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Pro-Science News

A preview of Evolution: Making Sense of Life

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of the second edition of Carl Zimmer and Douglas J. Emlen's Evolution: Making Sense of Life (Roberts and Company, 2015). 

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A new poll on climate change

A new poll on public attitudes toward Pope Francis's encyclical on climate change included questions on the occurrence of climate change itself. Asked "Do you think that global warming is happening, or do you think global warming is not happening?" 69% of respondents said yes, 16% said no, 15% said that they were not sure, and 1% skipped or refused to answer the question. 

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Polling Latinos on climate change

A new poll of Latinos in the United States finds that a large majority — more than four fifths — accept that climate change is real, and that a majority — almost two thirds — accept that climate change is mostly due to human activity.

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Extending summer vacation for the sake of creationism?

Will Kentucky extend the duration of summer vacation in order to enable students to attend a creationist attraction?

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John Holland dies

John Holland

The computer scientist John Holland died on August 9, 2015, at the age of 86, according to a memorial notice from the Santa Fe Institute (August 10, 2015).

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Some Programming Notes

W.R. Elsberry's The Austringer - Sat, 2015-08-08 14:06
Some of the stuff I’ve run across in the last few months that I consider cool: Emscripten is a LLVM-based C++ compiler that emits JavaScript code, specifically asm.JS. This is being used to try to bring Avida-ED to the browser, since Avida has a C++ codebase. Speaking of JavaScript, since Diane has been using that… Read More »
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Belated Happy 271st Birthday, Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet!

Panda's Thumb - Fri, 2015-08-07 16:16
Who? The Chevalier de Lamarck, that’s who. Born 1 August 1744, he was the first evolutionary biologist who gave a mechanism that could, in principle, explain adaptation. Even though his mechanism was wrong, he was a true pioneer and a great biologist. (I’ll leave this post short, so as not to push Matt’s photo contest off the page).... Joe Felsenstein http://evolution.gs.washington.edu/felsenstein.html
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Actias luna

Panda's Thumb - Fri, 2015-08-07 16:16
Photograph by Tom Gillespie. Photography Contest, Second Place. Actias luna – Luna moth, Duluth, Georgia. Shot from underneath, as it was resting upside-down in my azalea bush.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Need a speaker?

As the only national organization that is wholly dedicated to defending the teaching of evolution and climate change in the public schools, NCSE is the perfect place to find someone to speak to your organization or university about issues relevant to evolution and climate education and attacks on either or both.

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NGSS adopted in Iowa

The Iowa Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards at its August 6, 2015, meeting.

 

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A glimpse of Domestication

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Richard C. Francis's Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World (W. W. Norton, 2015).

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Domesticated: Book review

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2015-07-29 22:13
A number of years ago, I found a family of raccoons living in my chimney.1 I got them out by dropping a trouble light down the flue and turning it on for a few days. According to Richard C. Francis, in his splendid book, Domesticated, animals such as raccoons living in urbanized areas represent the first step toward domesticating those animals. The full title of the book is Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World, and... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Polling evolution in western Canada

"[T]he entire west coast" of Canada is "moving away from creationism," reports the Vancouver Observer (July 23, 2015).

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Facebook: n > 110,000

A milestone: there are now over 110,000 fans of NCSE's Facebook page. Why not join them, by visiting the page and becoming a fan by clicking on the "Like" box by NCSE's name?

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Luskin makes more mistakes on the Cambrian and Cladistics

Panda's Thumb - Thu, 2015-07-23 06:05
(edited to add a point on Aegirocassis and Parapeytoia) This week, the Discovery Institute Press put out another book called Debating Darwin’s Doubt. I took one for the team and bought it, in part because a a decent chunk of the book is responding to me. I’m pretty sure I’ve never been mentioned so much in a book! Sadly, though, looking through it, almost all of it is material re-hashed from the DI “Evolution News... Nick Matzke http://www.talkdesign.org
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Melting of polar ice

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2015-07-22 18:54
Photograph by Dan Moore. Photography Contest VII: Winner. Melting of polar ice. Mr. Moore writes, “Our ship got caught in the ice and had to be freed by a Canadian ice breaker. Global warming – what?? Actually, yes – we could not get through because so much ice broke free further north near the polar ice cap and was blown south into the shipping channels.” Mr. Moore will receive a signed copy of Why Evolution... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Pluto and Spiderman

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2015-07-22 18:54
Spiderman Shpiderman – a penpal of mine, who can identify himself if he likes (I will of course understand if he demurs), asks, There’s a lot of excitement and amazement about the lack of cratering and the height and sharpness of the geological features on Pluto. It appears that, contrary to earlier speculation, Pluto is geologically active and thus geologically young…though “young” in the sense that these features are probably less than 100 million... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Little Ice Age coming?

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2015-07-22 18:54
I do not know what to make of this, but UPI reports that a team from the University of Northumbria, “saying they understand solar cycles better than ever, predict that the sun’s normal activity will decrease by 60 percent around 2030 – triggering the ‘mini ice age’ that could last for a decade.” That sentence is unclear, but I presume they mean “normal sunspot activity.” As they do not quite say, the northern hemisphere (at... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Why are giant pandas so lazy?

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2015-07-22 18:54
Professor Steve Steve informs us of an article Why are pandas so lazy? in Science Now. Professor Steve Steve takes exception to the claim that he is lazy. Yes, it is true that the giant panda’s daily energy expenditure is about 5 MJ: roughly one-third that of a dog and about the same as a three-toed sloth. It is also true that Professor Steve Steve moves slowly and basks a lot in the sun. Why?... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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No Senate resolution on climate education

Edward Markey

When the United States Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 on July 16, 2015, a proposed resolution acknowledging the scientific evidence for climate change and affirming the importance of climate science education was not included.

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