NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2009/12/25
(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)
Dear Friends of NCSE, The Philadelphia Inquirer publishes a column on science denial by NCSE's Steven Newton. A new NOVA documentary on evo-devo airs on December 29. Plus a chance to vote for NCSE -- if you're a Working Assets/Credo Mobile customer.
NCSE'S NEWTON IN THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER NCSE's Steven Newton's op-ed "Science denial is on the rise" appeared in the December 24, 2009, issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "From evolution to global warming to vaccines," he wrote, "science is under assault from denialists -- those who dismiss well-tested scientific knowledge as merely one of many competing ideologies." Ignoring the weight of overwhelming evidence and focusing their efforts on spreading misinformation to the public, denialists "hope to cloak themselves in the mantle of science without being restricted by its requirement." But, he concluded, "Understanding science has never been more important than it is today. ... As long scientists must squander their time defending their work from denialism, we will fall behind on our fundamental responsibilities." For Newton's op-ed, visit: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/80045792.html WHAT DARWIN NEVER KNEW "What Darwin Never Knew" -- a NOVA documentary on the burgeoning science of evolutionary developmental biology -- will air on December 29, 2009, on public broadcasting stations around the country. According to NOVA: *** Earth teems with a staggering variety of animals, including 9,000 kinds of birds, 28,000 types of fish, and more than 350,000 species of beetles. What explains this explosion of living creatures -- 1.4 million different species discovered so far, with perhaps another 50 million to go? The source of life's endless forms was a profound mystery until Charles Darwin brought forth his revolutionary idea of natural selection. But Darwin's radical insights raised as many questions as they answered. What actually drives evolution and turns one species into another? To what degree do different animals rely on the same genetic toolkit? And how did we evolve? "What Darwin Never Knew" offers answers to riddles that Darwin couldn't explain. Breakthroughs in a brand-new science -- nicknamed "evo devo" -- are linking the enigmas of evolution to another of nature's great mysteries, the development of the embryo. NOVA takes viewers on a journey from the Galapagos Islands to the Arctic, and from the explosion of animal forms half a billion years ago to the research labs of today. Scientists are finally beginning to crack nature's biggest secrets at the genetic level. The results are confirming the brilliance of Darwin's insights while revealing clues to life's breathtaking diversity in ways the great naturalist could scarcely have imagined. *** Further information about the documentary, including a preview, interviews, and interactive features is available at NOVA's website. Information on finding local public broadcasting stations is available via PBS's website. For further information, visit: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/beta/evolution/darwin-never-knew.html For information on local stations, visit: http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html NCSE AND WORKING ASSETS/CREDO MOBILE There's still time to vote for NCSE, if you're a Working Assets/Credo Mobile customer. NCSE is slated to be a beneficiary of Working Assets/Credo Mobile, the telephone company established "to help busy people make a difference in the world through everyday activities like talking on the phone. Every time a customer uses one of Working Assets' donation-linked services (Long Distance, Wireless and Credit Card), the company donates a portion of the charges to nonprofit groups working to build a world that is more just, humane, and environmentally sustainable." Every year, the donation pool is allocated among the groups supported by Working Assets in proportion to the customers' votes. The more votes NCSE gets, the more money we get! If you're already a Working Assets/Credo Mobile customer, you can still vote on-line in the 2009 distribution. And NCSE is going to be a beneficiary again in 2010, so you'll have a chance to vote for NCSE then, too! For voting information for the 2009 distribution, visit: http://www.workingassets.com/Voting/Default.aspx For information about Working Assets/Credo Mobile, visit: http://www.workingassets.com/ Thanks for reading! And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- http://ncse.com -- where you can always find the latest news on evolution education and threats to it. -- With best wishes for the holiday season, Glenn Branch Deputy Director National Center for Science Education, Inc. 420 40th Street, Suite 2 Oakland, CA 94609-2509 510-601-7203 x310 fax: 510-601-7204 800-290-6006 firstname.lastname@example.org http://ncse.com Subscribe to NCSE's free weekly e-newsletter: http://groups.google.com/group/ncse-news NCSE is on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/evolution.ncse http://www.youtube.com/NatCen4ScienceEd http://twitter.com/ncse NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today! http://ncse.com/membership