Posted on January 30, 2015 * Comments

Last month when I ended "Fossil Friday", I promised I would create a new regular feature where we could dish on some issues close to NCSE's heart, such as evolution, climate change, education and, surprise, surprise science denial! 

Posted on January 29, 2015 * Comments

I’ve been thinking about the ethics and benefits of confrontational activist strategies lately. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday remembrance, amid the ongoing protests over police abuses in Ferguson and elsewhere, shaped those thoughts, as does NCSE’s success using non-confrontational approaches, as well as some confrontations that have backfired.

Posted on January 29, 2015 * Comments

The title page of Vernon Kellogg's Headquarters Nights

When I was writing not so long ago about the enigmatic figure of the Gentleman with a Duster—whose animadversions on Darwinism in the preface to the American edition of The Glass of Fashion (1921) were invoked by Arthur I. Brown and William Jennings Bryan—I quoted the Gentleman as complaining that Darwinism “justifies Prussianism at the cannon, and Bolshevism at the prison-door.”

Posted on January 28, 2015 * Comments

Herman Mays is a member of NCSE and a biology professor at Marshall University. He testified at the West Virginia Board of Education meeting last week, speaking against climate change-denying revisions to the state’s science standards. Thanks to outcry from concerned scientists and parents like Mays, the board voted to remove the climate change denial. We asked him to describe what happened at the hearing, and what motivated him to speak out. A longer account of his visit with the state board will appear in a future issue of Reports of the NCSE.

Posted on January 27, 2015 * Comments

What’s it going to take for science writers to understand that there is no need in evolution? Think I could get Tom Hanks to do a PSA for me? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M8szlSa-8o

Posted on January 27, 2015 * Comments

Huxley in a dunce cap

“How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!” was Thomas Henry Huxley’s reflection on reading Darwin’s Origin of Species. What might elicit such a reaction from a contemporary biologist? Today the question is answered by Douglas J. Futuyma, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University.

Posted on January 26, 2015 * Comments

The New York Times recently ran an interesting article by Adam Frank titled “Is Climate Disaster Inevitable?” This piece posed an intriguing answer to this puzzling question: Where are all the extraterrestrials?

ufo

Posted on January 22, 2015 * Comments

When Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell took the gavel as Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, he swore that the first bill to reach the floor would be aimed at forcing the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Climate activists have waged a pitched battle to block the pipeline, which would carry an abrasive sludge, mostly highly-polluting bitumen (and perhaps a soupçon of leftover sand) from fields in Canada to refineries and export terminals on the Gulf of Mexico.

Posted on January 22, 2015 * Comments

Huxley in a dunce cap“How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!” was Thomas Henry Huxley’s reflection on reading Darwin’s Origin of Species. What might elicit such a reaction from a contemporary biologist? Today the question is answered by Randolph M. Nesse, Foundation Professor of Life Sciences and Founding Director of the Center for Evolution & Medicine at Arizona State University.

Posted on January 20, 2015 * Comments

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." —John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra