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The history and prospects of creationism

Time: 
6:00pm
Date: 
February 20, 2010
Location: 

Carmichael Library
5605 Marconi Ave
Carmichael CA 95608




For more information: 

Communicating on the State and Local Level: How Can Scientists Support Policy-Makers?

Featuring: 

Eugenie C. Scott, NCSE
Steve Scheider, Stanford University
John Gearhart, Johns Hopkins University
Time: 
4:30pm
Date: 
February 19, 2010
Location: 
Room 7B
San Diego Convention Center
111 W. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA


In recent years, state legislators and school board members have frequently attempted to undermine scientific research and education. As a result, scientists are often called on to work with policy-makers, but many lack the tools and resources to do so effectively. In particular, few scientists have been trained in communication and public engagement, and lawmakers and the public thus often view science and scientists as elitist and out of touch. Changing these perceptions requires a long-term effort, but this symposium aims to provide some of the groundwork. Specifically, it will explore successful communication and public engagement strategies and how they can be put to use on some of the most talked-about scientific policy issues of the day: evolution, stem cell research, and climate change. Speakers will include public engagement specialists as well as scientists who have extensive experience in working with lawmakers, the media, and the general public. The symposium will take a practical approach, focusing on providing tools, resources, and contacts to help scientists become effective advocates for science and science education at the state and local level.

For more information: 
Click here

Mind Changes: Can Out-of-School Learning Contribute to Evolution Literacy?

Featuring: 

Eugenie C. Scott, Moderator
Martin Weiss, New York Hall of Science
Martin Storskdieck, Institute for Learning Innovation
E. Margaret Evans, University of Michigan
Time: 
6:30pm
Date: 
February 19, 2010
Location: 
Room 16B
San Diego Convention Center
111 W. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA


While public understanding and acceptance of evolution is partially determined by religious beliefs, cognitive factors also play a critical role. Misconceptions about the underlying science of evolution contribute to the public perception that creationism or intelligent design is on an equal footing with evolution and that children should be taught all points of view. Research into the public’s conceptions of evolution reveals persistent resistance to change through educational interventions. Recent research indicated that barriers to the public acceptance of evolution stem from intuitive reasoning processes that limit understanding of biological phenomena. Specifically, the research suggested that if children are introduced to evolutionary principles, particularly the pre-evolutionary concepts of variation, inheritance, selection, time, and adaptation (VISTA), at an early age, they are more likely to improve their grasp of evolutionary theory. Based on concurrent cognitive, developmental, and educational research, a group of researchers are testing the degree to which informal, museum-based, and age-appropriate interventions prepare children to accept the scientific basis of evolution, by targeting their intuitive pre-evolutionary concepts. This session will present the intervention design, results of research on its effectiveness with children and adults, and discuss implications of the project findings for a broader strategy to foster evolution literacy in the public.

For more information: 
Click here

Mind Changes: Can Out-of-School Learning Contribute to Evolution Literacy?

Time: 
10:30am to 12:00pm
Date: 
February 19, 2010
Location: 
Room 16B
San Diego Convention Center
111 W. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA


While public understanding and acceptance of evolution is partially determined by religious beliefs, cognitive factors also play a critical role. Misconceptions about the underlying science of evolution contribute to the public perception that creationism or intelligent design is on an equal footing with evolution and that children should be taught all points of view. Research into the public’s conceptions of evolution reveals persistent resistance to change through educational interventions. Recent research indicated that barriers to the public acceptance of evolution stem from intuitive reasoning processes that limit understanding of biological phenomena. Specifically, the research suggested that if children are introduced to evolutionary principles, particularly the pre-evolutionary concepts of variation, inheritance, selection, time, and adaptation (VISTA), at an early age, they are more likely to improve their grasp of evolutionary theory. Based on concurrent cognitive, developmental, and educational research, a group of researchers are testing the degree to which informal, museum-based, and age-appropriate interventions prepare children to accept the scientific basis of evolution, by targeting their intuitive pre-evolutionary concepts. This session will present the intervention design, results of research on its effectiveness with children and adults, and discuss implications of the project findings for a broader strategy to foster evolution literacy in the public.

For more information: 
Click here

Communicating on the State and Local Level: How Can Scientists Support Policy-Makers?

Time: 
8:30am to 10:00am
Date: 
February 19, 2010
Location: 
Room 7B
San Diego Convention Center
111 W. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA


In recent years, state legislators and school board members have frequently attempted to undermine scientific research and education. As a result, scientists are often called on to work with policy-makers, but many lack the tools and resources to do so effectively. In particular, few scientists have been trained in communication and public engagement, and lawmakers and the public thus often view science and scientists as elitist and out of touch. Changing these perceptions requires a long-term effort, but this symposium aims to provide some of the groundwork. Specifically, it will explore successful communication and public engagement strategies and how they can be put to use on some of the most talked-about scientific policy issues of the day: evolution, stem cell research, and climate change. Speakers will include public engagement specialists as well as scientists who have extensive experience in working with lawmakers, the media, and the general public. The symposium will take a practical approach, focusing on providing tools, resources, and contacts to help scientists become effective advocates for science and science education at the state and local level.

For more information: 
Click here

Geology from Bizarro World: Creationism and the Grand Canyon

Featuring: 
Alan Gishlick, Ph.D.


Time: 
12:00am
Date: 
February 17, 2010
Location: 
Lilly Fong Geoscience Building (LFG)
Room 102
University of Nevada, Las Vegas


The Grand Canyon would strike almost anyone as the perfect example of “deep” geologic time, and thus a great example of why the “Young Earth” views of Biblical creationists are absurd. Creationists recognize the challenge that places like the Grand Canyon pose, and thus work very hard to explain how this could have been formed in a timeframe amenable to the timeline of a literal reading of the Bible. This had led to a model of “flood” geology, which ascribes most of the sedimentary rock on the earth to the flood of Noah, as described in the Bible. This leads to explanations that seem plausible to the average untrained person, but seem laughable to trained geologists when they hear them. Yet, they gain traction with the general public. So what are the arguments and how can geologists deal with them a way that does not appear defensive? This presentation will seek to answer this question.

a presentation in the
UNLV Department of Geoscience
Seminar Series

For more information: 
Click here

Geology from Bizarro World: Creationism and the Grand Canyon

Time: 
4:00pm to 5:15pm
Date: 
February 17, 2010
Location: 
Lilly Fong Geoscience Building (LFG)
Room 102
University of Nevada, Las Vegas


The Grand Canyon would strike almost anyone as the perfect example of “deep” geologic time, and thus a great example of why the “Young Earth” views of Biblical creationists are absurd. Creationists recognize the challenge that places like the Grand Canyon pose, and thus work very hard to explain how this could have been formed in a timeframe amenable to the timeline of a literal reading of the Bible. This had led to a model of “flood” geology, which ascribes most of the sedimentary rock on the earth to the flood of Noah, as described in the Bible. This leads to explanations that seem plausible to the average untrained person, but seem laughable to trained geologists when they hear them. Yet, they gain traction with the general public. So what are the arguments and how can geologists deal with them a way that does not appear defensive? This presentation will seek to answer this question.

a presentation in the
UNLV Department of Geoscience
Seminar Series

For more information: 
Click here

Darwin, Human Evolution, and Evolution Denialism

Featuring: 
Eric Meikle, Ph.D.


Time: 
6:00pm
Date: 
February 14, 2010
Location: 
Albany Community Center
1249 Marin Avenue
Albany, CA 94706


In Charles Darwin's time the direct evidence for human evolution, the fossil record, was very limited and fragmentary. Despite this Darwin was able to bring together a variety of other evidence and to propose a series of hypotheses about the course and causes of human evolution. Today, 150 years later, the evidence, both fossil and otherwise, for our ancestry is many orders of magnitude better. Some of Darwin's proposals have been confirmed, while others have been superseded due to newer or more complete data. The topic of human origins is consistently among the most popular and interesting for the general public. At the same time the concept of human evolution, and the data which support it, are the targets of the most vehement rejection by a broad range of creationists. Denying the evidence for human evolution is a central focus for all evolution opponents. The reasons for this help to illuminate the "controversy" about evolution as a whole.

Bagel Brunch Celebrating Darwin Day
Kol Hadash | Northern California Community for Humanistic Judaism
Suggested donations: Nonmembers $10; Members $7.50


For more information: 
Contact Kol Hadash

Darwin, Human Evolution, and Evolution Denialism

Time: 
10:00am
Date: 
February 14, 2010
Location: 
Albany Community Center
1249 Marin Avenue
Albany, CA 94706


In Charles Darwin's time the direct evidence for human evolution, the fossil record, was very limited and fragmentary. Despite this Darwin was able to bring together a variety of other evidence and to propose a series of hypotheses about the course and causes of human evolution. Today, 150 years later, the evidence, both fossil and otherwise, for our ancestry is many orders of magnitude better. Some of Darwin's proposals have been confirmed, while others have been superseded due to newer or more complete data. The topic of human origins is consistently among the most popular and interesting for the general public. At the same time the concept of human evolution, and the data which support it, are the targets of the most vehement rejection by a broad range of creationists. Denying the evidence for human evolution is a central focus for all evolution opponents. The reasons for this help to illuminate the "controversy" about evolution as a whole.

Bagel Brunch Celebrating Darwin Day
Kol Hadash | Northern California Community for Humanistic Judaism
Suggested donations: Nonmembers $10; Members $7.50


For more information: 
Contact Kol Hadash

The Evolution of Creationism

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

Time: 
2:30am
Date: 
February 11, 2010
Location: 
Room 140
Barry Hall Auditorium
NDSU Downtown Campus
Fargo, North Dakota


Since the early part of the last century, American society has been witness to a very public dispute between those who deny the evidence for biological evolution and the scientific community that has been responsible for working to unearth and interpret that evidence. The public image presented by those who reject evolution has taken many forms over the years, from a reliance on the Bible as an inerrant text, to the more recent formulation of "intelligent design," which attempts to present the creationist argument as one of scientifically equal weight to that of evolutionary biology. Dr. Scott will discuss the history of these controversies and offer her thoughts on the future tactics of the creationists.

a talk for the
North Dakota State University's
Darwin Day Celebration


sponsored by the
Biological Sciences Department

For more information: 
Email Peggy Biga

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