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Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
7:00pm
Date: 
February 21, 2013
Location: 
Maucker Union
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa


Many topics in the curriculum of American schools are controversial, but perhaps the one with the longest tenure is evolution. Politics plays a role in this controversy in a number of ways. Politicians have keen antennae for cultural values, and the "fairness" argument (i.e., it is only"fair" to "balance" evolution with creationism) regularlyDarwin Week is exploited, regardless of the appropriateness of its application to science education. Variants of the fairness argument such as balancing evolution with "scientific alternatives to evolution" or balancing evolution with "strengths and weaknesses of evolution" have in fact become the current predominant antievolutionist strategy, partly in response to a series of legal decisions that have excluded the overt advocacy of creationism in public schools.


Keynote address for
Darwin Week
sponsored by the
U.N.I. Freethinkers and Inquirers

What Would Darwin Say to Today's Creationists?

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
7:30pm
Date: 
February 13, 2013
Location: 
Ballroom D, SIU Student Center
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois

Many elements of the modern American creationist movement would be familiar to Darwin, especially the argument from design, which of course was very well known (and well-regarded) by educated people of his time. Young-Earth creationism, on the other hand, would be puzzling to him; Bishop Ussher's 4004 BC age of SIU Logothe Earth was not considered mainstream Christian theology in the late 19th century, though certainly the view had its adherents among clergy. Darwin might have heard of the “scriptural geologists” who promoted a young-Earth view during the 19th century, but like other scientists of his time, he would have ignored them. The current creationist strategy of disclaiming evolution as weak science would have seemed more familiar to him, given the criticisms of evolution he encountered during his own time.


A talk for the
Southern Illinois University
Darwin Day Commemoration


Creationism du jour

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
12:00pm
Date: 
February 13, 2013
Location: 
Guyon Auditorium, Morris Library
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois

After the failure of creation science and intelligent design to survive legal tests of their constitutionality, the creationist movement evolved new strategies. These callSIU Logo for teaching the “strengths and weaknesses of evolution” or the “critical analysis of evolution” which are creationism in disguise. In lieu of policies promoting the teaching of creation science or Intelligent Design, modern creationists try to change state science education standards or pass state legislation to promote these “softer” and less-obvious approaches. Such “Academic Freedom Act” legislation has popped up in several states already, and reflects the creationism du jour.

Science Denial: "Academic Freedom" Bills

Featuring: 
Minda Berbeco, Ph.D.
Minda Berbeco, PhD
Time: 
11:00am
Date: 
February 10, 2013
Location: 
Albany Community Center
1249 Marin Avenue
Albany, California

"Academic Freedom" Bills are being introduced at the state level across the country to undermine quality science education. Originally devised to weaken evolution education in public schools, these bills have been expanded in recent years to include climate change science as well. Under the guise of teaching students critical thinking skills and protecting educators, this legislation insidiously erodes science education by promoting misinformation as scientific controversy. Dr. Berbeco will talk about the history of these bills, status of current legislation, and the future of science education in America.


A presentation for the
Kol Hadash's Darwin Day Program


Kol Hadash logo
For more information: 

The New Anti-Science Laws

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott


Date: 
February 8, 2013
Location: 
Indiana Convention Center
Indianapolis, Indiana



Over the past 10 yearsHASTI or so about 40 anti-science laws have cropped up around the country that teachers and scientists have strongly opposed. Where do these bills come from, and how do they relate to Indiana's recent legislative history and the teaching of allegedly “controversial” topics in science?


A presentation at the
Hoosiers Association for Science Teachers
Annual Meeting

Fundraising for Science

Featuring: 
Movie: The Revisionaries
The Revisionaries
Time: 
2:00pm to 5:00pm
Date: 
January 27, 2013
Location: 
Screenland Armour Theater
408 Armour Road
North Kansas City, Missouri

Join the Kansas City Atheist Coalition for a viewing of the chilling 2012 documentary The Revisionaries at the Screenland Armour Theatre and help support the National Center for Science Education.

The Revisionaries follows the rise and fall of Don McLeroy, an avowed young-earth creationist, duringKansas City Atheist Coalition his time as chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, in which he oversees the adoption of new science and history curriculum standards, drawing national attention and placing Texas on the front line of the so-called "culture wars."

KCAC is asking for a $10 to $15 donation (or whatever you can afford). 75% of all donations will go to the National Center for Science Education until we cover the $197 cost of showing the documentary, after which all proceeds will go to the NCSE. The NCSE is a nonprofit membership organization providing information and resources for schools, parents and concerned citizens working to keep evolution and climate science in public school science education.

After the documentary, NCSE Programs and Policy Director Josh Rosenau, who was at the Texas board hearings, will Skype with us.

The Screenland Armour is providing its facilities to us at no cost. KCAC is only having to pay for the rights to show the documentary. To show our appreciation to the Screenland Armour, we ask that you consider purchasing a beer or two while you enjoy the film!

Movie trailer for The Revisionaries: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2369299481/

The Revisionaries’ official website: www.therevisionariesmovie.com

Screenland Armour Theatre: www.facebook.com/armourtheatre

For more information: 

Defending Climate Science: Applying Lessons From Creationist Attacks on Evolution

Featuring: 
Steve Newton
Steve Newton
Time: 
11:00am
Date: 
December 3, 2012
Location: 
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
301 Moscone Center South
747 Howard Street
San Francisco, California

Attendance limited to registered participants


AGU Logo

For more information: 

Creationism du jour

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
9:00am
Date: 
December 1, 2012
Location: 
Victoria Park Suites
377 O'Connor Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada


Every year in the Eschaton 2012United States, state legislatures contemplate bills regarding the teaching of evolution, climate change and other allegedly “controversial subjects”. Known generically as “Academic Freedom Acts”, these proposed bills direct teachers to “critically analyze” these scientific disciplines, or to present the “full range of scientific views”. Although these bills are couched in terms of academic freedom and critical thinking education, these bills have a history – and that history shows that bills of this sort are the current manifestations of the old creationism and evolution controversy that has dogged science education for over 100 years.


A presentation at
ESCHATON 2012
sponsored by
Center for Inquiry Ottawa
and
Center for Inquiry Canada

For more information: 

What the New Tennessee “Academic Freedom Act” Means to YOU

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
10:00am
Date: 
November 14, 2012
Location: 
Art and Architecture 111
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee

In 2012 the Tennessee legislature passed an “Academic Freedom Act” which called for teaching the “strengths and University of Tennessee logoweaknesses” of allegedly controversial subjects such as evolution, global warming, origin of life, and human cloning. Rather than being just an oddity in the state of Tennessee, more than 40 of these laws have cropped up in state legislatures in every region of the country. Because they are patently injurious to science education, citizens need to oppose the passage of these bills – as well as contend for a basic level of science literacy that would make such bills impossible to contemplate.

A talk for graduate students (and others).


For more information: 
Contact Dr. Jan F. Simek at jsimek@utk.edu

"In the Beginning": Anthropology, Science, and Religion

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
6:00pm
Date: 
November 13, 2012
Location: 
McClung Museum Lecture Hall
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee

The subject of origins – of where we, Earth, and the universe come from – is one that has been consideredUniversity of Tennessee logo by many religions since time immemorial. Science, as a relatively recent actor on the intellectual stage, also considers these topics, coming up with answers at variance with those of most religions, including Christianity. How do these two approaches differ? Are there similarities? And is there an uncrossable divide between the two? The answer is not just philosophically interesting, but directly relevant to decisions being made about what to teach in public school science courses.


A talk for the
University of Tennessee
Department of Anthropology capstone course
“Science and Religion”


For more information: 
Contact Dr. Jan F. Simek at jsimek@utk.edu

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