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.
DON'T DISS DARWIN! 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: http://www.dontdissdarwin.com For the US News & World Report debate between Comfort and Scott, visit: http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/10/29/exclusive-ray-comfort-defends-his-creationist-edition-of-on-the-origin-of-species.html http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/10/30/how-creationist-origin-distorts-darwin.html http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/11/02/ray-comfort-responds-to-genie-scott-on-creationist-origin-of-species.html http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/11/03/scientist-genie-scotts-last-word-to-creationist-ray-comfort-there-you-go-again.html For the cited newspaper articles, visit: http://www.dailynews.com/search/ci_13818898 http://www.gainesville.com/article/20091119/ARTICLES/911191059/1109/ http://www.independent.com/news/2009/nov/18/darwins-descendant/ http://thesheaf.com/2009/11/creationist-intro-to-darwin-book/ For the Secular Student Alliance's response, visit: http://www.secularstudents.org/originintoschools For the Center for Inquiry's response, visit: http://www.centerforinquiry.net/oncampus/combating_creationism For Randy Olson's video and the Scientific American podcast, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z-OLG0KyR4 http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=darwin-in-battle-of-wits-against-un-09-11-17 WEBCAST: FRONTIERS OF EVOLUTION 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: http://darwinlecture4.eventbrite.com/ For information about the hosts, visit: http://www.readingodyssey.com/ http://www.darwin150.com/ Thanks for reading! And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- http://ncseweb.org -- where you can always find the latest news on evolution education and threats to it. -- Sincerely, 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 800-290-6006 firstname.lastname@example.org http://ncseweb.org Subscribe to NCSE's free weekly e-newsletter: http://groups.google.com/group/ncse-news NCSE is on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/evolution.ncse http://www.youtube.com/NatCen4ScienceEd http://twitter.com/ncse NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today! http://ncseweb.org/membership