NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2012/06/22
(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)
Dear Friends of NCSE, NCSE's Steven Newton discusses creationism and climate change denial in the pages of Earth. Plus NCSE is looking for a second staffer for its climate change initiative, and the situation in Kansas is making Kansans cringe, says the Lawrence Journal-World.
NCSE'S NEWTON ON CREATIONISM AND CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL "What do creationists and climate change deniers have in common?" asks NCSE's Steven Newton, writing in the May 2012 issue of the American Geoscience Institute's magazine, Earth. "The answer to the riddle is that creationists and climate change deniers have a lot in common -- most especially in their assertions about science itself," Newton explains: "What it boils down to is that creationists and climate change deniers both reject central principles of science on ideological, religious and political grounds. Moreover, they deny not just these principles, but also the idea of science itself as a way of knowing about the world." Both reject well-established scientific techniques, such as radiometric dating or computer modeling. And both "have taken their case to the public in a way that distorts and misrepresents the nature of science." But, he concludes, "[i]n a world where evolution and climate change are increasingly important to our economy and lives, science is something worth defending." For Newton's article in Earth, visit: http://www.earthmagazine.org/article/voices-defending-science-link-between-creationism-and-climate-change HELP WANTED: CLIMATE NCSE is seeking to hire a second staff member to work on its new climate change initiative, which seeks to defend and support the teaching of climate change. Duties will include: * counseling teachers, administrators, parents, and other concerned citizens facing challenges to climate change education; * providing information on climate change, climate literacy, and related issues to the general public, the press, and allied educational, scientific, and environmental organizations; * developing materials pertaining to climate change education for print and web; * identifying and reviewing existing climate change education materials and programs; * speaking to the press and general public; * representing NCSE to the climate science, climate literacy, and environmental education communities; and * coordinating with policymakers, advocacy groups, educators, and scientists regarding policies which could harm or benefit accurate climate science education. For further information about qualifications, salary and benefits, and the application process, visit NCSE's job page. For information about NCSE's climate change initiative, visit: http://ncse.com/climate For NCSE's job page, visit: http://ncse.com/about/jobs CRINGING IN KANSAS The renewed complaints of a few members of the Kansas state board of education about evolution is making Kansans cringe, according to the editorial board of the Lawrence Journal-World (June 15, 2012). As NCSE previously reported, when the board heard a presentation about the current status of the Next Generation Science Standards on June 12, 2012, Ken Willard, a member of the board, distributed a letter arguing that the draft standards " ignore evidence against evolution, don't respect religious diversity, and promote secular humanism." In its editorial, the Journal-World replied, "Kansans have heard this argument before and largely rejected it. The job of school science classes is to use the best available scientific evidence to teach about a variety of topics, including evolution. If matters of faith somehow conflict with the scientific evidence, that is a topic for religious instruction most appropriately conducted in private homes or churches. ... Kansans certainly respect a wide variety of religious beliefs in the state, but the argument over teaching evolution as part of public school science classes has proved to be needlessly divisive and embarrassing." For the Journal-World's editorial, visit: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/jun/15/evolution-returns/ And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Kansas, visit: http://ncse.com/news/kansas 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 and climate education and threats to them. -- 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