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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2017/08/04

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

How is climate change taught in the Centennial State?


The Aurora Sentinel (July 27, 2017) reviewed the state of climate
change education in Colorado, observing, "teachers, scientists[,] and
government officials agree the controversial topic is handled
disparately across the state," owing to state science standards that
"seek to teach the accepted science of the issue, but also help
students understand the controversy itself and come to their own

NCSE's Glenn Branch described the state standards as "pretty
wishy-washy" on climate change, taking issue particularly with the
word "might" in a standard reading, "Human actions such as burning
fossil fuels might impact Earth’s climate." A spokesperson for the
Colorado Department of Education explained, "we left it broad ... so
that it can be interpreted." The standards are expected to be revised
later in 2017.

Spokespeople for the Aurora Public Schools and the Cherry Creek
Schools told the newspaper that students in their districts are not
taught that there are any scientific alternatives to human-caused
global warming. One explained, "Our teachers focus on the science and
on engaging students using evidence and knowledge to understand
climate trends." Political controversies over climate change are
sometimes discussed, however.

Paul Strode -- a high school science teacher in Boulder who wrote a
doctoral dissertation on bird migration and global warming --
expressed frustration about the lack of reliable information on
climate change for teachers, saying, "There is an overwhelming
scientific consensus on global warming ... It is mind[-]blowing how
much science denial and pseudoscience is out there. I don't get it."

The result is that when students reach college, they are often
uninformed about climate change, as Eileen Skahill, a professor of
sociology at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, reported.
Indeed, she told the newspaper that she is sometimes pressured by
students and parents to include or allow a discussion of supposed
scientific alternatives to human-caused global warming in her classes.

NCSE's Glenn Branch emphasized the importance of presenting the
scientific consensus on climate change: "We don't tell students that
scientists are divided about the shape of the earth, because they're
not. In the same way, we shouldn't tell students that scientists are
divided about the fact that the climate is changing, and faster than
it has in millions of years, on account of human activity, because
they're not."

For the story in the Aurora Sentinel, visit: 

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


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

* Glenn Branch investigating a story about a deathbed recantation from
Henry Drummond: 

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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