indifferent to you.

We had been immersed in nature on this trip. Explorations of rainforests, cloud forest, páramo. Slogs through mud and mule dung. Hikes around an equatorial crater lake rich in wildflowers; on the rim of a barren, active volcano; in a windblown, horizontal-rain fantasy landscape 13,000 feet up. Swims through lava tubes long since cool.

Nearly everywhere we were and had been, someone got got, at least a little. But it was never personal. A wasp sting here, an ant bite there. Gut bacteria from a land new to North American intestinal tracts, causing trouble. Fungal trespass on skin, trying to make a new home for itself. Woolly monkeys defending their space. …

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Seeker and communicator of truths. Rhymes with flying.

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