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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2009/11/20

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

NCSE was busy conducting a campaign to counteract the distribution of
copies of the Origin of Species with a creationist introduction. Plus
a chance to hear a panel of scientists discuss the frontiers of
evolution on-line.


Does Darwin's On the Origin of Species need a special introduction?
Creationist Ray Comfort thinks so. During the week of November 16,
2009, Comfort and his allies distributed free copies of the Origin on
college campuses across the United States -- including a "special
introduction" by Comfort which claims, among other things, that
evolution is scientifically false and that Darwin was a misogynist
racist whose ideas inspired Hitler.

To put Comfort's claims in perspective -- and to aid scientists,
teachers, students, and other concerned citizens in protesting
Comfort's distortions -- NCSE created a special site, Don't Diss
Darwin, chock-full of advice, analysis, background information, flyers
and signs, a Safety Bookmark (a tongue-in-cheek tool for separating
Comfort's introduction from the rest of the Origin), and even a
not-quite-serious public service announcement video.

Reporters across the country (and a few from abroad) asked NCSE to
comment on the distribution, with quotes from NCSE's Eugenie C. Scott,
Robert Luhn, and Steve Newton appearing in the Los Angeles Daily News
(November 18, 2009), the Gainesville (Florida) Sun (November 19,
2009), the Santa Barbara (California) Independent (November 18, 2009),
and even the Sheaf, the student paper of the University of
Saskatchewan (November 18, 2009).

NCSE worked with a number of individuals and organizations in
responding to the distribution, including the Center for Inquiry and
the Secular Student Alliance. Also noteworthy are the filmmaker Randy
Olson's video poking fun at the creationist campaign ("The Kirk
Cameron Action Kit"; the former child star is a partner of Ray
Comfort) and Scientific American's podcast (November 17, 2009) with
Steve Mirsky describing the situation as "Darwin in Battle of Wits
against Unarmed Man."

For Don't Diss Darwin, visit: 

For the US News & World Report debate between Comfort and Scott, visit: 

For the cited newspaper articles, visit: 

For the Secular Student Alliance's response, visit: 

For the Center for Inquiry's response, visit: 

For Randy Olson's video and the Scientific American podcast, visit: 


Hear E. O. Wilson and Everett Mendelsohn discuss "Frontiers of
Evolution" on-line! Starting at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern) on November 24,
2009, a panel of scientists led by Wilson and Mendelsohn will discuss
Darwin's legacy and the frontiers of evolutionary biology, as part of
the 150th anniversary Origin of Species lecture series, hosted by The
Reading Odyssey and the Darwin 150 project -- and the whole event will
be webcast live.

Sponsors of the lecture series include the National Center for Science
Education, National Geographic, Citrix Online and its HiDef
Conferencing Division, Campaign Monitor, the Harvard University Museum
of Comparative Zoology, SquareSpace, the movie Creation, and the New
York Academy of Sciences. Previous speakers in the series included
Mendelsohn, Jonathan Weiner, and NCSE Supporter Sean B. Carroll.

For information on the webcast, visit: 

For information about the hosts, visit: 

Thanks for reading! And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution education and threats to it.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
510-601-7203 x310
fax: 510-601-7204

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