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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2016/09/16

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

Kudos for Bruce Alberts. A preview of The War on Science. And
creationism figures in a new lawsuit against a chain of charter
schools in Arizona.

CONGRATULATIONS TO BRUCE ALBERTS

NCSE is pleased to congratulate Bruce Alberts on receiving the 2016
Lasker-Koshland Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science.
According to a press release from the Albert and Mary Lasker
Foundation, which confers the award, Alberts was honored "[f]or
fundamental discoveries in DNA replication and protein biochemistry;
for visionary leadership in directing national and international
scientific organizations to better people's lives; and for passionate
dedication to improving education in science and mathematics."

Alberts is Chancellor's Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and
Biophysics for Science and Education at the University of California,
San Francisco. A former president of the National Academy of Sciences
and a former editor-in-chief of the journal Science, Alberts is also a
member of NCSE's Advisory Council and a recipient of NCSE's Friend of
Darwin award in recognition of his support of and advocacy for the
integrity of science education, especially influential during his
tenure at the National Academy of Sciences.

For the press release from the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, visit:
http://www.laskerfoundation.org/awards/show/discoveries-dna-replication-and-leadership-science-and-education/ 

A PREVIEW OF THE WAR ON SCIENCE

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Shawn Otto's The War on
Science (Milkweed Editions, 2016). The preview consists of the first
twenty pages of chapter 12, "Battle Plans," discussing ways of
defending science; it includes a description of NCSE as "on the front
lines of the battle to prevent efforts to change school textbooks to
include intelligent design and climate-change denial, and to stop such
efforts within schools."

Praising The War on Science, Bill Nye "The Science Guy" writes, "Otto
makes a case that can't be refuted. Science is important to all of us,
especially the US government. He backs it up with peer reviewed
studies, carefully researched numbers, and his own extensive
experience. He uses the process of science to prove that we need
science in order to remain free. Here's hoping all voters everywhere
take him seriously -- soon."

For the preview of The War on Science (PDF), visit:
https://ncse.com/files/pub/evolution/excerpt--war.pdf 

And for information about the book from its publisher, visit:
https://milkweed.org/shop/product/412/the-war-on-science/ 

CREATIONISM IN A LAWSUIT AGAINST CHARTER SCHOOLS

A new lawsuit challenges a chain of public charter schools in Arizona
for their religious advocacy -- which reportedly includes creationism.
In a September 7, 2016, press release, Americans United for Separation
of Church and State explained, "Heritage Academy, which has campuses
in Mesa, Queen Creek[,] and Laveen, uses a textbook in its mandatory
American government class for seniors that teaches students religious
concepts such as creationism, divine judgment after death and the Ten
Commandments. The public charter school also teaches religious
principles through other class curricula."

The complaint contends (p. 18) that the schools use instructional
materials that argue that there must be a Creator because the "mind
... will not accept the proposition that the forces of nature,
churning about among themselves, would ever produce a watch, or even a
lead pencil, let alone the marvelous intricacies of the human eye."
Noting that the argument echoes that of Paley's Natural Theology, the
complaint cites Kitzmiller v. Dover as "finding that arguments for
'intelligent design' are 'merely a restatement of the Reverend William
Paley's argument' -- a religious doctrine that cannot lawfully be
taught in public schools."

According to the press release, "The plaintiffs in this case are an
anonymous parent, who has at least one child attending Heritage
Academy, and the Rev. David Felten, head pastor of The Fountains, a
United Methodist Church in Fountain Hills, Ariz. The lawsuit, Doe v.
Heritage Academy, is being litigated by Americans United Legal
Director Richard B. Katskee" -- who helped to litigate Kitzmiller v.
Dover and is now a member of NCSE's board of directors -- "and AU
Madison Fellow Carmen Green, John Nadolenco and Kristin Silverman of
Mayer Brown LLP and Roopali Desai and D. Andy Gaona of Coppersmith
Brockelman PLC."

For the press release from Americans United, visit:
https://au.org/media/press-releases/ariz-public-charter-school-promotes-religion-americans-united-says-in-lawsuit 

And for the complaint in Doe v. Heritage Academy (PDF), visit:
http://au.org/files/legal_docs/Heritage_2016_Complaint.pdf 

WHAT'S NEW FROM THE SCIENCE LEAGUE OF AMERICA

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

* Ann Reid explaining a change in focus for the blog:
https://ncse.com/blog/2016/09/what-youll-be-reading-0018373 

* Emily Schoerning reporting on her evolution outreach at the Iowa State Fair:
https://ncse.com/blog/2016/09/evolution-at-iowa-state-fair-0018372 

And much more besides!

For The Science League of America, visit:
http://ncse.com/blog 

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.
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 600
Oakland CA 94612-2922
510-601-7203
fax 510-788-7971
branch@ncse.com 
http://ncse.com 

Check out NCSE's blog, Science League of America:
http://ncse.com/blog 

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http://reports.ncse.com 

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