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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2010/08/13

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(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

A new batch of videos for your edification and entertainment on NCSE's
YouTube channel, plus a new batch of statements in NCSE's Voices for
Evolution. And a chance to explore Darwin's Universe.


NCSE is pleased to announce the addition of a further batch of videos
featuring NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott to NCSE's YouTube
channel. Featured is "Getting Evolution Right: Tips for Writers" -- a
talk delivered at the annual meeting of the University Research
Magazine Association in 2010. Additionally, there's "Who Pulled the
Stake Out? The Resurgence of Young Earth Creationism," delivered at
the Atheist Alliance International conference in 2007; Scott's
commencement address to the Ohio State University in 2005; "Darwin
under the Microscope: Questioning Darwinism" -- a confrontation
between Scott and William Dembski on KTEH's Uncommon Knowledge series
in 2001; "Charles Darwin and God" -- a panel discussion with Scott,
Dembski, and Robert Russell of the Center for Theology and the Natural
Sciences on KTEH's Uncommon Knowledge series, also in 2001;
"Evolution? Creation? Both? Neither?" -- a presentation at the
Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1999; and
"Biology, the Bible, and the First Amendment" -- a panel discussion
with Scott, the Discovery Institute's Stephen C. Meyer, Elliot
Mincberg of People for the American Way, and Charles Haines of the
First Amendment Center, filmed in 1997. Tune in and enjoy!

For NCSE's YouTube channel, visit: 


The chorus of support for the teaching of evolution continues, with
three statements from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, the
American Statistical Association, and the Union for Reform Judaism.

In its statement, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists endorses
"the use of evolution in the scholarship of its members and supports
teaching this theory in schools, colleges and universities," adding,
"As educators, we believe that evolution is an essential component of
science education. In the absence of an evolutionary context, our
understanding of the origin and complexity of the earth’s biodiversity
and our ability to realize critical advances in medicine and
agriculture would not be possible. Acknowledging our obligations as
scientists and educators, we join the many other scientific societies
that have endorsed the role of evolution as a unifying principle both
in scientific scholarship and science curricula at all educational

The American Statistical Association, according to its statement,
"takes no position on whether intelligent design is right or wrong.
Nevertheless, it is clear that intelligent design is not a scientific
theory subject to empirical testing, and thus has no place in science
education." It therefore resolved, "Intelligent design should not be
taught as part of any science curriculum," adding, "Further, the
Association urges its members to continue to support vigorously those
principles of inquiry and verification that characterize sound
scientific practice." (The statement was published in Amstat News, the
monthly membership magazine of the ASA, in 2006, and seems not to be
presently available on the ASA's website.)

And the Union for Reform Judaism, noting that "the overwhelming
majority of the scientific community, which supports theories that are
testable by experiment or observation, oppose treating ['intelligent
design'], which is neither, as scientific theory. A 1999 report by the
National Academy of Sciences states, 'Creationism, intelligent design,
and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or
of species are not science because they are not testable by the
methods of science," resolved to "[o]ppose government efforts and
policies that seek to redefine science or the scientific method to
incorporate religious, theological or other theories, including
"intelligent design" and creationism, that are neither testable by
experiment nor observation."

Also of interest, although not addressing biological evolution, is a
statement by the Affiliation of Christian Geologists on the physical
age of the earth and universe, reading, in part, "... the scientific
evidence clearly favors a vast age for the earth and the universe.
Current scientific calculations indicate that the universe began about
13 billion years ago and the earth about 4.6 billion years ago. These
conclusions are based on cumulative evidence and are refined with each
new study. ... Although Scripture contains essential information on
origins that gives meaning and perspective, technical details of the
method and timing of creation are not major concerns of the Biblical
text, and many orthodox theologians do not see a conflict between the
Bible and an old creation."

All four of these statements are reproduced, by permission, on NCSE's
website, and will also be contained in the fourth edition of NCSE's
Voices for Evolution.

For the ASPT statement, visit: 

For the ASA's website, visit: 

For the URJ's statement, visit: 

For the ACG's statement (PDF), visit: 

And for information about Voices for Evolution, visit: 


NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Richard Milner's Darwin's
Universe: Evolution from A to Z (University of California Press,
2009). Featured are articles on the pioneering paleontologist Barnum
Brown and the creationist crusader William Jennings Bryan, the Clever
Hans phenomenon, Answers in Genesis's Creation Museum, the Darwin
Correspondence Project, feathered dinosaurs, extinction, Stephen Jay
Gould, the Hawaiian radiation of honeycreepers and fruit flies, the
Laetoli footprints, saltation and Darwin's Sandwalk,
uniformitarianism, and Alfred Russel Wallace -- together displaying
the variety and charm of Milner's encyclopedia. Reviewing Darwin's
Universe for Reports of the NCSE, Carol Anelli described it as
"anything but a somber, run-of-the-mill encyclopedia of alphabetically
arranged entries ... at once an eclectic romp and an illuminating vade
mecum for anyone interested in evolutionary science and Darwin's
pervasive influence on human thought, behavior, and endeavor."

For the preview (PDF), visit: 

For further information about Darwin's Universe, 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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