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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2011/10/14

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

A landmark for NCSE's Facebook page. A deserved honor for long-time
NCSE member Mark Terry. And NCSE's Steven Newton discusses creationist
participation in scientific conferences in the pages of New Scientist.


A milestone: there are now over 15,000 fans of NCSE's Facebook page.
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For NCSE's Facebook page, Twitter feed, and YouTube channel, visit: 


NCSE is delighted to congratulate Mark Terry on being named the 2011
recipient of the Evolution in Education Award. The award, sponsored by
the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the Biological
Sciences Curriculum Study, is awarded by the National Association of
Biology Teachers to recognize innovative classroom teaching and
community education efforts to promote the accurate understanding of
biological evolution. The NABT's News and Views blog (September 17,
2011) observed that Terry is "well known within the evolution
education community for giving a strong voice to secondary school
teachers through keynote presentations, articles, and service on
committees and advisory groups, including his role as a Teacher
Advisor for the UCMP websites Understanding Evolution and
Understanding Science." Moreover, it added, "A keen observer of the
activities and strategies used by the anti-evolution movement, Mark
has worked to help teachers, scientists, and the public address
challenges and counteract efforts to limit the teaching of evolution."
(Two examples: his 2005 essay "Intelligent Design, or Not," published
by New Horizons for Learning, and his 2007 essay "What's Design Got to
Do with It?" published in Independent Schools.) Terry is Science Chair
as well as cofounder of the Northwest School in Seattle.

For the NABT blog post, visit: 

For the two cited essays by Terry, visit: 


NCSE's Steven Newton contributed "Geology will survive creationist
undermining" to New Scientist (October 8, 2011), again reporting on
creationists participating in meetings of the Geological Society of
America. "Nothing in their presentations revealed that they thought
the Grand Canyon's upper rocks were deposited in a year and that
dinosaurs and humans once lived together," Newton explained. "The
point is to be able to claim legitimacy. Creationists have used their
participation in conferences to argue that their ideas are taken
seriously by real scientists."

Although there are geologists who have reacted by proposing a ban on
presentations by creationists, Newton demurred: "if scientific
societies impose bans," he argued, "they will be able to make a
plausible claim of censorship and discrimination." In the absence of a
ban, he predicted, "[s]cientific organisations will continue to
experience creationist infiltration." He emphasized, as he also
emphasized in his report in the July 2011 issue of Earth magazine, "it
is important for scientists not to overreact and to remember that
science is far stronger than any creationist attempts to undermine

For Newton's essay, visit: 

For Newton's report in Earth, 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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