When Len Eisenberg walks into a classroom to give a presentation, he likes to tell students that a dog is their 27-millionth cousin.

Explaining to children that every living creature is connected and related is a sure way to grab their attention, the Ashland, Ore., resident believes. "Bing—all eyes are up front when I say that," said Eisenberg, who volunteers to speak in schools about evolutionary theory, as well as topics such as earth science, geology, and oil and gas.

Retired from the petroleum industry, Eisenberg began volunteering in schools more...

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