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Today seems like a good day to bring you up to date on Project Steve, NCSE's parody of the long-standing antievolutionist tradition of amassing lists of PhDs who doubt evolution. Why today? Because December 26 is, as it happens, St. Stephen's Day.
NCSE member Brian Alters, associate professor of education at McGill University, was awarded the 2003 Principal's Prize for Excellence in Teaching at McGill University. This university-wide award follows Alters's receipt in May 2003 of the College of Education's highest teaching award, the Distinguished Teaching Award.
Marvalee Wake, NCSE Supporter and Professor Emerita of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, was elected as the president-elect of the American Institute for Biological Sciences; her term as president begins in 2005. Congratulations from all of us at NCSE!
The American Society of Human Genetics has instituted a series of articles on evolution in the "educational resources" portion of its web page. The first two articles are "Tinkered Masterpieces or Master Tinkerer" by Charles R. Scrivner, and "Genetic Variation and Human Evolution" by Lynn B. Jorde.
The Board of Trustees of the Roseville Joint Union High School District decided at its meeting on September 2, 2003, not to enact any district-wide policy on teaching evolution, according to the Sacramento Bee (September 7, 2003). The decision follows months of discussion on the part of the school board and activism on the part of creationists and supporters of evolution education alike.
The first draft of new state science standards has been released by the Minnesota Department of Education and posted on its website. However, the version originally posted on September 9 was removed after a short time and replaced by a slightly different one. According to a September 10 report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press (headlined "Squelched Standards Hedged on Evolution") the only difference between the two versions was in "(h)ow they described the teaching of evolution.
On Friday, November 7, the Texas State Board of Education (SBoE) voted 11-4 to place all submitted high school and advanced placement (AP) biology books on the “conforming” list, making them eligible for adoption by local districts.
Washakie County School District #1 will not change its treatment of evolution. According to an Agape Press report, the board has voted 5-2 not to adopt a new policy on teaching biology. The proposed policy would have labeled evolution "only a theory and not a fact ", and continued "Teachers shall be allowed in a neutral and objective manner to introduce all scientific theories of origin and the students may be allowed to discuss all aspects of controversy surrounding the lack of scientific evidence in support of the theory of evolution "
On November 6, 2003, the Texas Board of Education voted to place all eleven biology textbooks under consideration on the approved list, despite protests of antievolutionist groups about the treatment of evolution in the books. The 11-4 vote was preliminary, and the final vote will take place on November 7.
On November 1, 2003, a statement was released urging the Texas Board of Education to resist pressure on it to undermine the treatment of evolution in biology textbooks now under consideration. Signed by over 550 Texas scientists and educators, the statement observes that "Any dilution in textbooks of the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution should sound an alarm to every parent and teacher."