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Pro-Science News

A preview of Going Ape

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Brandon Haught's Going Ape: Florida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom (University Press of Florida, 2014).

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NCSE's next webinar for activists

NCSE is pleased to announce the next of a new series of on-line workshops aimed at broadening and deepening the networks that make our work possible. The next workshop focuses on involving students, who have a direct stake in the integrity of science education, in science education advocacy.

 

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"What are they teaching your kids about global warming?"

"What are they teaching your kids about global warming?" asked National Journal (June 26, 2014). The answer is provided by "a patchwork of climate instruction guidelines that largely leaves teachers to their own devices, facilitating massive disparities in global-warming education from school to school and state to state."

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NGSS in US News and World Report

"Political debates surrounding climate change and creationism are now making their way into America's schools, as more states are deciding whether to adopt or reject new common science standards "that put a greater emphasis on controversial topics like global warming and evolution," according to US News and World Report (June 20, 2014).

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Freshwater: The waiting continues

Panda's Thumb - Tue, 2014-06-24 19:55
John Freshwater’s petition for a writ of certiorari has been placed on the SCOTUS docket for a September 29, 2014, conference.... Richard B. Hoppe
Categories: Pro-Science News

Pan troglodytes

Panda's Thumb - Tue, 2014-06-24 19:55
Photograph by Gerry L. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Pan troglodytes – common chimpanzee.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Marine Mammals: The Smithsonian Magazine Talks About NOC

W.R. Elsberry's The Austringer - Tue, 2014-06-24 13:22
Disclosure: I am a researcher who worked with NOC at the US Navy Marine Mammal Program. Smithsonian Magazine ran an article by Charles Siebert titled, “The Story of One Whale Who Tried to Bridge the Linguistic Divide Between Animals and Humans”. This was ostensibly about the work Dr. Sam Ridgway and others at the US […]
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Understanding creationism, IV:An insider's guide by a former young-Earth creationist

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2014-06-22 04:43
By David MacMillan. 4. Transitional fossils. One of the most common and most frustrating creationist objections to evolution is the claim that there are no “missing links” or “transitional fossils” required by evolution. This claim is made without qualification, particularly in presentations to lay or church audiences. As unthinkable as it might seem, creationists really do believe that transitional fossils simply do not exist. On this basis, they conclude that evolution must be false. They... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Collecting specimens and killing bears

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2014-06-22 04:43
A report this morning on NPR asks, “Is collecting animals for science a noble mission or a threat?” The question is left unanswered, but the reporter notes that collecting specimens from small, isolated, and endangered species can be counterproductive, at best. Ben Minteer, an author of the Science article that inspired the NPR report (not to mention a rebuttal by around 120 other scientists), recommends photographs and DNA samples in lieu of specimens, but other... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Discovery Institute Attack on Cosmos Provides a Teaching Moment of Its Own

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2014-06-22 04:43
I’ve a brief new article in the new Skeptical Inquirer (July/August 2014) regarding Casey Luskin’s botched attack on the second episode of Cosmos. Here it follows - your comments are welcomed. Fox TV’s Seth McFarlane has joined with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan, Carl Sagan’s widow and collaborator, to continue Sagan’s marvelous Cosmos series of decades ago. The new series is a splendid blend of homage to Sagan’s original one with dazzling... Dave Thomas http://www.nmsr.org
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Recurvirostra americana

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2014-06-22 04:43
Recurvirostra americana – American avocet, Walden Ponds, Boulder, Colorado.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Oklahoma science standards adopted

On June 19, 2014, Oklahoma's governor Mary Fallin approved the state's adoption of a new set of science standards, according to US News & World Report (June 20, 2014), despite the objections of state legislators to their inclusion of climate science.

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Good news for evolution in Britain

The British government recently clarified and extended its ban on teaching creationism in academies, according to a June 18, 2014, press release from the British Humanist Association, which congratulated the government "on its robust stand on this issue." 

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Wyoming churches endorse NGSS

The Wyoming Association of Churches endorsed the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, according to the Casper Star-Tribune (June 16, 2014).

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AGU award for NCSE's Scott

Eugenie C. Scott

Eugenie C. Scott, the former executive director of NCSE and the current chair of its Advisory Council, will receive a Presidential Citation for Science and Society from the American Geophysical Union at a reception in Washington DC on June 17, 2014.  

Categories: Pro-Science News

Understanding creationism, III: An insider's guide by a former young-Earth creationist

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
By David MacMillan. 3. You don’t evolve, your species does. Creationists often conceptualize evolution as something which is purely vertical: successive changes from parent to child to grandchild to great-grandchild accumulating over time. They can hardly be faulted for this misconception, because this view seems to be shared by the general public and even reinforced by the sometimes-imprecise explanations and depictions of evolution by museums and science educators. Evolutionary adaptation, however, does not happen in... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Climate and creationism

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
The economist Paul Krugman has come to the “somewhat surprising conclusion” that global warming denial is not mainly about vested economic interests but rather asks us to think about global warming from the point of view of someone who grew up taking Ayn Rand seriously, believing that the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest is always good and that government is always the problem, never the solution. Along come some scientists declaring that unrestricted pursuit of self-interest... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Anas cyanoptera

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
Anas cyanoptera – cinnamon teal, Walden Ponds, Boulder, Colorado.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Freshwater: Board's Brief in Response filed with SCOTUS

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
The Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Board of Education has filed its Brief in Opposition to Freshwater’s petition for a writ of certiori with the Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS). Recall that Freshwater asked SCOTUS to overturn his firing on the ground that it violated his First Amendment rights, and that prohibiting his teaching the “scientific strengths and weaknesse of biological evolution” also violates the First Amendment. I haven’t found an online version of the Brief... Richard B. Hoppe
Categories: Pro-Science News

Meyer's Hopeless Monster, Part III

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
The paperback edition of Stephen Meyer’s book Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design has just been published. It has a new chapter responding to critics of the book – Donald Prothero, Charles Marshall, and yours truly, the blogger the ID guys were dismissing for a year based on the fact that I wrote the review quickly. The largest section of the new chapter responds to me. The... Nick Matzke http://www.talkdesign.org
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