NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2010/05/21
(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)
Dear Friends of NCSE, News from the Show Me State, where NCSE's Eugenie C. Scott received an honorary degree and where an antievolution bill died.
NCSE'S SCOTT AT MIZZOU Receiving her honorary degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia, on May 15, 2010, NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott addressed the graduating class, recommending, "Use sunscreen, and use your brains." She added, "use your brains, but use your heart, too. You'll be a better functioning organism if you use both of them." Additionally, at a banquet, she offered a few autobiographical remarks about her career in defending the teaching of evolution in the public schools -- "It starts here, after all," she explained. "Because it was at the University of Missouri [where Scott earned her Ph.D.] that I was first introduced to something called 'creation science'." Transcripts of both of Scott's addresses are available on NCSE's website. For the transcripts, visit: http://ncse.com/news/2010/05/ncses-scott-at-mizzou-005512 ANTIEVOLUTION LEGISLATION IN MISSOURI DIES When the Missouri legislative session ended on May 14, 2010, House Bill 1651 died, without ever having been assigned to a committee. The bill would have, if enacted, called on state and local education administrators to "endeavor to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues, including biological and chemical evolution" and to "endeavor to assist teachers to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies." "Toward this end," the bill continued, "teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of the theory of biological and hypotheses of chemical evolution." The chief sponsor of HB 1651 was Robert Wayne Cooper (R-District 155), joined by Doug Funderburk (R-District 12), Ed Emery (R-District 126), Cynthia Davis (R-District 19), Therese Sander (R-District 22), David Sater (R-District 68), Rick Stream (R-District 94), Jeff Grisamore (R-District 47), Jeanie Riddle (R-District 20), Rodney Schad (R-District 11), and Darrell Pollock (R-District 146). Cooper was the sponsor of a series of failed antievolution bills in the past in Missouri. In 2004, he introduced two bills, HB 911 and HB 1722, that called for equal time for "intelligent design" in Missouri's public schools. In 2006, he introduced HB 1266, which if enacted would have required that "If a theory or hypothesis of biological origins is taught, a critical analysis of such theory or hypothesis shall be taught in a substantive amount." In 2008, he introduced HB 2554, which is similar to 2010's HB 1651, and in 2009, he introduced HB 656, which is identical to HB 1651. For NCSE's information on HB 1651, visit: http://ncse.com/creationism/general/academic-freedom-legislation-missouri-2010 For previous coverage of events in Missouri, visit: http://ncse.com/news/missouri 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. -- Sincerely, 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