NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2011/07/22
(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)
Dear Friends of NCSE, A progress report from Texas. A reminder that you can help to support NCSE's archives. And a voice for evolution from the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution.
PROGRESS IN TEXAS? "Efforts to push creationist instructional materials into Texas science classrooms were dealt a setback today," the Texas Freedom Network reported on its blog (July 15, 2011). Materials submitted for approval by the state board of education by International Databases were not on the list of supplementary science materials that the Texas education commissioner recommended for approval. Those materials, as TFN and NCSE charged in a joint press release issued in April 2011, reject mainstream evolutionary science and promote "intelligent design" creationism. TFN explained, "The commissioner's list is usually based on recommendations from Texas Education Agency review teams made up of teachers, scholars and other citizens. Those teams met in Austin last month to review all of the proposed science instructional materials. Apparently, the review teams decided that International Databases had failed to cover the required curriculum standards appropriately." The list is only a recommendation, however, and it is open to the state board of education to decide, by a majority vote, to approve the International Databases materials despite the recommendation. There is reason to be concerned, too: the new chair of the board, Barbara Cargill, is a member of the antievolution faction on the board. In a recent speech to the Texas Eagle Forum, reported by TFN, she described the 2009 debate over the content of Texas's state science education standards as "a spiritual battle" and vowed to "work diligently" to try to undermine the treatment of evolution in the supplementary materials that the board will be considering on July 21 and 22, 2011. TFN will be reporting from the meeting, and NCSE's Joshua Rosenau will be testifying in Austin to support the integrity of science education in the Lone Star state. For TFN's report on the setback for creationism, visit: http://tfninsider.org/2011/07/15/setback-for-creationists-in-texas/ For NCSE's story about the TFN-NCSE press release, visit: http://ncse.com/news/2011/04/creationist-materials-submitted-texas-006645/ For TFN's report on Cargill's remarks, visit: http://tfninsider.org/2011/07/11/barbara-cargills-anti-science-agenda/ For TFN's coverage of the upcoming meeting, visit: http://tfninsider.org/2011/07/18/tfn-insider-will-live-blog-science-debate/ For Rosenau's discussion on his personal blog, visit: http://scienceblogs.com/tfk/2011/07/and_now_texas.php And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Texas, visit: http://ncse.com/news/texas A CHANCE TO HELP NCSE'S ARCHIVES! 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. We cordially invite you now to help NCSE's archives keep up-to-date by purchasing books for NCSE through our wish list at Amazon.com. And it's not just books -- gifts of needed hardware and software are welcome, too! All of these donations are tax-deductible. We're pleased to report that 142 items have been purchased already, and we thank the donors for their generosity. You can view the catalogue of books in NCSE's archives at LibraryThing. For NCSE's wish list at Amazon.com, visit: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/39U1UMFQ22WED/ For the catalogue of NCSE's archives at LibraryThing, visit: http://www.librarything.com/catalog/NCSE And for information about NCSE's archives, visit: http://ncse.com/resources/archives CANADIAN SOCIETY FOR ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION ADDS ITS VOICE FOR EVOLUTION The chorus of support for the teaching of evolution continues, with a statement from the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, which works to promote the study of ecology and evolution in Canada and to raise public awareness of the importance of ecology and evolution to Canadian society. Describing evolution as "the single most important principle of modern biology and the foundation of any sound biology curriculum," the statement insists, "Teaching alternative theories as though they had equivalent scientific status is a perversion of education that damages children's ability to understand the natural world." The Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution's statement is now reproduced, by permission, on NCSE's website, and will also be contained in the fourth edition of NCSE's Voices for Evolution. For the CSEE's statement, visit: http://www.ecoevo.ca/en/correspondence.htm For Voices for Evolution, visit: http://ncse.com/voices Thanks for reading! And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- http://ncse.com -- 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 x305 fax: 510-601-7204 800-290-6006 firstname.lastname@example.org http://ncse.com Read Reports of the NCSE on-line: http://reports.ncse.com 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://ncse.com/join