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Pro-Science News

Antiscience bill dies in Oklahoma

Oklahoma's Senate Bill 665 (PDF), which would, if enacted, have deprived administrators of the ability to prevent teachers from miseducating students about "scientific controversies," died in the Senate Education Committee on February 26, 2015, when a deadline for senate bills to pass committee expired. 

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Bill to unblock NGSS passes Wyoming legislature

The Wyoming House of Representatives and Senate have agreed on the wording of a bill that will allow the state board of education to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, according to Wyoming Public Media (February 26, 2015).

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Darwin Day resolution in Pennsylvania

House Resolution 83, introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on February 26, 2015, would, if enacted, express the House's recognition of February 12, 2015, as Darwin Day in Pennsylvania.

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Antiscience bill dies in Indiana

Indiana's Senate Bill 562 died in the Senate Education and Career Development Committee on February 25, 2015, when the deadline for Senate bills to have their third reading in the Senate passed.

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Pygoscelis papua

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2015-02-23 22:11
Photograph by Dan Phelps. Pygoscelis papua – gentoo penguin, Danco Island, Antarctica.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Help wanted: Summer interns

NCSE is seeking to hire two summer interns — one full-time, one part-time — to work on science education activism projects, with a particular focus on climate change education.

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Improving the Accuracy of Genomic Data

Panda's Thumb - Thu, 2015-02-19 20:23
Imagine that you want to analyze the 3.2 billion bases of the human genome. If you recruited every undergraduate student at ASU, all 70,000 of us, to type those data into a spreadsheet, it would still take about 13 hours. So you develop a computer program that analyzes the data for you. But then you find out that your huge data set amplified small errors in your algorithm and gave you the wrong answer. This... Emily Thompson http://cartwrig.ht/people/
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Chinese pandas have canine distemper

Panda's Thumb - Sat, 2015-02-14 01:34
Four pandas in a captive breeding population have died of canine distemper, one is “stable,” and four are “sick,” according to an article in today’s Science magazine. The pandas have been quarantined, and close contact with tourists, who may carry the disease, has been eliminated. The authorities have also repaired fences to keep dogs out. There is, fortunately, no indication that the disease has spread to a wild breeding population, which is apparently on the... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Chelepteryx collesi

Panda's Thumb - Sat, 2015-02-14 01:34
Photograph by Jim Foley. Chelepteryx collesi – white-stemmed gum moth, Canberra, Australia. Mr. Foley writes, “The caterpillar is about 12 cm long! Yet another member of the Australian fauna you don’t want to mess with. … We seem to have more venomous stuff than most places: lots of snakes, stonefish, spiders, jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, etc., not to mention the crocodiles and sharks.”... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Lying, fake supplements, and the placebo effect

Panda's Thumb - Sat, 2015-02-14 01:34
A somewhat outraged (but entirely justified) article by Timothy Egan in the Times reminded me of an interview I heard the other day on Fresh Air. First, the Egan article: Mr. Egan is properly outraged at the New York Attorney General’s finding that dietary “supplements” sold by major retailers often contain none of the “active ingredient.” Sorry, the scare quotes are mine, not Mr. Egan’s, but I think they are entirely apt. Indeed, the fact... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Tenth annual Evolution Weekend; Darwin's birthday

Panda's Thumb - Sat, 2015-02-14 01:34
The tenth annual Evolution Weekend, February 13-15, is almost upon us. To check out what’s going on in your neighborhood, click here. This year’s theme is Science and Religion in Dialogue: Past, Present, and Future. The Evolution Weekend website notes, Evolution Weekend is an opportunity for serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science. An ongoing goal has been to elevate the quality of the discussion on this critical topic, and to... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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A preview of Dodging Extinction

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Anthony D. Barnosky's Dodging Extinction: Power, Food, Money, and the Future of Life on Earth (University of California Press, 2014).

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Bill to unblock NGSS passes Wyoming Senate

Wyoming's House Bill 23 (PDF) was passed by the Senate on a 27-3 vote on February 12, 2015. The bill would allow the state to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards by repealing a footnote in the state budget for 2014-2016 that precluded the use of state funds for "any review or adoption" of the NGSS.

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Antiscience bill in Montana dies

Montana's House Bill 321, which purports to "encourage critical thinking regarding controversial scientific theories" such as "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, random mutation, natural selection, DNA, and fossil discoveries," was tabled in the House Education Committee on February 9, 2015.

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Antiscience bill in South Dakota dies

South Dakota's Senate Bill 114 is out of commission, following a February 10, 2015, hearing in the Senate Education Committee.

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Storms over new Utah science standards?

Utah's new state standards for middle school science education are on hold, reports the Salt Lake Tribune (February 9, 2015) — and evolution and climate change may be the reason.

 

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Darwin Day resolution in Arizona

Arizona state representatives Andrew Sherwood and Rebecca Rios, sponsors of the resolution

House Resolution 2002 (PDF), introduced in the Arizona House of Representatives on February 9, 2015, would, if enacted, express the House's recognition of February 12, 2015, as International Darwin Day.

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Darwin Day resolution in the Senate

Richard Blumenthal

Senate Resolution 66 (PDF), introduced in the United States Senate on February 4, 2015, would, if passed, express the Senate's support of designating February 12, 2015, as Darwin Day, and its recognition of "Charles Darwin as a worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge."

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Darwin Day resolution in Congress

Jim Himes

House Resolution 67 (PDF), introduced in the United States House of Representatives on February 2, 2015, would, if passed, express the House's support of designating February 12, 2015, as Darwin Day, and its recognition of "Charles Darwin as a worthy symbol on which to focus and around which to build a global celebration of science and humanity intended to promote a common bond among all of Earth's peoples."

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Ark Park will sue over employment discrimination

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2015-02-02 17:42
Wave 3, which appears to be Channel 3 in Louisville, Kentucky, reported yesterday that the Ark Park indeed plans to sue the state over tax incentives that were denied last month. Wave 3 reports, Lawyers say this encounter is about to make an appearance in court and it’s all over tax incentives. The lawyer for the Ark Encounter says it will sue the state in federal court to try to regain the rebates it believes... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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