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The Clergy Climate Letter

Over one hundred clergy — including leaders of Christian, Jewish, Unitarian, and Humanist groups — have endorsed a new Clergy Climate Letter.

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Kansas answers COPE again

"Kansas education officials deny standards they adopted for teaching of science in public schools endorse what critics say is ... 'a non-theistic religious Worldview,'" reports the Topeka Capital-Journal (June 8, 2015), discussing a brief submitted by the defendants-appellees in COPE et al. v. Kansas State Board of Education et al. 

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Antiscience bill dies in Alabama

Alabama's House Bill 592 (PDF) died in committee in the Alabama House of Representatives on June 4, 2015, when the legislative session ended. The bill would have encouraged teachers and students to "debate the strengths and weaknesses of the theory of evolution in public schools across Alabama," reported the Anniston Star (May 7, 2015).

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Creationism revealed in Louisiana schools, continued

"We will read in Genesis and them [sic] some supplemental material debunking various aspects of evolution from which the student will present." So wrote a Louisiana science teacher to her principal, as quoted by Zack Kopplin, writing in Slate (June 2, 2015).

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Selasphorus platycercus

Panda's Thumb - Tue, 2015-06-02 17:39
Photograph by David Young. Selasphorus platycercus – broad-tailed hummingbird, Boulder, Colorado, May, 2015.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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A preview of Tools for Critical Thinking in Biology

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Stephen H. Jenkins's Tools for Critical Thinking in Biology (Oxford University Press, 2015). 

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Facebook: n > 100,000

A milestone: there are now over 100,000 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?

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NCSE's new teacher network

NCSE is pleased to announce the debut of the NCSE Teacher Network.

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Photography contest VII, coming up ...

Panda's Thumb - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:52
… 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... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Update from Scotland

"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). 

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Antievolution lawsuit filed in West Virginia

"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).

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Chrysemys picta

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2015-05-20 05:48
Chrysemys picta – painted turtle, Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat, Boulder, yesterday. See also here.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Primer on avoidance mechanisms used by the ultra-Orthodox

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2015-05-20 05:48
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... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Evolutionary educational resources in the U.S.

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2015-05-20 05:48
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... Emily Thompson http://cartwrig.ht/people/
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5/10/15

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2015-05-20 05:48
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.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Anti-vaxxers are more dangerous than you thought

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2015-05-20 05:48
“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... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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South Dakota adopts new science standards

The South Dakota state board of education adopted a new set of science standards for the state on May 18, 2015.

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Antievolution bill dies in Missouri

Missouri's House Bill 486 (PDF) died in committee in the Missouri House of Representatives on May 15, 2015, when the legislature adjourned. 

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Colaptes auratus

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2015-05-06 04:06
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.”... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Google Logins

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2015-05-03 09:50
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 http://dererumnatura.us/
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