NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2011/06/24
(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)
Dear Friends of NCSE, A new batch of videos on NCSE's YouTube channel and a preview of Francisco J. Ayala's Am I a Monkey? And a pair of antievolution bills looms on the horizon in the Granite State.
VIDEOS, VIDEOS, VIDEOS NCSE is pleased to announce the addition of a further batch of videos to NCSE's YouTube channel -- bringing the total number of videos available there to over two hundred! Featured is NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott, explaining "Why evolution is difficult" at the QED conference in Manchester in 2011 and again at the Orange County Freethought Alliance Conference in Irvine, California, in 2011. And departing from the creationism/evolution controversy for a change, Scott discusses "Bigfoot and other wild men of the forest" for "Ask a Scientist" in San Francisco in 2009. From NCSE's staff, Joshua Rosenau discusses "Controversies, scientific and otherwise" at the University of West Virginia in 2011, and Scott, Rosenau, and Glenn Branch team up to address "Creationism vs. evolution ... and global warming: An update" for the SkeptiCal conference in Berkeley, California, in 2011. "The story of NCSE," produced in 2001, celebrates a grant awarded to NCSE by Working Assets/Credo Mobile, the telephone company established "to give people an easy way to make a difference in the world, just by doing the things they do every day." And from NCSE's Supporters and friends, there's Niles Eldredge -- NCSE Supporter and recipient of NCSE's Friend of Darwin award for 2011 -- presenting "The case for evolution" (in two parts) at Hillsdale College in 2002, and footage (in three parts) from the 2011 rally in Baton Rouge organized by Zack Kopplin in support of the effort to repeal Louisiana's antievolution law enacted in 2008. Is it any wonder that NCSE's YouTube channel is consistently in the top fifty most-viewed and most-subscribed non-profit channels? Tune in and enjoy! For NCSE's YouTube channel, visit: http://www.youtube.com/NatCen4ScienceEd A PREVIEW OF AM I A MONKEY? NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Francisco J. Ayala's Am I a Monkey? Six Big Questions about Evolution (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010). In the excerpt, Ayala addresses the title question, writing, "I am a primate. Monkeys are primates, but humans are not monkeys. Primates include monkeys, apes, and humans. Humans are more closely related by descent to apes than to monkeys. That is, the apes are our first cousins, so to speak, while the monkeys are our second or third cousins," before proceeding to review the evidence -- from comparative anatomy, the fossil record, and comparisons of DNA -- for the common ancestry of the primates. Ayala, a Supporter of NCSE, was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2001. Reviewing Am I a Monkey? for RNCSE, Joel W. Martin wrote, "The book is well-written, accurate, and concise, and it covers the main points of biological evolution likely to be questioned by non-specialists. More importantly, it is accessible and easy to digest for the audience for whom it is written. Because of that strength, I suspect that it will, in the long run, play a larger role in promoting the acceptance of evolution than so many contemporary but longer and more detailed treatises." For the preview (PDF), visit: http://ncse.com/files/pub/evolution/Excerpt--monkey.pdf For information on the book from its publisher, visit: http://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/ecom/MasterServlet/GetItemDetailsHandler?iN=9780801897542&qty=1&source=2&viewMode=3 For Martin's review in RNCSE, visit: http://reports.ncse.com/index.php/rncse/article/view/8/8 ANTIEVOLUTION BILLS ON THE NEW HAMPSHIRE HORIZON Antievolution bills are on the horizon in New Hampshire. Included on a list of legislative service requests dated June 14, 2011, are two requests to have antievolution bills drafted for the 2012 legislative session. LSR 2012-H-2176-R, submitted by Jerry Bergevin (R-District 17), asks for a bill "requiring the teaching of evolution in public schools as a theory"; LSR 2012-H-2320-R, submitted by Gary Hopper (R-District 7), asks for a bill "requiring instruction in intelligent design in the public schools." No bills mentioning evolution or "creation science" or "intelligent design" have been introduced in the New Hampshire legislature from 1989 to 2011. For what it's worth, in the recent Miss USA pageant -- in which competitors were asked, "Should evolution be taught in schools?” -- Miss New Hampshire endorsed teaching evolution but added, "it shouldn't be the only point of view taught." For a discussion of the range of answers, see the report on USA Today's Faith & Reason blog (June 20, 2011). For the list of legislative service requests, visit: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/ols/nhlegislativelsrlisting.pdf For the Faith & Reason blog post, visit: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2011/06/miss-usa-california-campanella-science/1 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 x305 fax: 510-601-7204 800-290-6006 firstname.lastname@example.org http://ncse.com Read Reports of the NCSE on-line: http://reports.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/join