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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2010/01/29

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

Barbara Forrest is profiled in Church and State. Plus a preview of
Douglas J. Futuyma's textbook evolution, and a reminder about Darwin
Day 2010.


Barbara Forrest was profiled in the January 2010 issue of Church and
State, published by Americans United for Separation of Church and
State. "For Barbara Forrest, fighting for church-state separation and
quality science education in Louisiana -- and the rest of the nation
-- has become her civic duty," the article explains, citing both her
testimony in Kitzmiller v. Dover and her efforts to mitigate the
impact of the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act, which
threatens to open the door to creationism in the science classrooms of
the state's public schools. A professor of philosophy at Southeastern
Louisiana University, Forrest is the coauthor (with Paul R. Gross) of
Creationism's Trojan Horse (rev. ed., Oxford University Press 2007),
and a member of NCSE's board of directors.

For the profile, visit: 

For information about Kitzmiller v. Dover, visit: 

For NCSE's previous coverage of events in Louisiana, visit: 

For information about Creationism's Trojan Horse, visit: 


NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of a chapter from the second
edition of Douglas J. Futuyma's popular textbook Evolution (Sinauer
Associates, 2009). The chapter is on natural selection and adaptation.
As Futuyma explains, "The theory of natural selection is the
centerpiece of The Origin of Species and of evolutionary theory. It is
this theory that accounts for the adaptations of organisms, those
innumerable features that so wonderfully equip them for survival and
reproduction; it is this theory that accounts for the divergence of
species from common ancestors and thus for the endless diversity of
life. Natural selection is a simple concept, but it is perhaps the
most important idea in biology."

Joel Cracraft writes, "Because it strikes the right balance between
breadth and detail, and is conscientiously written with the student in
mind, Futuyma's Evolution will resonate in the classroom," and Kevin
Padian adds, "His coverage of topics such as the history of the field
and macroevolution is not matched in other texts; the level of
integration of different evolutionary fields is superior; and his own
experience in raising scientific literacy and the public understanding
of evolution really comes through." A Supporter of NCSE, Futuyma is
Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at
the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

For the sample chapter (PDF), visit: 

For information about the book, visit: 


Are you recovered from 2009's celebrations of the bicentennial of
Darwin's birth and the sesquicentennial of the publication of On the
Origin of Species? Good, because less than a month remains before
Darwin Day 2010! Colleges and universities, schools, libraries,
museums, churches, civic groups, and just plain folks across the
country -- and the world -- are preparing to celebrate Darwin Day, on
or around February 12, in honor of the life and work of Charles
Darwin. These events provide a marvelous opportunity not only to
celebrate Darwin's birthday but also to engage in public outreach
about science, evolution, and the importance of evolution education.
NCSE encourages its members and friends to attend, participate in, and
even organize Darwin Day events in their own communities. To find a
local event, check the websites of local universities and museums and
the registry of Darwin Day events maintained by the Darwin Day
Celebration website. (And don't forget to register your own event with
the Darwin Day Celebration website!)

And with Darwin Day comes the return of Evolution Weekend! Hundreds of
congregations all over the country and around the world are taking
part in Evolution Weekend, February 12-14, 2010, by presenting sermons
and discussion groups on the compatibility of faith and science.
Michael Zimmerman, the initiator of the project, writes, "Evolution
Weekend is an opportunity for serious discussion and reflection on the
relationship between religion and science. One important goal is to
elevate the quality of the discussion on this critical topic -- to
move beyond sound bites. A second critical goal is to demonstrate that
religious people from many faiths and locations understand that
evolution is sound science and poses no problems for their faith.
Finally, as with The Clergy Letter itself, Evolution Weekend makes it
clear that those claiming that people must choose between religion and
science are creating a false dichotomy." At last count, 755
congregations in all fifty states (and eleven foreign countries) were
scheduled to hold Evolution Weekend events.

For the Darwin Day registry, visit: 

For information about Evolution Weekend, visit: 

Thanks for reading! And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution education and threats to it.


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

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