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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution provides concise and accurate information for those who wish to critically examine the antievolution movement.

Typing Monkeys: History of an Idea

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by Wesley R. Elsberry


It is difficult to find the originators of certain concepts which
pass quickly into general use. The analogy of monkeys typing
at random on typewriters and eventually reproducing copies of
literary works is one such concept.

In tracking down who might have originated the concept, we will
find people who definitely use or reference it, as well as variants
of how it is expressed. We will also explore limitations upon
who might have originated the concept or when the concept might
reasonably have been first told to a general audience.

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2008/11/07

(By NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch:)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

In Florida, the new state science standards may have to be reconsidered,
while the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, will be hosting a
multidisciplinary student conference on "Darwin's Legacy:  Evolution's
Impact on Science and Culture."

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2008/10/31

(By NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch:)

Dear friends of NCSE,

The author of The Devil in Dover is interviewed by the San Francisco
Chronicle, while a recent talk by NCSE's Eugenie C. Scott on science
education is now available on-line.  And a recent survey among Eastern
Orthodox laity in the United States provides interesting data on their
attitudes toward creationism and evolution.

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2008/10/24

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

Both the AAAS and the advisory committee of the 21st Century Science
Coalition are expressing their concern over Texas's state science
standards.  NCSE Supporter Francisco Ayala is profiled in the pages of
Scientific American. And NCSE's new website is up and running.

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2008/10/17

[by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch]

Dear Friends of NCSE,

Antievolutionists have been appointed to a committee to review the draft
set of Texas state science standards.  More welcome is the news that Randy
Moore received the 2008 Evolution Education Award from the NABT and Eugenie
C. Scott received the Field Museum's Award of Merit.

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2008/10/10

[by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch]

Dear Friends of NCSE,

Texas newspapers are editorially supporting the treatment of evolution in
the recently released draft set of science standards, while a lawsuit
alleging that the Understanding Evolution website violates the First
Amendment failed on appeal.

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2008/10/03

[by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch]

Dear Friends of NCSE,

A new coalition of scientists is defending the teaching of evolution in
Texas, and the International Planetarium Society affirms the scientifically
ascertained ages of the earth and of the universe.

Florida: Open Letter on Learning from History

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The "academic freedom" and "critical analysis" bills currently being considered by the Florida legislature are old stratagems borrowed from antievolution efforts in other states. Ronda Storms and Alan Hays have been asked whether "intelligent design" could be taught in science classrooms. Storms and Hays steadfastly refuse to answer the question posed. You have to look at what has been done in the name of narrow religious antievolution and not what is said.

Creation, Power, and Violence

Essay by Blake Stacey (originally at Science After Sunclipse)

The amount of hatred one can earn simply by speaking one's mind and doing one's job never fails to astonish me. All the more remarkable is how the people who hate so viciously are the very ones you'd expect to be tolerant, or at least quietly begrudging — people whose ancestors, both familial and ideological, were themselves the targets of bigotry in generations past, when different powers were the oppressors. Yet today, even in a country which prides itself on a long list of freedoms, speaking the plain, factual truth of the world is a sure way to win oneself ire, derision and abuse.

Both history and current events teach us that forces of prejudice and inequity oppose the dissemination of truth to certain sectors of society. As recently as 2006, the Afghan schoolteacher Mohammed Halim was drawn and quartered by motorbikes, the remains of his body put on display so that others would think twice before defying Taliban law and committing the unforgivable crime of teaching female children. I doubt the Taliban thugs who beat the algebra teachers of Ghazni have any particular animosity towards the mathematics; given a moment's reflection, they might wholeheartedly support the math lessons necessary to train engineers who then build weapons to be used against the United States. The crime in their eyes, I'd wager, is not the material, but the audience.

In the country where I grew up and am writing now, the story is a little different: most of the time, hatred against educators does not escalate to physical violence, although threats of violence are common enough, and most of the time, the factor provoking abuse is not the audience, but the lesson itself.

The plain truth I'm talking about is the biological principle of evolution. The single most powerful idea in biology, this discovery has withstood decades of criticism to emerge triumphant as one of the most well-checked propositions in human history. Learn about evolution, and you can go to work on diseases, or help find out where species both living and extinct fit into the family tree of life. You can understand the living world, and help preserve human life within it.

Open your mouth about evolution around the wrong people, though, and you can find yourself harassed, ejected from your job and even beaten in the street.

Just ask these people.

Iowa State Board of Regents Turns Down Tenure Appeal

It is a small news item, but astronomer and Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Guillermo Gonzalez had an appeal before the Iowa State Board of Regents asking them to overturn Iowa State University's decision not to grant him tenure. The vote came down 7-1 confirming Iowa State's decision.

Gonzalez is one of three people featured in the forthcoming film, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed". That film has Ben Stein in the unenviable position of trying to convince everyone that there is something sinister about the fact that someone whose publication output and research funding suffers because he's spending his time promoting "intelligent design" creationism got denied tenure.