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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2017/05/26

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

Is creationist sentiment in the United States at a new low? And is
climate change on its way back to Idaho's state science standards?


"The percentage of U.S. adults who believe that God created humans in
their present form at some time within the last 10,000 years or so --
the strict creationist view -- has reached a new low," reports Gallup
(May 22, 2017). "This is the first time since 1982 -- when Gallup
began asking this question using this wording -- that belief in God's
direct creation of man has not been the outright most-common

Asked "[w]hich of the following statements comes closest to your views
on the origin and development of human beings," 38% of the respondents
accepted "Human beings have developed over millions of years from less
advanced forms of life, but God guided this process," 19% accepted
"Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced
forms of life, but God had no part in this process," and 38% accepted
"God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one
time within the last 10,000 years or so." Acceptance of the
creationist option was associated with lower education levels,
Protestantism, and weekly church attendance.

According to Gallup, the poll results are "based on telephone
interviews conducted May 3-7, 2017, with a random sample of 1,011
adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the
District of Columbia"; the samples were weighted to match
demographics. The maximum range of sampling error for the total sample
was +/- 4%. Conveniently, Gallup provides a graph showing the results
from its polls using the same question since 1982.

For Gallup's report on the poll, visit: 

And for NCSE's collection of information on polls and surveys, visit: 


On May 19, 2017, the Idaho state department of education released a
draft revision of five science education standards addressing climate
change and human impact on the environment. Earlier versions of the
same standards were, as NCSE previously reported, deleted from the
state science standards by the state legislature, where legislators --
particularly in the House Education Committee -- complained that they
failed to present "both sides of the debate."

The revised versions of the standards continue to acknowledge human
responsibility for recent climate change, but appear to soften or
qualify the acknowledgment somewhat. For example, where ESS3.C
formerly stated, "Human activities ... are major factors in the
current rise in Earth's mean surface temperature," it now states,
"Current scientific models indicate that human activities ... are the
primary factors in the present-day measured rise in Earth's mean
surface temperature," while the sentence "Emphasis is on the major
role that human activities play in causing the rise in global
temperatures" was removed from ESS3-MS-5.

A member of the revision committee told Idaho Education News (May 19,
2017) that the committee tried to respond to lawmakers' concerns while
maintaining the scientific integrity of the concerns: "we did look at
legislators' comments and took out words we knew were hot buttons."
The Idaho state board of education will review the standards in August
2017, and then, after a twenty-one day public comment period, will
vote on whether to adopt them. The standards will then again undergo
legislative review in 2018.

For the draft revision of the standards (PDF), visit: 

For the article from Idaho Education News, visit: 

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


Have you been visiting NCSE's blog recently? If not, then you've missed:

* Glenn Branch discussing the unlikely connection between Gene Wilder
and Erasmus Darwin: 

For NCSE's blog, 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.
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 600
Oakland CA 94612-2922
fax 510-788-7971 

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