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Evolution in the Sunshine State: The Fight Over Evolution in the State Science Standards

Title: 
Evolution in the Sunshine State: The Fight Over Evolution in the State Science Standards
Author(s): 
Brandon Haught
Issue: 
4

It is educational and exciting to witness firsthand the evertwisting plot that arises in battles over evolution education. I joined with other Florida Citizens for Science (FCS) members and our associates in the Florida capital, Tallahassee, February 19, 2008, when the board of education met to decide the fate of a brand new set of state science education standards (see RNCSE 2008 Mar/Apr; 28 [2]: 4–7).

Year: 
2008
Date: 
July–August
Page(s): 
28-31
About the Author(s): 
Brandon Haught
c/o NCSE
PO Box 9477
Berkeley CA 94709-0477
ncseoffice@ncseweb.org

Brandon Haught is the communications director for Florida Citizens for Science. His day job is that of a spokesperson for a sheriff’s office, but he is also attending college at night with the hope of becoming a science teacher a few years down the road.
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Texas Textbook Adoptions: Whither (Wither) Evolution?

National Center for Science Education Reports
Title: 
Texas Textbook Adoptions: Whither (Wither) Evolution?
Author(s): 
Eugenie C. Scott
Issue: 
4
Year: 
1996
Date: 
Winter
Page(s): 
6
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Texas is the largest single purchaser of textbooks in the nation, thus what Texas wants in its textbooks strongly influences what other states get. In past years, evolution was systematically deleted or downplayed in textbooks because Texas required textbooks to print a disclaimer that any textbook dealing with evolution.
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Evolution Challenged in Colorado's Largest School District

National Center for Science Education Reports
Title: 
Evolution Challenged in Colorado's Largest School District
Author(s): 
Molleen Matsumura
Issue: 
2
Year: 
1996
Date: 
Summer
Page(s): 
21
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This June an ad-hoc committee of the Jefferson County, Colorado schools, a Denver area school district, responded to Wheat Ridge High School sophomore Danny Phillips's complaints about evolution education by recommending that teachers stop using a videotape, "The Miracle of Life," and have it removed from the district resource center. Phillips had complained about more than the videotape, a film about human reproduction which opens by discussing the common ancestry of all life.
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Good, Bad, and Lots of Indifferent: State K–12 Science Standards

Title: 
Good, Bad, and Lots of Indifferent: The State of State K–12 Science Education Standards
Author(s): 
Lawrence S Lerner
Issue: 
3
Curriculum standards have many important applications. They are used as guidelines by curriculum developers, by textbook publishers, and by examination writers, among other things. I was first asked by the Thomas B Fordham Foundation to evaluate the science education standards of every state that had them in 1997. I surveyed 36 documents — a pretty dull but (I hope) useful task (Lerner 1998).

Year: 
2008
Date: 
May–June
Page(s): 
19–22
About the Author(s): 
Lawrence S Lerner
College of Natural Science & Mathematics
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach CA 90840
lslerner@csulb.edu

Lawrence S Lerner is Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy at California State University, Long Beach, and a nationally recognized authority on state science education standards.

[Adapted from a presentation given as part of "Dispatches from the evolution wars," a colloquium at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching in 2006.]
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Review: Making Sense of Evolution

Year: 
2008
Title: 
Making Sense of Evolution: The Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Biology
Issue: 
3
Making Sense of Evolution is an ambitious book synthesizing the views of a practicing biologist (Massimo Pigliucci) with those of a practicing philosopher of biology (Jonathan Kaplan). It begins with central concepts in evolution that are referred to throughout the book, and then moves on to such topics as how to measure natural selection, the debate over the units or "levels" of selection, adaptationism, functions, testing adaptive hypotheses in human evolution, and the concept of species.

Author(s): 
Massimo Pigliucci and Jonathan Kaplan
Date: 
May–June
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006. 300 pages.
Page(s): 
28–29

References

Beatty J. 1984. Chance and natural selection. Philosophy of Science 51: 183–211.

Matthen M, Ariew A. 2002. Two ways of thinking about fitness and natural selection. The Journal of Philosophy 99: 55–83.

Millstein RL. 2002. Are random drift and natural selection conceptually distinct? Biology and Philosophy 17 (1): 33–53.

Pigliucci M. 2002. Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates.

Reviewer: 
Roberta L Millstein
About the Author(s): 
Roberta L Millstein
Department of Philosophy
University of California, Davis
One Shields Ave
Davis CA 95616
RLMillstein@UCDavis.edu

Roberta L Millstein is an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Davis. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the history and philosophy of biology and the philosophy of science (including the "debates" over creationism wherever she can) and publishes in journals such as Philosophy of Science and Biology and Philosophy.
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Review: The Evolving World

Year: 
2008
Title: 
The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life
Issue: 
3
Author(s): 
David P Mindell
Date: 
May–June
The Evolving World was a book that needed to be written and ought to be read by everyone — but particularly those of us who promote evolution education to the general public. The main message for this audience is that other scientific theories, such as germ theory and heliocentrism, that are now widely — though perhaps not universally — accepted among the general public took much longer to gain acceptance than has evolution — at least so far.
Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press, 2006. 341 pages.
Page(s): 
27–28
Reviewer: 
Andrew J Petto
About the Author(s): 
Andrew J Petto
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
PO Box 413
Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
ajpetto@uwm.edu

Andrew J Petto is Senior Lecturer in Anatomy and Physiology in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin– Milwaukee. He also serves as RNCSE editor and a member of the NCSE board of directors. He is co-editor with Laurie R Godfrey of Scientists Confront Creationism: Intelligent Design and Beyond (New York: WW Norton, 2008).
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Review: Creation and Evolution: A Conference with Pope Benedict XVI

Year: 
2008
Title: 
Creation and Evolution: A Conference with Pope Benedict XVI in Castel Gandolfo
Issue: 
3
Awaited with curiosity since initial news reports of this meeting, this book proves doubly disappointing. It is regrettable that top Catholic leaders seem drawn toward "intelligent design" (ID); but it is disturbing that they seem not even aware of relevant and better thinking within their own church.

Author(s): 
compiled by Stephan Otto Horn and Siegfried Wiedenhofer
Date: 
May–June
Page(s): 
25–27
San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2008. 210 pages.
Reviewer: 
Daryl P Domning

References

Domning DP. 2002a. Evolutionary theology comes of age. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 21 (3–4): 34–7.

Domning DP. 2002b. Doing Without Adam and Eve: Sociobiology and Original Sin by Patricia A Williams [review]. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 22 (4): 31–2.

Maynard Smith J, Szathmáry E. 1995. The Major Transitions in Evolution. Oxford: WH Freeman, 1995.

Phillips RP. 1948. Modern Thomistic Philosophy: An Explanation for Students. Vol. I. The Philosophy of Nature. Westminster (MD): Newman Press.

About the Author(s): 
Daryl P Domning
Department of Anatomy
Howard University
Washington DC 20059
ddomning@howard.edu

Daryl P Domning is a paleontologist at Howard University specializing in sirenian evolution. His book Original Selfishness: Original Sin and Evil in the Light of Evolution was published by Ashgate in 2006.
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Creationism Slips Into a Peer-Reviewed Journal

Title: 
Creationism Slips Into a Peer-Reviewed Journal
Author(s): 
Steven L Salzberg
Issue: 
3
A strange thing happened in the scientific literature recently. A pair of creationists, who have seemingly legitimate scientific credentials, attempted to publish some creationist assertions in a peer-reviewed journal. Their effort was nearly successful, mostly because they hid their pseudoscience in the middle of the article, surrounded by legitimate scientific discussion of unrelated topics. Luckily, they were caught just in time, and it turned out that they were pretty clumsy. In fact, if they had been just a bit more clever, they might have gotten away with it.

Year: 
2008
Date: 
May–June
Page(s): 
12–14, 19
About the Author(s): 
Steven L Salzberg
Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
3125 Biomolecular Sciences Building #296
University of Maryland
College Park MD 20742
salzberg@umd.edu

Steven L Salzberg is the Director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and the Horvitz Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. Before switching to bioinformatics and genomics, his research focused on machine learning and its research applications. Salzberg and his research team develop computational gene finders and systems for large-scale genome sequence alignment and assembly, including the open-source genome assembler AMOS. In addition to his software systems, Salzberg has contributed analyses to many genome sequencing projects, using computational methods to analyze genome duplications, rearrangements, and other evolutionary phenomena in a wide range of organisms, including the first large-scale genomics study of the human and avian influenza A viruses. Salzberg has authored or co-authored two books and over 150 publications in leading scientific journals. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Institutes of Health.
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RNCSE 28 (3)

Issue: 
3
Year: 
2008
Date: 
May–June
Articles available online are listed below.
Click "Print Edition Contents" for list of articles in the print edition.
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History Forum Addresses Creation/Evolution Controversy

Title: 
History Forum Addresses Creation/Evolution Controversy
Author(s): 
John Schweinsberg
Issue: 
5
Every year, the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) History Department presents a series of four programs on a topic of current interest such as turmoil in the middle east and the break-up of the Soviet bloc, Recently the creation/evolution controversy was considered to be sufficiently important and interesting to be the central topic.
Year: 
1997
Date: 
September–October
Page(s): 
12–16
About the Author(s): 
John Schweinsberg
1105 Rivlin RD
Huntsville AL 35801
105251.1614@compuserve.com
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