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Ernst Mayr dies


NCSE joins the worldwide scientific community in mourning the death of Ernst Mayr, a towering figure in twentieth-century biology, on February 3, 2005, in Bedford, Massachusetts, at the age of 100. In more than twenty books and hundred of scientific papers, Mayr made fundamental empirical and conceptual contributions, not only to evolutionary biology but also to its history and philosophy.

"Alternative Theories" Legislation — Again

On February 8, 2005, a pair of bills — House Bill 352 and Senate Bill 240 — was introduced in the Alabama legislature, under the rubric of "The Academic Freedom Act." Virtually identical, these bills purport to protect the right of teachers "to present scientific critiques of prevailing scientific theories" and the right of students to "hold positions regarding scientific views." In language reminiscent of the Santorum language removed from the No Child Left Behind Act, they specify that "[t]he rights and privileges contained in this act apply when topics are taught that may generate co

"Alternatives to evolution" language dropped


According to the Associated Press [Link broken], a South Carolina education subcommittee removed the provision from S 114 that would have established a South Carolina Science Standards Committee to "study standards regarding the teaching of the origin of species; determine whether there is a consensus on the definition of science; [and] determine whether alternatives to evolution as the origin of species should be offered in schools." (For the history and purpose of the provision, see

Teachers Torn Over Religion, Evolution


Writing in the February 2, 2005, issue of Education Week, Sean Cavanagh discusses "Teachers Torn Over Religion, Evolution" (registration required).

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