Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado....
A new PBS series, Earth: A new wild, will highlight China’s breeding of giant pandas with the intention of introducing them into the wild. One goal of the series is to demonstrate that humans and nature are interdependent, according to its producer, M. Sanjayan. The 5-part series will begin on February 4. You may see a 1.5-min clip from the show at the link above. You may also see photographs of newborn panda triplets here....
Ark Park attendance is estimated to be no more than 640,000 visitors in its best year, down from 1.24 million, according to a report by Tom Loftus in The (Kentucky) Courier-Journal. That is not as bad as it appears – or as good as it appears, depending how you look at it – considering that the project has been scaled back from $172.5 million with many additional attractions to $73 million without. The Kentucky Secular...
A Montana legislator, Clayton Fiscus (R-District 46), is preparing to introduce a bill purporting to "emphasize critical thinking in instruction related to controversial scientific theories on the origin of life" such as "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, random mutation, natural selection, DNA, and fossil discoveries."
Senate Bill 665 (document), styled the Oklahoma Science Education Act, is the third antiscience bill of the year.
NCSE is pleased to announce that the latest issue of Reports of the National Center for Science Education is now available on-line.
NCSE is pleased to congratulate David Morrison, who received the 2015 Education Prize from the American Astronomical Society.
I get email. One of the email messages I got yesterday was from Battle for the Net, a group advocating strong net neutrality rules enforced by the FCC under Title II. In the House of Congress, there is a move by Reps. Thune and Upton to propose and pass legislation that claims to establish “net […]
Wyoming's House Bill 23 (PDF) was unanimously passed by the House Education Committee, according to the Casper Star-Tribune (January 20, 2015), and now proceeds to the floor of the House.
"Call it a back-door approach to failed attempts to chip away at state standards on teaching evolution and to bring creationism into the public school classroom," wrote the Lafayette, Indiana, Journal and Courier (January 20, 2015), referring to Senate Bill 562, which if enacted would deprive administrators of the ability to prevent teachers from miseducating students about "scientific controversies."
Indiana's Senate Bill 562, introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Education & Career Development on January 20, 2015, is the second antiscience bill of the year, following Missouri's House Bill 486.
I am sure we all read it in the papers several weeks ago: Two-thirds of all cancers are caused by bad luck. The New York Times said so. Science magazine, which published the original article said so too. Only problem, the original article did not say that, and to her credit, Jennifer Couzin-Frankel, the Science reporter who “said so too,” corrected the record in a sort of meditation on the difficulty of getting difficult scientific...
NCSE is delighted to congratulate Richard Lewontin on being named as a recipient of the Crafoord Prize in Biosciences for 2015.
A milestone: there are now over 90,000 fans of NCSE's Facebook page. Why not join them, by visiting the page and becoming a fan by clicking on the "Like" box by NCSE's name?
What do flamingoes and pigeons have in common? You might say very little—after all, flamingoes are long–legged, vibrantly–colored water–dwellers and the pigeons we often see inhabiting our cities appear to be completely the opposite. But according to a study published last month in Science magazine, flamingoes and pigeons are more closely related than previously thought. The groundbreaking new study used phylogenomics to compare the genes of 48 bird species. It is the first study of...
The subtitle of this book by frequent PT commenter Carl Drews is “Crossing the Red Sea with faith and science.” Mr. Drews achieved a modicum of fame a few years ago for his master’s thesis, in which he speculated that Moses and his followers had crossed the Sea of Reeds during a wind setdown, that is, an event where the wind blows so hard on a body of water that the water level on the...
Missouri's House Bill 486 (PDF), introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives on January 13, 2015, would confer "academic freedom to teach scientific evidence regarding evolution" to teachers. If enacted, the bill would in effect encourage science teachers with idiosyncratic opinions to teach anything they pleased, and discourage responsible educational authorities from intervening. The bill specifically cites "the theory of biological and hypotheses of chemical evolution" as controversial.
"The West Virginia Board of Education voted Wednesday to withdraw changes proposed to the state's science education standards," reports the Charleston Gazette (January 14, 2015).
West Virginia's board of education is to reconsider its decision to undermine the treatment of climate science in its new state science standards at its January 14, 2015, meeting, according to The New York Times (January 13, 2015).
Added October 31, 2006:A discussion of the main models on the spontaneous origin of life that aims to show how cellular complexity could have gradually emerged from simple systems - in contrast to the sudden appearance of complexity that creationists claim to have been necessary at the beginning of life. Central issues like the composition of the early atmosphere of the Earth and the origin of the homochirality of amino acids and sugars are reviewed as well.