Skip navigation.
The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2011/11/11

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

A new poll suggests that challenges to climate change education are
common in the classroom. And two recent webcast symposia on human
evolution are now available on-line.


Challenges to climate change education are common in the classroom,
according to a poll of science educators conducted by the National
Science Teachers Association. Although 60% of respondents to the
on-line poll reported that they were not concerned about how climate
change is taught in their school, 82% reported having faced skepticism
about climate change and climate change education from students, 54%
reported having faced such skepticism from parents, and 26% reported
having faced such skepticism from administrators.

The NSTA poll also invited respondents to describe their particular
concerns about how climate change is taught in their school, list
specific barriers and challenges teaching climate change, and explain
how they have altered their pedagogical strategies in response to
criticism or skepticism about climate change; a sampling from their
responses -- including comments from teachers who accept, are agnostic
about, and reject the idea of climate change -- appears in NSTA's
article (November 7, 2011) describing the poll.

NSTA's poll was informally conducted among its members, however, as
was a similar survey conducted among the members of National Earth
Sciences Teachers Association in 2011. (NESTA's report on its survey
is expected to be published in November 2011. As NCSE previously
reported, NESTA's executive director Roberta Johnson told Science,
"Evolution is still the big one, but climate change is catching up.")
A rigorous survey of the prevalence and nature of climate change
skepticism in the classroom apparently remains to be performed.

For NSTA's report on the poll, visit: 

For NCSE's discussion of the Science article, visit: 


Two recent webcast symposia on human evolution are now available on-line.

First, Bones, Stones, and Genes: The Origin of Modern Humans -- the
Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Holiday Lectures on Science for 2011
-- is now available for on-demand viewing (and on DVD as well). The
lectures address such questions as: Where and when did humans arise?
What distinguishes us from other species? Did our distant ancestors
look and behave like us? Featured are NCSE Supporter Tim White of the
University of California, Berkeley, speaking on "Human evolution and
the nature of science"; Sarah Tishkoff of the University of
Pennsylvania speaking on "Genetics of human origins and adaptation";
John Shea of Stony Brook University speaking on "Stone tools and the
evolution of human behavior"; and White again on "Hominid

Second, Changing Humans in a Changing Environment -- a symposium on
evolution held at the 2011 meeting of the NABT and sponsored by the
American Institute of Biological Sciences and the National
Evolutionary Synthesis Center -- is also now available for on-demand
viewing, along with a suite of educational resources. Featured are
Rick Potts of the Smithsonian Institution speaking on "Evolution in an
era of dramatic climate change"; Jill Pruetz of Iowa State University
speaking on "What can chimpanzees tell us about human evolution?";
Susan Antón of New York University speaking on "Becoming human in a
changing world: the early evolution of Homo"; and John Hawks of the
University of Wisconsin, Madison, speaking on "New discoveries from
ancient genomes."

For Bones, Stones, and Genes, visit: 

For information about ordering Bones, Stones, and Genes on DVD, visit: 

For Changing Humans in a Changing Environment, visit: 

For the educational resources for Changing humans, 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

Read Reports of the NCSE on-line: 

Subscribe to NCSE's free weekly e-newsletter: 

NCSE is on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter: 

NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today!