The eminent biologist Walter Gehring died on May 29, 2014, at the age of 75, according to the Biozentrum at the University of Basel.
A panel approved a proposed revision to the section on evolution in South Carolina's new state science standards, according to The State (July 29, 2014). If the revision is approved by the state board of education and the Education Oversight Committee, it will end the impasse over South Carolina's state science standards that began with the EOC's refusal in December 2013 to accept a standard covering evolution.
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 on-line petitions as a tool in science education advocacy, with advice about how to write, promote, and use such petitions.
A big story in the press today. Scientists – mechanical engineers and physicists, one working for Boeing with his office only a few miles from my home – show that the evolution of airplanes works the same way as the evolution of organisms: The evolution of airplanes A. Bejan, J. D. Charles and S. Lorente J. Appl. Phys. 116, 044901 (2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4886855 (fortunately this paper can be downloaded for free). They make allometric plots of...
Contrails, in the general direction of Denver International Airport, as seen from Boulder, Colorado, August, 2011. Jeff Mitton, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, in an article in the Boulder Daily Camera, reminds us that contrails reduce diurnal temperature fluctuations and may have a significant effect on climate....
A new report from Ipsos MORI includes data on public opinion about the causes of climate change from twenty nations — and the United States led the world in the rate of climate change denial, as assessed by answers to two questions.
Over on Facebook, Nancy Pearcey responded to a post about young people and deconversion from churches with a modest proposal: let them read apologetics. Age at which people leave the church — Tell me again why youth groups focus on games and goodies instead of majoring on apologetics? One study found that the age at […]
By David MacMillan. 8. New perspective. I think there are several different varieties of creationism activists. Some are obsessed with the presumed negative effects of evolution and secular humanism. Some are driven by suspicion for science and the certainty that a conspiracy must be afoot. Some use creationist apologetics to make themselves feel smarter and better-informed than the general public. Some are genuinely interested in science and want to know the truth. I’d be lying...
Photograph by Al Denelsbeck. Photography contest, Winner. Our congratulations to Al Denelsbeck, the winner of the latest Panda’s Thumb photography contest with his remarkable photograph “Parasitized moth larva.” “Flightless cormorant,” by Dan Moore, was second. We will award Mr. Deneslbeck a book generously supplied by NCSE. Acharia stimulea – saddleback caterpillar moth larva, which has been parasitized by a species of Braconid wasp, of the superfamily Ichneumonoidea. Mr. Denelsbeck writes, “Darwin, of course, made a...
The Climate Science Students Bill of Rights, which articulates the principle that all students deserve the best climate science education available as part of a 21st-century science education, was widely discussed in Wyoming.
Because of the cognitive dissonance required to buy into pseudoscientific beliefs, it’s not surprising when an adherent of one pseudoscience is sucked into believing another one. For example, there is considerable overlap between advocates of 9/11 Truth beliefs and advocates of anti-Semitic causes, or between young-earth creationists and climate change deniers. The Discovery Institute has been engaging in climate-change denial for some time (see here and here, for example), so it’s really not surprising...
By David MacMillan. 7. The religion of evolution. The final set of creationist misconceptions about evolution surrounds its supposed religious, moral, and ethical implications. These objections prove difficult to address, simply because they have little or no objective basis and are almost purely philosophical or religious. This section will concentrate mostly on explaining the relationships and connections between these arguments, as systematically refuting them would delve deep into philosophy and theology and is far beyond...
NCSE is pleased to announce the launch of the Climate Science Students Bill of Rights, which articulates the principle that all students deserve the best climate science education available as part of a 21st-century science education.
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 […]