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Pro-Science News

A mammoth victory in South Carolina

The Columbian mammoth is now the official state fossil of South Carolina after Governor Nikki Haley signed House Bill 4482 into law on May 16, 2014 — and there was no mention of the Sixth Day of Creation.

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Antievolution bills die in Missouri

Two antievolution bills died in committee in the Missouri House of Representatives on May 16, 2014, when the legislature adjourned.

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Trouble over Oklahoma science standards

A committee in the Oklahoma House of Representatives voted to reject a new set of science standards, primarily over concerns about its treatment of climate change.

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A mammoth victory in South Carolina?

The Columbian mammoth is on track to become the official state fossil of South Carolina, with no mention of its appearance on the Sixth Day of Creation. 

 

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A preview of The Sixth Extinction

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of of Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Henry Holt and Co., 2014).

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Facebook: n > 60,000

A milestone: there are now over 60,000 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 and the National Climate Assessment

NCSE was on hand for the release of the third National Climate Assessment. Produced by a team of more than 300 experts, the NCA summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

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A new editor for RNCSE

NCSE is pleased to welcome Stephanie Keep as the new editor of its journal Reports of the National Center for Science Education.

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Mr. McCaffrey goes to Washington

NCSE's Mark McCaffrey will be discussing the educational use of the third National Climate Assessment at a panel in the White House on May 6, 2014. The panel will be streamed live from the White House between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. (Eastern) on May 6, 2014; McCaffrey’s presentation will take place toward the end of the event.

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NCSE's McCaffrey on Wyoming debacle

NCSE's Mark McCaffrey contributed a guest column, entitled "Protecting Wyoming's most valuable resource" — which he identified as children rather than energy — to the Casper Star-Tribune (May 4, 2014), reviewing the derailment of the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards because of the legislature's objection to their treatment of climate change.

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What's next for South Carolina's mammoth debate?

The South Carolina Senate insisted on its version of House Bill 4482 — which refers to the Sixth Day of Creation — on a 28-13 vote on April 30, 2014, and so the bill proceeds to a conference committee.

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Standards impasse resumes in South Carolina

The impasse in the dispute about the place of evolution in South Carolina's state science standards continues. "The S.C. Education Oversight Committee on Monday sent proposed language to the [state board of education] that would require biology students to construct scientific arguments that seem to support and seem to discredit Darwinism," reports the Charleston Post and Courier (April 28, 2014).

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Friend of Darwin and Friend of the Planet awards for 2014

NCSE is pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of Darwin award for 2014: Eric Rothschild, Stephen G. Harvey, Witold Walczak, Richard B. Katskee, and Faye Flam. The first four recipients led the victorious legal team representing the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v. Dover, the 2005 case establishing the unconstitutionality of teaching "intelligent design" in the public schools; Flam, a science journalist, wrote "Planet of the Apes" — the only newspaper column dedicated to evolution — for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2010 to 2012.

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What's next in Wyoming?

Wyoming's newspapers continue to carry a variety of news and comment following the legislature's decision to preclude the use of any state funds to review or adopt the Next Generation Science Standards — a decision reportedly owing to objections to the NGSS's treatment of climate change, as NCSE previously reported — and the state board of education's subsequent decision not to implement the standards. Of particular interest are a guest column from a professor in the department of plant sciences at the University of Wyoming, a report on how teachers in Laramie, the third largest city in the state, are going to proceed, and a brief commentary from NCSE's deputy director.

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Repeal effort fails again in Louisiana

Louisiana's Senate Bill 175 (PDF) was tabled on a 3-1 vote in the Senate Education Committee on April 24, 2014, which effectively kills the bill in committee, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate (April 24, 2014).

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Polling confidence in science

A new poll from the Associated Press and GfK asked (PDF) respondents not whether they agree or disagree, but how confident they are, about various claims about science. The Associated Press (April 21, 2014) summarized, "Americans have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 billion years ago."

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Editorial reaction to the latest in Wyoming

Editorialists and columnists in Wyoming are irate with the state government after the state board of education decided not to implement the Next Generation Science Standards. As NCSE previously reported, a footnote in Wyoming's budget for 2014-2016 precluded the use of state funds "for any review or adoption" of the Next Generation Science Standards, and one of its authors acknowledged that the NGSS's treatment of climate change was a reason for the prohibition. It was hoped that the board might have adopted the NGSS with the funds available to it before the new budget period begins. Instead, at its April 11, 2014, meeting, the board referred the standards back to a state department of education committee — which previously unanimously recommended the adoption of the NGSS.

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Climate change education around the world

"From Mauritius to Manitoba, climate change is slowly moving from the headlines to the classroom," reported The New York Times (April 20, 2014).

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Darwin Day bill dies in Hawaii

Hawaii's House Resolution 145, which would have designated February 12 of each year as Darwin Day "to celebrate all of Charles Darwin's achievements in the field of science," died in committee on April 10, 2014, when a legislative deadline passed.

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ASTE adds its voice for evolution

The Association for Science Teacher Education, which promotes leadership and support for professionals involved in the education and development of teachers of science at all levels, recently added its voice for evolution.

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