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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2010/02/05

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(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

The first antievolution bill of 2010 is dead. Meanwhile, chances
abound to see NCSE's Eugenie C. Scott on-line, congratulations are in
order for Carl Zimmer, and Darwin Day continues to approach.


Mississippi's House Bill 586, which if enacted would have required
"scientifically sound arguments by protagonists and antagonists of the
theory of evolution" to be presented in the state's schools, died in
committee on February 2, 2010, according to the legislative website.
In 2009, the bill's sponsor, Gary Chism (R-District 37), introduced a
bill, HB 25, requiring biology textbooks in the state to include a
hybrid of two previous versions of the Alabama evolution textbook
disclaimer; that bill also died in committee.

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


NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott recently read from, and
discussed, the second edition of her book Evolution vs. Creationism:
An Introduction (University of California Press, 2009) in Albany,
California -- and video is now available on NCSE's YouTube channel.
Additionally, she was recently interviewed for three different
podcasts: The Skeptic Zone ("the podcast from Australia for science
and reason"), Skeptically Speaking, and the Rational Alchemy blog. And
if that's not enough, a talk that she gave on "Evolution versus
Creationism" at Stanford University in 2008 is now available on-line.

For NCSE's Youtube channel, visit: 

For the three podcasts, visit: 

For the Stanford talk, visit: 


NCSE offers its congratulations to Carl Zimmer for winning the AAAS
Kavli Science Journalism Award for 2009 in the large newspaper
category. Zimmer will receive $3000 and a plaque at the AAAS Annual
Meeting in San Diego in February 2010, in recognition of three
articles on aspects of genetics and evolution he wrote for The New
York Times in 2008 and 2009. A press release issued on November 10,
2009, explained:


The judges applauded the graceful style and breadth of Zimmer's entry.
From the biology of fireflies to the evolution of viruses to the
secrets of RNA, Zimmer "finds fresh and original ways to introduce
readers to complex basic science," said Lauran Neergaard of the
Associated Press. "His beautiful writing hooks you to the very end."
Nancy Shute, a freelancer formerly with U.S. News & World Report, said
Zimmer "brings surprising insight and perspective to subjects as
heavily covered as the swine flu virus." Hotz, of The Wall Street
Journal, said Zimmer's work "demonstrates the continuing strength of
print journalism and the commitment of newspapers" to convey
compelling research to their readers.


Zimmer is the author of a number of popular books about biology,
including Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea (Harper Perennial, 2006),
the companion volume to PBS's Evolution series, and The Tangled Bank:
An Introduction to Evolution (Roberts and Company, 2009) -- a sample
chapter from the latter is available on NCSE's website. Zimmer also
received NCSE's Friend of Darwin award for 2005.

For the press release, visit: 

For the sample chapter (PDF), 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, 793
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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