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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2010/10/15

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

NCSE's Eugenie C. Scott visits Orange County, California; NCSE is
about to visit the nation's capital for the USA Science & Engineering
Festival; and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction revisits,
and reaffirms, its commitment to teaching evolution.

NCSE'S SCOTT IN THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

In Orange County, California, to give a talk at Chapman University,
NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott was interviewed by the
Orange County Register (October 11, 2010). She explained why
creationism is wrong for the public school science classroom,
observing, "The scientists tell us claims of scientific support for
special creation are invalid. So why would we deliberately teach
students information that the scientific community says is not
accurate?" She addressed the creationist strategy du jour of
presenting evolution but "balancing" it with the teaching of "evidence
against evolution" -- which, she added, "is really just what they call
creationism these days." And asked whether people in Orange County can
"just relax and not worry" about the teaching of evolution in the
absence of a major local controversy, she warned, "I think it would be
a mistake to look at the newspaper and say, 'No creationism today. I
can relax.' Because the creationist activity that matters is what's
happening at local school districts and pressure on local teachers --
which never makes the newspapers."

The Orange County Register (October 12, 2010) devoted a second column
to NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott's recent talk at Chapman
University. "Rumor was," the columnist joked, "some Bible-thumping
creationists were going to try and smite down speaker Eugenie C. Scott
and turn the rest of us into pillars of salt or some such. Didn't
happen." Instead, she reviewed the history of the
creationism/evolution controversy, from the Scopes trial of 1925
through the Epperson and Edwards cases to the Kitzmiller case of 2005.
The latest creationist strategy is to encourage individual teachers to
present evolution, as with the so-called Louisiana Science Education
Act of 2008. "'Creationists have found that top-down agendas ... get
knocked down by courts,' Scott says. The way they get around that is
to appeal to individual teachers, some 25-30 percent of whom
nationwide are believed to be sympathetic to creationism."

For the interview with Scott, visit:
http://www.ocregister.com/news/evolution-270586-creationism-schools.html 

For the report of Scott's talk, visit:
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/evolution-270866-creationists-scott.html 

NCSE AT USA SCIENCE & ENGINEERING FESTIVAL

NCSE will be participating in the Science Expo of the USA Science &
Engineering Festival, October 23 and 24, 2010, on the National Mall in
Washington DC. The culmination of a two-week celebration of science
and engineering, the Science Expo is a giant science party on
America's front lawn, aimed at inspiring the next generation of
scientists and engineers. All events are free and open to the general
public.

So come and explore the world of science and engineering with over
1500 free hands-on activities from over 750 science and engineering
organizations, and over 75 stage shows featuring science celebrities,
magicians, jugglers, rappers, and more. The two-day Expo is perfect
for teens, children and their families, and anyone with a curious mind
who is looking for a weekend of fun and discovery.

And NCSE will be there too, inviting the general public to "find
yourself on the tree of life" -- with displays featuring a panoramic
view of the tree of life, the evolution of hominids, and the
evolutionary path from dinosaurs to their avian descendants, as well
as activities and NCSE buttons for kids. Look for NCSE's display in
Booth 1420 at Freedom Plaza (Pennsylvania Avenue North at 13th
Street).

For information about the Festival and Expo, visit:
http://www.usasciencefestival.org/ 

A VOICE FOR EVOLUTION FROM WISCONSIN

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, which adopted a strong
statement on "Evolution, Creation, and the Science Curriculum" in
1982, revised its statement in 2005.

The statement describes evolution as "a fundamental and important
unifying concept in science," explaining, "Evolutionary evidence is
found in geologic, meteorological, astronomical, and oceanographic
events. Additional evidence is found in paleontology, comparative
anatomy, biogeography, embryology, and molecular biology. This broad
evolutionary evidence explains why evolution is one of the unifying
themes for science."

The department's statement is now reproduced, by permission, on NCSE's
website, and will also be contained in the fourth edition of NCSE's
Voices for Evolution.

For the 2005 statement (document), visit:
http://dpi.wi.gov/cal/doc/evolution.doc 

For the 1982 statement, visit:
http://ncse.com/media/voices/wisconsin-department-public-instruction-1982 

For information about Voices for Evolution, visit:
http://ncse.com/voices 

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
branch@ncse.com 
http://ncse.com 

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