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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2014/10/03

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

NCSE's Rosenau and McCaffrey contribute a column on climate change in
social studies textbooks to Texas's largest newspaper. Plus a new
issue of Reports of the NCSE and a new member of NCSE's board.


NCSE's Josh Rosenau and Mark McCaffrey were invited by theHouston
Chronicle (September 30, 2014) to discuss the controversy over the
treatment of climate science in social studies textbooks now under
consideration by the Texas state board of education. "Today, climate
change isn't just a scientific issue," they explained: "critical
debates about our response to climate change belong in textbooks
covering civics, economics, history and geography, rooted in the
social and political context while always informed by accurate

"Unfortunately, many of the social studies textbooks under
consideration simply ignore climate change, depriving students of the
tools they'll need to become tomorrow's leaders," they continued. "But
there's a problem that publishers and the board can solve today: the
factual errors in the books that cover climate change. Most
egregiously, several of these books claim that there is active dispute
among scientists about the primary cause of climate change. That's
simply wrong."

Previously, NCSE and the Texas Freedom Network announced in a joint
press release that "an examination of how proposed social studies
textbooks for Texas public schools address climate change reveals
distortions and bias that misrepresent the broad scientific consensus
on the phenomenon." A number of errors about climate science were
present, as well as a quotation from a notorious climate change denial
organization presented in rebuttal of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change.

Rosenau and McCaffrey concluded, "Tomorrow's Texans will have big
decisions to make -- in deciding how to confront rising seas and
declining freshwater, in choosing between the fuels of the future and
those of the past, in creating new businesses and new kinds of jobs in
the new world ahead.  Social studies classrooms and textbooks are the
perfect place to explore those questions and to prepare our students
to build the future they deserve." The Texas state board of education
is expected to make a decision on the textbooks in November 2014.

For Rosenau and McCaffrey's column, visit: 

For the press release from NCSE and the Texas Freedom Network, visit: 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Texas, visit: 


NCSE is pleased to announce that the latest issue of Reports of the
National Center for Science Education is now available on-line.The
issue -- volume 34, number 5 -- contains William D. Anderson's
"Evolution in the Sunshine State: Brandon Haught's Going Ape," Gregory
Sandstrom's "Programming College Students with 'Intelligent Design'
Ideology," and David E. Seidemann's "How to Determine Earth's Age: A
Small Correction and a Big Lesson for The New York Times." And for his
regular People and Places column, Randy Moore discusses the
ornithologist David Lack.

Plus a host of reviews of books on creationism: Leah Ceccarelli
reviews Thomas M. Lessl's Rhetorical Darwinism, Kevin Padian reviews
Cyrille Baudouin and Olivier Brosseau's Enquête sur les
Créationnismes, Carlos A. Quintana reviews Evoluzionismo: Il Tramonto
di una Ipotesi, Laurel Saiz reviews Lauren Grodstein's The Explanation
for Everything, Adam R. Shapiro reviews Edward Caudill's Intelligently
Designed, and George Webb reviews Adam R. Shapiro's Trying Biology.

All of these articles, features, and reviews are freely available in
PDF form from Members of NCSE will shortly be 
receiving in the mail the print supplement to Reports 34:5, which, in
addition to summaries of the on-line material, contains news from the
membership, a regular column in which NCSE staffers offer personal
reports on what they've been doing to defend the teaching of
evolution, a regular column interviewing NCSE's favorite people, and
more besides. (Not a member? Join today!)

For the table of contents for RNCSE 34:5, visit: 

For information about joining NCSE, visit: 


NCSE is pleased to announce the addition of Michael Haas, a
businessman, entrepreneur, and climate activist, to its board of
directors. "In the fight with climate change, knowledge is power,"
Haas explained. "But too many students are not learning what they need
to know about climate change and the solutions. That's why I'm pleased
to join NCSE's board of directors and to support its diverse efforts
to defend the integrity of science education."

NCSE's executive director Ann Reid commented, "With climate change
denial still prevalent in our country, and especially with recent
attacks on climate science education in states such as Michigan,
Texas, and Wyoming, it's clear that NCSE's work is needed now more
than ever." She added, "Thanks to Haas's vision and passion for
climate science education, I feel renewed confidence that we will be
able to continue our efforts to defend the teaching of climate science
as well as the teaching of evolution."

Brian Alters, the president of NCSE's board of directors, was also
enthusiastic. "The business community is beginning to wake up to the
fact that the fate of the economy is linked to the fate of the
environment," he commented. "But what Michael Haas understands -- for
which he deserves great credit -- is that both are linked to the fate
of science education, because it's the next generation that needs to
be equipped to face the challenge of climate change."

Haas is the founder of Orion Renewable Energy Group LLC and the
co-founder of RDC Developments Ltd., companies that help to meet the
growing worldwide demand for low-cost non-polluting renewable energy.
He is also the founder of Alliance for Climate Education, a non-profit
organization that presents climate change and solutions to millions of
high school students, putting young people at the center of the story
and giving every student a chance to take action.

On NCSE's board of directors Haas joins president Brian Alters of
Chapman University, vice president and treasurer Lorne Trottier of
Matrox, secretary Robert M. West of Informal Learning Experiences,
Francisco J. Ayala of the University of California, Irvine, Barbara
Forrest of Southeastern Louisiana University, Richard B. Katskee of
Mayer Brown LLP, and Benjamin D. Santer of Lawrence Livermore National

For information about NCSE's board of directors, visit: 


Have you been visiting NCSE's blog, The Science League of America,
recently? If not, then you've missed:

* Stephanie Keep explaining that evolution happens to populations: 

* Ann Reid reviewing the evolution of antibiotic resistance: 

* Glenn Branch pondering the inside-out earth of Koreshanity: 

And much more besides!

For The Science League of America, visit: 

Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution and climate education and threats to them.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
510-601-7203 x303
fax: 510-601-7204

Check out NCSE's new blog, Science League of America: 

Read Reports of the NCSE on-line: 

Subscribe to NCSE's free weekly e-newsletter: 

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NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today!