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NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2012/08/10

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(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

NCSE's Eugenie C. Scott is interviewed in Minnesota about the state of
climate change education, and NCSE's Glenn Branch reviews a book about
the search for the historical Eden.

SCOTT ON CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION

Visiting the University of Minnesota on August 6, 2012, NCSE's
executive director Eugenie C. Scott spoke on "Climate change: Why the
resistance?"

In advance of her talk, she was interviewed by MinnPost (August 2,
2012) about the state of climate change education. While evolution and
climate change denial are both ideologically driven, the ideologies
differ: "There are people who believe that evolution is incompatible
with their religious beliefs, so they reject it. ... When it comes to
global warming and climate change, the ideologies that drive the
denial of this science are really political and economical." As a
result, the constitutional prohibitions on teaching creationism in the
classroom are not directly applicable to teaching climate change
denial in the classroom. Scott explained, "it's not so much a legal
issue as it is a matter of professional competence and professional
responsibility."

Yet as with evolution, teachers are often pressured to compromise the
integrity of their science education: "We're getting lots of anecdotes
from teachers about pressure against teaching climate change," Scott
reported, adding, "and we really want to be there to support them and
to encourage them to do the professionally and educationally
responsible thing and to help generate support in communities for the
teaching of good science." Asked to turn her gaze south to Texas,
where decisions about science education affect the nation, Scott
observed that the state science standards have improved with regard to
both evolution and climate science, but it remains to be seen how
those subjects will fare in the next round of textbook adoptions.

While in Minnesota, Scott also discussed NCSE's climate change
education initiative with Minnesota Public Radio's The Daily Circuit
(August 7, 2012), and audio is available on-line.

For the article in MinnPost, visit:
http://www.minnpost.com/learning-curve/2012/08/educators-under-fire-teaching-climate-science-visiting-speaker-finds 

For the audio from The Daily Circuit, visit:
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/08/07/daily-circuit-eugenie-scott-climate-change/ 

And for NCSE's climate change initiative, visit:
http://ncse.com/climate 

BRANCH ON THE SEARCH FOR EDEN

"Where on earth was the Garden of Eden?" NCSE's deputy director Glenn
Branch reviewed Brook Wilensky-Lanford's Paradise Lust: Searching for
the Garden of Eden (Grove Press, 2011) for eSkeptic (August 8, 2012).
While complaining that Wilensky-Lanford's connection of the search for
the historical Eden with the reception of evolution is strained, he
concluded, "No matter: the book is fascinating as it stands. ... While
the research is generally solid, the presentation is anything but dry;
while the topic is often amusing, the presentation is only
occasionally droll. Thus commendably navigating between the
temptations of pedantry and frivolity, Wilensky-Lanford also imbues
her accounts of the seekers after Eden with a novelist's flair."
Branch's review will also be published in a future issue of Skeptic.

For Branch's review in eSkeptic, visit:
http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/12-08-08/#feature 

For information about the book from its publisher, visit:
http://www.groveatlantic.com/#page=isbn9780802119803-buy 

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 and climate education and threats to them.

-- 
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
branch@ncse.com 
http://ncse.com 

Read Reports of the NCSE on-line:
http://reports.ncse.com 

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