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