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NCSE is pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of Darwin award for 2016: Andrew J. Petto, a physical anthropologist, who formerly served on NCSE's board of directors and as the editor of Reports of the National Center for Science Education; Donald R. Prothero, a paleontologist and prolific author whose latest book is The Story of Life in 25 Fossils; and Paula Spence, a cartoonist and artist who has been contributing graphics of all sorts to NCSE for almost a decade.
A retired European geneticist, Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, has made a point that he feels is devastating to population genetic arguments about the effectiveness of natural selection. In a post at the Discovery Institute’s blog Evolution News and Views. He pointed to an argument he made in 2001 in an encyclopedia article. The essence of his criticism is that many organisms produce very large numbers of gametes, or of newborn offspring. Most of those must die. Then... Joe Felsenstein http://evolution.gs.washington.edu/felsenstein.html
Creationist effort results in windfall for group defending the teaching of evolution
Fiyyaz Pirani was perplexed. As the CEO of RapidWristbands.com, he was pleased to receive a massive order for over a hundred thousand wristbands. But as a socially responsible entrepreneur, he was not pleased that the order, from a creationist ministry, was for wristbands saying “DEBUNK EVOLUTION.”
The Opteka 6.5mm f/3.5 fisheye lens is now available on Amazon for $160. List price is $500, and it is usually available retail for around $300 IIRC. This is a stereographic fisheye design that produces a fisheye effect covering APS-C sized sensors and produces a partial circular fisheye on full-frame sensors (or film) when the… Read More »
Dan Phelps just sent us an editorial in the Lexington Herald-Leader. The editorial accuses Kentucky of seeking science jobs while at the same time denying science: not just evolution but also global warming, alternative energy sources, and conservation. The editorial notes that Kentucky is “perennially short of money,” in part because of tax breaks like that for the Ark Park, and concludes, Kentucky forgoes tax revenue to help deny science while telling students they need... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
NCSE rafters examining Vulcan's Anvil, one of Grand Canyon's geological wonders. Photo by Josh Rosenau, 2014.
NCSE is pleased to announce the winners of the second teacher scholarships on our annual Grand Canyon raft trip: Brandon Haught of University High School, Orange City, Florida, and Crystal Davis of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy, Hawthorne, California. They will receive an all-expenses-paid eight-day raft trip through the Grand Canyon, guided by two members of NCSE's staff and joining twenty other NCSE members and supporters who purchased seats on the trip. The scholarship funds were donated by the generosity of NCSE's members.
The distinguished chemist Harry Kroto died on April 30, 2016, at the age of 76, according to Chemical & Engineering News (May 2, 2016).
A new report from the Yale Program on Climate Communication offers new data on Americans' beliefs and attitudes about climate change, with a particular emphasis on the influence of political views.
Meredith A. Dorner and NCSE's founding executive director Eugenie C. Scott published "An Exploration of Instructor Perceptions of Community College Students' Attitudes Towards Evolution" in Evolution: Education and Outreach.
Photograph by Robin Lee-Thorp. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Celithemis eponina – Halloween pennant.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
The New York City Council adopted Resolution 0375 on April 20, 2016, calling on the New York state department of education to include lessons on climate change in the curriculum of the state's public K-12 schools — and NCSE was cited.
NCSE informs us that the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has rendered a decision in the appeal of Cope vs. Kansas, which we reported on here. Specifically, the Court of Appeals upheld the District Court’s earlier dismissal of the case, largely on the basis of standing. Additionally, NCSE notes, “Interestingly, though, the decision observes in a footnote that COPE’s suggestion for ‘teleological’ explanations to be added to the standards would be unconstitutional.” NCSE’s report on... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Answers in Genesis is advertising a whole slew of jobs, but you do not have to read very far between the lines to realize that the hirees will be “detailed” to the Ark Park, presumably because AIG, as a religious organization, is allowed to discriminate on the basis of religion. I do not know why they are bothering, because recently a Kentucky judge ruled, in effect, that it was legal for the Ark Park itself... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
The creationist lawsuit seeking to reverse Kansas's 2013 decision to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards on the grounds that the state thereby "establish[ed] and endorse[d] a non-theistic religious worldview" failed again on April 19, 2016, when the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court's dismissal of the case, COPE et al. v. Kansas State Board of Education et al.
Kentucky's Senate Bill 50 (PDF) died in the House Education Committee when the legislature adjourned on April 15, 2016. The bill would have extended the duration of summer vacation in the state's public schools in order to boost tourism — including to a creationist attraction.
A controversy is smoldering over the distribution of a creationist book to schools in Poland. According to Gazeta Wyborcza (March 2, 2016), unsolicited copies of Maciej Giertych's Ewolucja, Dewolucja, Nauka (Evolution, Devolution, Science) were sent to the biology teachers in public and private secondary schools across the country in early 2016.
Photograph by Diogenes. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Attacus atlas – Atlas moth. This specimen is a captive male at the Museum of the Academy of Natural History of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Solemn greetings, all. Today, as the more reverent among you know, is Paul Nelson Day. Today is the 12th annual feast day of St Nelson, patron saint of obtusity and procrastination, and we honor his contributions to science by...well, by not doing much of anything at all. You could make grandiose claims today and promise to make good on them tomorrow, a tomorrow that stretches out into a decade or more, I suppose, but that's... PZ Myers http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/
Antievolutionists Say the Darndest Things
Antievolutionists often express outrage over alleged incivility from those who oppose their efforts to evade the establishment clause of the First Amendment. But they have no difficulty in dishing out the abuse themselves. Here is a sample from the Invidious Comparisons thread that documents egregious behavior on the part of the religious antievolution advocates.
IDC advocate William A. Dembski:
Dembski, whose recent book, "The Design Inference," presents in great detail how the Intelligent Design argument satisfies logic and probability, likes to compare the movement's influence on science to the freedom and democracy movements and their effect on Eastern Europe. Criticism of Darwinism now threatens the hegemony of Darwinism, he says, just as the move toward freedom upset the Soviet empire.Link