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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2011/07/15

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

A preview of Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway's Merchants of Doubt,
new photographs from the Scopes trial, and a new issue of RNCSE.


NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Naomi Oreskes and Erik M.
Conway's Merchants of Doubt (Bloomsbury Press, 2010). The preview
consists of chapter 6, "The Denial of Global Warming," which describes
how public skepticism about global warming was fomented by "a small
network of doubt-mongers," even while the scientific consensus
continued to solidify. "Journalists were constantly pressured to grant
the professional deniers equal status -- and equal time and newsprint
space -- and they did," Oreskes and Conway comment, adding, "This
divergence between the state of the science and how it was presented
in the major media helped make it easy for our government to do
nothing about global warming."

The reviewer for Science described Merchants of Doubt as "a
fascinating and important study," and the historian of science Robert
N. Proctor wrote, in his review for American Scientist, "Historians a
thousand years from now may wonder what went wrong: How, after
scholars had so thoroughly nailed down the reality of anthropogenic
climate change, did so many Americans get fooled into thinking it was
all a left-wing hoax? Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway give us some
very good -- if disturbing -- answers in their fascinating, detailed
and artfully written new book, Merchants of Doubt. ... There is much
in this book to outrage anyone who cares about the future of the
planet, human health, or scientific integrity."

For the preview (PDF), visit: 

For information about the book, visit: 

For Proctor's review in American Scientist, visit: 


In honor of the anniversary of the Scopes trial, which ran from July
10 to July 21, 1925, the Smithsonian Institution Archives just
released a new set of twenty-five portraits of scientists who agreed
to testify on behalf of the defense, according to a post at The Bigger
Picture, the Smithsonian Photography Initiative's blog. The
photographs, taken by Watson Davis, managing editor of the syndicated
news service Science Service, have been added to the existing
"Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes Trial Photographs" set on the
Smithsonian Flickr Commons. The historian Marcel Chotkowski
LaFollette, whose book Reframing Scopes: Journalists, Scientists, and
Lost Photographs from the Trial of the Century (University Press of
Kansas, 2008) examined the trial from the perspective of
journalist-photographers Watson Davis and Frank Thone, commented in a
separate post at The Bigger Picture, "During the week of July 13, an
impressive group of experts made their way to Dayton ... Remarkably,
the Archives' Science Service collections contain photographs of them
all, many taken by Davis or his Science Service colleague, Frank
Thone, when they boarded, from July 10 to 22, in a mansion that had
been set up to serve as the defense team’s temporary quarters."

For the Bigger Picture's post about the photographs, visit: 

For the photographs on Flickr, visit: 

For LaFollette's post, visit: 


NCSE is pleased to announce the third issue of Reports of the National
Center for Science Education in its new on-line format. The issue --
volume 31, number 3 -- features Phil Senter's "The Defeat of Flood
Geology by Flood Geology," which concludes, "Flood Geology began in
order to find support for YEC doctrine but ironically it has now
produced an impressive body of evidence against it." For his regular
People and Places column, Randy Moore discusses the career of a
controversial defender of Lamarckian inheritance in "Paul Kammerer

Plus a crop of reviews of books on science: Steven Dutch reviews
Michael Leddra's Time Matters; Arthur G. Hunt reviews Michael Yarus's
Life from an RNA World; Jonathan Marks reviews Jeremy Taylor's Not a
Chimp; Anya Plutynski reviews Evolution: The Extended Synthesis,
edited by Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd Müller; Pat Shipman reviews Brian
Switek's Written in Stone; and Marvalee H. Wake reviews In the Light
of Evolution: Essays from the Laboratory and Field, edited by Jonathan

All of these articles, features, and reviews are freely available in
PDF form from Members of NCSE will shortly be 
receiving in the mail the print supplement to Reports 31:3, which
contains, in addition to summaries of the on-line material, news from
the membership, a new column in which NCSE staffers offer personal
reports on what they've been doing to defend the teaching of
evolution, and more besides. (Not a member? Join today!)

For the table of contents for RNCSE 31:3, visit: 

For information about joining NCSE, 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 x305
fax: 510-601-7204

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