National Center for Science Education
Francisco J. Ayala
NCSE congratulates Francisco J. Ayala for winning the 2015 Stephen Jay Gould Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution.
Prompted by the release of the movie Jurassic World, a new poll from YouGov indicates that Americans are about evenly split on the question of whether dinosaurs and humans lived on the planet at the same time.
NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Niles Eldredge's Eternal Ephemera: Adaptation and the Origin of Species from the Nineteenth Century Through Punctuated Equilibria and Beyond (Columbia University Press, 2015).
When the Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary majority in the June 7, 2015, election, scientists in Turkey were "euphoric," according to Nature (June 16, 2015), hoping that the next parliament will "reverse the creeping restrictions on academic freedom and the seeping away of scientific standards that have been a feature of the AKP's 12 years of political domination" — including the party's support for creationism.
NCSE's archives house a unique trove of material on the creationism/evolution controversy, and we regard it as part of our mission to preserve it for posterity — as well as for occasions such as Kitzmiller v. Dover, where NCSE's archives helped to establish the creationist antecedents of the "intelligent design" movement. And we are beginning to amass a similar trove of material on disputes over climate change education.
Over one hundred clergy — including leaders of Christian, Jewish, Unitarian, and Humanist groups — have endorsed a new Clergy Climate Letter.
"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.
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).
"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).
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?
NCSE is pleased to announce the debut of the NCSE Teacher Network.
"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).
"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).
The South Dakota state board of education adopted a new set of science standards for the state on May 18, 2015.
Missouri's House Bill 486 (PDF) died in committee in the Missouri House of Representatives on May 15, 2015, when the legislature adjourned.
"Teachers and students could soon find themselves free to debate the strengths and weaknesses of the theory of evolution in public schools across Alabama if a bill introduced to the House this month becomes law," reported the Anniston Star (May 7, 2015), referring to House Bill 592 (PDF).
NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of William Rosen's The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century (Viking, 2014).
House Bill 592 (PDF), introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives on April 30, 2015, and referred to the House Committee on Education Policy, would undermine the integrity of science education in the state by encouraging science teachers with idiosyncratic opinions to teach whatever they pleased while preventing responsible educational authorities from intervening. Topics identified in the bill as likely to "cause debate and disputation" are "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, and human cloning."
"Creationism is still taught in dozens of faith schools [in the United Kingdom] despite Government threats to withdraw their funding," reports the Telegraph (May 2, 2015), describing the results of a recent investigation by the British Humanist Association.