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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2017/11/03

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(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

Amid complaints about evolution and climate change, Utah decides to
update its science standards. Plus a reminder that you -- yes, you! --
can help NCSE's archives.


On November 2, 2017, the Utah state board of education voted 10-4 to
begin the process of revising the state science standards for
elementary and high school -- albeit "[o]ver objections that national
science education standards push a political agenda on global warming
and do not include instruction of intelligent design as a counterpoint
to teaching evolution," according to the Deseret News (November 2,

The standards in question, according to a report presented to the
board, "range from seven to fifteen years old," and contain some
"scientifically outdated an[d] irrelevant" content. The report cited
"excitement" among Utah science educators for the approach represented
by A Framework for K-12 Science Education -- the document on which the
Next Generation Science Standards are based.

One member of the board who voted against the proposal was quoted as
explicitly objecting to the treatment of evolution and climate change
in the NGSS: "Really, these national science standards ... have little
to do with science and a lot to do with what is politically expedient.
… There's a heavy emphasis on global warming. There's a heavy emphasis
as evolution as a fact and not as a theory."

As NCSE previously reported, there was controversy over the inclusion
of evolution and climate change in a new set of Utah middle school
science standards in 2015. A draft was criticized, inter alia, for
suggesting that global temperature is constant and for using the
phrase "change in species over time" in preference to "evolution."
These features were not present in the final version of the standards
approved by the board in December 2015.

With the revision process approved, the next step, according to the
Deseret News, is "the creation [of] committees to review standards and
write possible updates which would be subject to public review and
possible adoption by the State School Board. Some of the committee
members will be appointed by the president of the Utah Senate and the
speaker of the Utah House of Representatives."

For the article in the Deseret News, visit: 

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


NCSE's archives house a unique trove of material on the
creationism/evolution controversy, and we regard it as part of our
mission to preserve it for posterity -- as well as for occasions such
as Kitzmiller v. Dover, where NCSE's archives helped to establish the
creationist antecedents of the "intelligent design" movement. And we
are beginning to amass a similar trove of material on disputes over
climate change education. We cordially invite you now to help NCSE's
archives keep up-to-date by purchasing books through our wish list at And it's not just books -- gifts of needed hardware,
software, and office equipment are welcome, too, and so are supplies
for Science Booster Club events! All of these donations are
tax-deductible. And if you make your purchase via's Smile
page for NCSE, NCSE receives 0.5% of the price (for eligible
purchases). We're pleased to report that over three hundred items have
been purchased already, and we thank the donors for their generosity.
Won't you join them in supporting NCSE?

For NCSE's wishlist at, visit: 

For's Smile page for NCSE, visit: 


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

* Emily Schoerning reporting on the latest microgrants in the NCSE
Science Booster Club program: 

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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