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Pro-Science News

Michael Peroutka elected to county council

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2014-11-09 00:23
Or, as Right-Wing Watch puts it, Neo-Confederate Republican Michael Peroutka Wins Maryland Election. Mr. Peroutka operates the family foundation that donated the allosaurus fossil to the Creation “Museum,” as we reported here. I will not synopsize the Right-Wing Watch article, but I think that you will find that being a neo-Confederate is the least of Mr. Peroutka’s problems; if he is not completely crackers, he is giving a convincing imitation.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Andreas Wagner: Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2014-11-09 00:23
I started this post thinking I’d write a review of Andreas Wagner’s recent book “Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution’s Greatest Puzzle” (links below), an engrossing book about how biological innovation arises from the structure of metabolic, genotype, and protein networks, and how robustness–the stability of phenotypes in the face of underlying genetic variability–is critical in evolutionary innovations. But there are several excellent reviews already out there, so another would be redundant. I’ll mention only... Richard B. Hoppe
Categories: Pro-Science News

Delicious sex chromosomes

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2014-11-09 00:23
Plants have sex? Yes, they totally do. A brief overview:  Plants have female reproductive organs (carpels) and male reproductive organs (stamens), but several different ways of determining sex. There are two main groups of seed-producing plants. Gymnosperms are plants without covered seeds, and include those that produce cones. Gymnosperms and are split with about 75% exhibiting monoecy (having male and female sex organs on the same plant), and 25% exhibiting dioecy (having separate male plants and... M. Wilson Sayres http://mathbionerd.blogspot.com
Categories: Pro-Science News

Phelsuma laticauda

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2014-11-09 00:23
Photograph by Tony Gamble. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Phelsuma laticauda – gold dust day gecko.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

"Texas textbooks need to get the facts straight"

Writing in the Austin American-Statesman (November 6, 2014), Camille Parmesan and Alan I. Leshner called on the Texas state board of education to insist on the correction of scientifically inaccurate material about climate change in social studies textbooks currently under consideration for state adoption. "Texas educators should reject the new textbooks unless they are edited to address the serious concerns outlined by the National Center for Science Education," they argued.

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Congratulations to Jay Labov

NCSE is delighted to congratulate Jay Labov on being named as a Honorary Member of the National Association of Biology Teachers.

Categories: Pro-Science News

Ohio's antiscience bill progresses

Ohio's House Bill 597 — which if enacted would require students in the state's public schools to "review, in an objective manner, the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories in the [state science] standards" — was passed on a 7-2 vote by the House Rules and Reference committee on November 5, 2014, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer (November 5, 2014).

 

Categories: Pro-Science News

Banning creationism in Scottish schools?

A petition calling on the Scottish government to ban creationism from Scottish public schools is to receive a hearing in the Scottish parliament on November 11, 2014. Filed on behalf of the Scottish Secular Society, the petition asks (PDF) the parliament "to bar the presentation in Scottish publicly funded schools of separate creation and of Young Earth doctrines as viable alternatives to the established science of evolution, common descent, and deep time," adding, "Nothing in this request precludes the discussion of such doctrines in their proper place, as part of the study of ideas, neither does it nor can it infringe on individual freedom of belief."

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A preview of Extinction and Evolution

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Niles Eldredge's Extinction and Evolution: What Fossils Reveal about the History of Life (Firefly, 2014).

Categories: Pro-Science News

Kent Hovind in trouble again

Panda's Thumb - Thu, 2014-10-30 02:07
I haven’t got time to investigate further, but Hovind watchers might be interested that Mr, Hovind (Dr. Dino) has been charged with filing a lien on property that had already been forfeited. Or something. A Forbes columnist, Peter Reilly, suggests that the government is piling on, and I suspect he is right; you may read about it here. Acknowledgement. Link provided by the truly indefatigable Dan Phelps.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

The Family Tree of Life

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2014-10-29 02:20
In the next few weeks, we’ll be posting a series of articles for the general public focused on understanding how species are related and how genomic data is used in research. We start with a background on phylogenetic trees. Imagine you could go back in time and meet your great grandmother or even your great-great-great-great-great grandmother, when they were your age. Would they look like you? Or would they look more like your siblings or... Emily Thompson
Categories: Pro-Science News

Creationist conference at Michigan State University

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-10-27 23:23
According to an article in Science today, a creationist group has booked a room for a conference at Michigan State University. Science is more discreet than I have to be, but it appears that they duped a student group into booking a room for them, and they are scheming to hold another conference at the University of Texas at Arlington. Science writes that the conference, scheduled for November 1 and called the Origins Summit, is... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Update from Wyoming

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle (October 26, 2014) reviewed the status of the state's science standards.

Categories: Pro-Science News

Poll data on evolution and climate change

The Chapman University Survey on American Fears included a pair of questions relevant to evolution and climate change.

Categories: Pro-Science News

Natural pinhole-camera images of solar eclipse

Panda's Thumb - Fri, 2014-10-24 07:45
Pinhole-camera images of solar eclipse formed by spaces between leaves in canopy. According to Jon Grepstad, this phenomenon was explained by Aristotle. The eclipse is just ending; the picture was as close to total as it got here (Boulder, Colorado).... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Need a speaker?

As the only national organization that is wholly dedicated to defending the teaching of evolution and climate change in the public schools, NCSE is the perfect place to find someone to speak to your organization or university about issues relevant to evolution and climate education and attacks on either or both.

Categories: Pro-Science News

Python: Pandas 0.15.0 is available

W.R. Elsberry's The Austringer - Wed, 2014-10-22 19:55
Last week, Wes McKinney gave a presentation on new features in a forthcoming release of Pandas, version 0.15.0. The big news is the inclusion of a new data type for columns in Series and DataFrame, the Categorical type. This permits the use of nominal data in analyses with Pandas now, which is a huge change, […]
Categories: Pro-Science News

Aeshna cyanea

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2014-10-22 01:37
Photograph by Marilyn Susek. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Aeshna cyanea – southern hawker. Beginning this week, we will run photographs every other Monday, so no picture next week; we no longer have enough honorable mentions and other miscellaneous photographs to continue posting a photograph every week. But polish your lenses (very carefully) and keep an eye out for the contest in the summer.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Texans to publishers: Fix flawed textbooks

Over 24,000 Texans have signed petitions calling on the Texas board of education to require the correction of errors in the coverage of climate change in social studies textbooks presently under consideration.

Categories: Pro-Science News

For a few lucky teachers, an adventure of a lifetime

The National Center for Science Education is pleased to accept applications for its inaugural class of Grand Canyon Teacher Scholars. Lucky teachers will be given an all-expenses-paid seat on NCSE's annual Grand Canyon expedition, an eight-day voyage through some of the world's greatest geological wonders. 

Categories: Pro-Science News
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