… June 8. That is, we will accept entries from noon, June 8, to noon, June 22, where noon is defined by the Panda’s Thumb server, which thinks it is still in Central Standard Time, or UTC(GMT) – 5 h. The rules will be essentially the same as previous years’. We have not chosen categories yet, but please be assured that they (or it) will be all-inclusive. So wipe your lenses, grease your shutters, and...
"Campaigners who called for an official ban on teaching creationism in schools have welcomed a 'clear statement' from a Scottish Government minister it should not be taught in science classes," reports the Glasgow Herald (May 24, 2015).
"A parent of a Jefferson County student has filed a federal lawsuit against local, state and federal education officials claiming the teaching of evolution, which he says is a religion, violates his child’s Constitutional rights," reports the Charleston, West Virginia, Daily Mail (May 21, 2015).
Chrysemys picta – painted turtle, Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat, Boulder, yesterday. See also here....
School’s out, and I discovered a new website, TheTorah.com, which appears to be a project of a group of Modern Orthodox Jews to promulgate their acceptance of higher criticism (also called historical criticism). In other words, these are scholars who practice Orthodox Judaism but are not Biblical literalists. Their website proclaims a need for a “historical and contextual approach” to Torah study. Amen, and good luck to them! Most of the articles on the Website...
The majority of U.S. medical schools do not require evolutionary biology as a prerequisite for acceptance and do not offer courses dedicated to the subject. But as we talked about last time, adopting an evolutionary perspective on medical issues can potentially give new insights into disease treatment, prevention, and diagnosis. Where do we and should we begin to teach this kind of thinking? What resources are available to teachers and students to learn about...
From David Young on Facebook: Number nerd warning: Today at 8:25.5 pm (local time) it will be 5 / 10 / 15 20 : 25 : 30....
“Measles vaccine protects against other deadly diseases,” proclaims an article in ScienceInsider. In reality, the protection is indirect: Getting measles disposes you to getting other potentially fatal diseases over the next several years. Evidently, measles, unlike, for example, whooping cough, not only weakens your immune system but also makes it “forget,” so you may even contract a disease that you already had and thought you were immune to. (As an aside, though it was supposedly...
The South Dakota state board of education adopted a new set of science standards for the state on May 18, 2015.
Missouri's House Bill 486 (PDF) died in committee in the Missouri House of Representatives on May 15, 2015, when the legislature adjourned.
"Teachers and students could soon find themselves free to debate the strengths and weaknesses of the theory of evolution in public schools across Alabama if a bill introduced to the House this month becomes law," reported the Anniston Star (May 7, 2015), referring to House Bill 592 (PDF).
House Bill 592 (PDF), introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives on April 30, 2015, and referred to the House Committee on Education Policy, would undermine the integrity of science education in the state by encouraging science teachers with idiosyncratic opinions to teach whatever they pleased while preventing responsible educational authorities from intervening. Topics identified in the bill as likely to "cause debate and disputation" are "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, and human cloning."
Photograph by Louis Shackleton. Colaptes auratus – female yellow-shafted northern flicker, University of North Carolina at Wilmington campus. Mr. Shackleton writes, “She is gaping, that is, thermoregulating by opening her beak and just breathing, because birds do not sweat.”...
"Creationism is still taught in dozens of faith schools [in the United Kingdom] despite Government threats to withdraw their funding," reports the Telegraph (May 2, 2015), describing the results of a recent investigation by the British Humanist Association.
California State PTA adopted a resolution on climate change and climate change education — entitled "Climate Change is a Children's Issue" — at its annual convention in Sacramento, California, on May 2, 2015.
We are aware of the issue with Google comment logins and are working on a fix. It is going to take us a while to implement one due to various personal and software reasons....
Reed A. Cartwright
NCSE is pleased to announce that the latest issue of Reports of the National Center for Science Education is now available on-line.
In looking up commentary on net neutrality, I found Kool-Aid chugger Chris Harris. (I was actually looking for “Logan Albright”, and found Harris as an inveterate quoter of Albright.) Amidst a bunch of other hogwash, Harris makes a plea to consider the ISPs: Some dissenters against “Net Neutrality” are most concerned with the free-market implications […]
A just-launched first-of-its-kind massive open online course on climate change denial, "Making Sense of Climate Science Denial," is already reaching over ten thousand people around the world — and NCSE is represented.