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Opposable thumb

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2014-07-09 12:16
Photograph by Helena Insko. Opposable thumb. Ms. Insko submits this photograph of a fully opposable thumb as evidence of evolution and writes, “My mom and I have been voting in the photo contest as long as I can remember (I’m 10). When my mom told me the theme was how we know evolution is correct, this is my answer (and my hand).”... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Samuel Varg interviews Kenneth Miller

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2014-07-09 12:16
While searching for the source of this cartoon, I ran across the website of Samuel Varg, a Swedish magician and skeptic. Mr. Varg has posted an interview with Kenneth Miller on YouTube and promises interviews with Candida Moss and John Safran. Mr. Varg and his colleague Anders Hesselbom were unusually well prepared. Professor Miller, in turn, was an excellent spokesperson for theistic evolution, though I had to take issue with his claim that the universe... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Flap over creationist cartoon shown in high-school class

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-07-07 06:24
This cartoon Ken Ham, The Lie: Evolution, illustrations by Steve Cardno (Master Books, 1987). See also here. was shown as part of an otherwise innocuous PowerPoint presentation to a freshman biology class at Grady High School in Atlanta and caused a bit of a flap, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The teacher and the district science coordinator apparently refused interviews, but the student newspaper reports, based on interviews with students, that the teacher did not... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Reply to Rick Warren and Other Clergy Re Hobby Lobby and Federal Grants

W.R. Elsberry's The Austringer - Fri, 2014-07-04 14:14
Rick Warren and others sent the most genteel invitation to perpetuate rank discrimination to President Obama this week. It is really quite eloquently stated. It asks that religious groups receiving federal grant money be allowed to continue discriminating against LGBT people, as a waiver from rules that would apply to others receiving those grants. My […]
Categories: Pro-Science News

Understanding creationism, VI: An insider's guide by a former young-Earth creationist

Panda's Thumb - Thu, 2014-07-03 16:14
By David MacMillan. 6. Genetic evidence. Revised July 4, 2014. Perhaps one of the clearest and most obvious confirmations of evolution is the convergence between the evolutionary paths of descent determined by fossil evidence and the phylogenetic tree generated by algorithms analyzing genetic information. Because the tree of universal common descent is real, not invented, it leaves the same fingerprint in every part of nature that life touches. Matching trees can be found in global... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

"Creationism comes to the county fair"

Writing in the July 2014 issue of the American Geoscience Institute's magazine Earth, Scott K. Johnson relates his experience in engaging in evolution outreach in a not-so-usual venue: at his local county fair.

Categories: Pro-Science News

Science standards on hold in Wyoming

The Wyoming state board of education voted on July 1, 2014, to recommend a halt to the development of a new set of science standards for the state, according to Wyoming Public Media (July 1, 2014). 

Categories: Pro-Science News

NCSE weighs in on Nye-Ham debate

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2014-07-02 11:44
A follow-up on the Nye-Ham debate in the Reports of the National Center for Science Education: Andrew J. Petto said it wasn’t a real debate, which is sort of true, but the most interesting observations, to me, were those made by John W. Patterson. Prof. Patterson, an engineering professor, correctly gives Ken Ham credit for not obfuscating, for not pretending that creationism is based on anything but his interpretation of the Bible. He thinks that... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Photo Contest VI: Finalists

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2014-07-02 11:44
Here are the finalists of the 2014 photography contest. We received approximately 24 photographs from 10 photographers, somewhat fewer than in previous years. Most of the pictures were excellent, and we had to enlist our wife to help narrow the number of finalists to 5. To choose the finalists, we considered what we thought were the scientific and pictorial qualities of the photographs, and also attempted to represent as many photographers and present as much... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Science flexes its Bicep – perhaps prematurely

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2014-07-02 11:44
You may get an idea how science really works from an article by Boston science writer Kate Becker in today’s Boulder Daily Camera. (I think the column is exclusive to the Daily Camera.) Becker describes the Bicep2 experiment, which looked for evidence of cosmic inflation by examining the polarization of the cosmic background radiation. The authors of the paper announced its conclusion before the paper had been submitted for review; since then, others have criticized... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Understanding creationism, V:An insider's guide by a former young-Earth creationist

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2014-07-02 11:44
By David MacMillan. 5. Evolution of evolution. Most creationists believe that the theory of evolution was developed out of an ideological commitment to explaining life apart from God. Explanations of the history of evolutionary theory often point out personal struggles in the lives of prominent scientists – Darwin most often, of course – in support of this belief. “Secular scientists wanted a way of explaining a world that didn’t require God, so they invented this... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

RNCSE 34:4 now on-line

NCSE is pleased to announce that the latest issue of Reports of the National Center for Science Education is now available on-line.

Categories: Pro-Science News

A preview of Going Ape

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of Brandon Haught's Going Ape: Florida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom (University Press of Florida, 2014).

Categories: Pro-Science News

NCSE's next webinar for activists

NCSE is pleased to announce the next of a new series of on-line workshops aimed at broadening and deepening the networks that make our work possible. The next workshop focuses on involving students, who have a direct stake in the integrity of science education, in science education advocacy.

 

Categories: Pro-Science News

"What are they teaching your kids about global warming?"

"What are they teaching your kids about global warming?" asked National Journal (June 26, 2014). The answer is provided by "a patchwork of climate instruction guidelines that largely leaves teachers to their own devices, facilitating massive disparities in global-warming education from school to school and state to state."

Categories: Pro-Science News

NGSS in US News and World Report

"Political debates surrounding climate change and creationism are now making their way into America's schools, as more states are deciding whether to adopt or reject new common science standards "that put a greater emphasis on controversial topics like global warming and evolution," according to US News and World Report (June 20, 2014).

Categories: Pro-Science News

Freshwater: The waiting continues

Panda's Thumb - Tue, 2014-06-24 19:55
John Freshwater’s petition for a writ of certiorari has been placed on the SCOTUS docket for a September 29, 2014, conference.... Richard B. Hoppe
Categories: Pro-Science News

Pan troglodytes

Panda's Thumb - Tue, 2014-06-24 19:55
Photograph by Gerry L. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Pan troglodytes – common chimpanzee.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Marine Mammals: The Smithsonian Magazine Talks About NOC

W.R. Elsberry's The Austringer - Tue, 2014-06-24 13:22
Disclosure: I am a researcher who worked with NOC at the US Navy Marine Mammal Program. Smithsonian Magazine ran an article by Charles Siebert titled, “The Story of One Whale Who Tried to Bridge the Linguistic Divide Between Animals and Humans”. This was ostensibly about the work Dr. Sam Ridgway and others at the US […]
Categories: Pro-Science News

Understanding creationism, IV:An insider's guide by a former young-Earth creationist

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2014-06-22 04:43
By David MacMillan. 4. Transitional fossils. One of the most common and most frustrating creationist objections to evolution is the claim that there are no “missing links” or “transitional fossils” required by evolution. This claim is made without qualification, particularly in presentations to lay or church audiences. As unthinkable as it might seem, creationists really do believe that transitional fossils simply do not exist. On this basis, they conclude that evolution must be false. They... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News
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