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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2011/06/24

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

A new batch of videos on NCSE's YouTube channel and a preview of
Francisco J. Ayala's Am I a Monkey? And a pair of antievolution bills
looms on the horizon in the Granite State.


NCSE is pleased to announce the addition of a further batch of videos
to NCSE's YouTube channel -- bringing the total number of videos
available there to over two hundred! Featured is NCSE's executive
director Eugenie C. Scott, explaining "Why evolution is difficult" at
the QED conference in Manchester in 2011 and again at the Orange
County Freethought Alliance Conference in Irvine, California, in 2011.
And departing from the creationism/evolution controversy for a change,
Scott discusses "Bigfoot and other wild men of the forest" for "Ask a
Scientist" in San Francisco in 2009.

From NCSE's staff, Joshua Rosenau discusses "Controversies, scientific
and otherwise" at the University of West Virginia in 2011, and Scott,
Rosenau, and Glenn Branch team up to address "Creationism vs.
evolution ... and global warming: An update" for the SkeptiCal
conference in Berkeley, California, in 2011. "The story of NCSE,"
produced in 2001, celebrates a grant awarded to NCSE by Working
Assets/Credo Mobile, the telephone company established "to give people
an easy way to make a difference in the world, just by doing the
things they do every day."

And from NCSE's Supporters and friends, there's Niles Eldredge -- NCSE
Supporter and recipient of NCSE's Friend of Darwin award for 2011 --
presenting "The case for evolution" (in two parts) at Hillsdale
College in 2002, and footage (in three parts) from the 2011 rally in
Baton Rouge organized by Zack Kopplin in support of the effort to
repeal Louisiana's antievolution law enacted in 2008. Is it any wonder
that NCSE's YouTube channel is consistently in the top fifty
most-viewed and most-subscribed non-profit channels? Tune in and

For NCSE's YouTube channel, visit: 


NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Francisco J. Ayala's Am I a
Monkey? Six Big Questions about Evolution (The Johns Hopkins
University Press, 2010). In the excerpt, Ayala addresses the title
question, writing, "I am a primate. Monkeys are primates, but humans
are not monkeys. Primates include monkeys, apes, and humans. Humans
are more closely related by descent to apes than to monkeys. That is,
the apes are our first cousins, so to speak, while the monkeys are our
second or third cousins," before proceeding to review the evidence --
from comparative anatomy, the fossil record, and comparisons of DNA --
for the common ancestry of the primates.

Ayala, a Supporter of NCSE, was awarded the National Medal of Science
in 2001. Reviewing Am I a Monkey? for RNCSE, Joel W. Martin wrote,
"The book is well-written, accurate, and concise, and it covers the
main points of biological evolution likely to be questioned by
non-specialists. More importantly, it is accessible and easy to digest
for the audience for whom it is written. Because of that strength, I
suspect that it will, in the long run, play a larger role in promoting
the acceptance of evolution than so many contemporary but longer and
more detailed treatises."

For the preview (PDF), visit: 

For information on the book from its publisher, visit: 

For Martin's review in RNCSE, visit: 


Antievolution bills are on the horizon in New Hampshire. Included on a
list of legislative service requests dated June 14, 2011, are two
requests to have antievolution bills drafted for the 2012 legislative
session. LSR 2012-H-2176-R, submitted by Jerry Bergevin (R-District
17), asks for a bill "requiring the teaching of evolution in public
schools as a theory"; LSR 2012-H-2320-R, submitted by Gary Hopper
(R-District 7), asks for a bill "requiring instruction in intelligent
design in the public schools." No bills mentioning evolution or
"creation science" or "intelligent design" have been introduced in the
New Hampshire legislature from 1989 to 2011. For what it's worth, in
the recent Miss USA pageant -- in which competitors were asked,
"Should evolution be taught in schools?” -- Miss New Hampshire
endorsed teaching evolution but added, "it shouldn't be the only point
of view taught." For a discussion of the range of answers, see the
report on USA Today's Faith & Reason blog (June 20, 2011).

For the list of legislative service requests, visit: 

For the Faith & Reason blog post, 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 x305
fax: 510-601-7204

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