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NCSE on the newsstand


NCSE is featured in three major publications -- The New York Times Book Review, Harper's, and Scientific American -- now on newsstands.

First, NCSE executive director Eugenie C. Scott's Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction was highly praised by Judith Shulevitz in her essay "When Cosmologies Collide" (The New York Times Book Review, January 22, 2006). Shulevitz writes, "Scott could be said to be the one really doing God's work as she patiently rebuts people who make most other scientists spit gaskets like short-circuiting robots. Her book is both a straightforward history of the debate and an anthology of essays written by partisans on each side. Its main virtue is to explain the scientific method, which many invoke but few describe vividly. Scott also manages to lay out the astronomical, chemical, geological and biological bases of evolutionary theory in unusually plain English. ... Scott also walks us through the legal history of American creationism - the court rulings that forced anti-evolutionists to adapt to their increasingly secular environment by adopting scientific jargon." She adds, "Anyone who wants to defend evolution at his next church picnic should arm himself with this book." Also receiving high praise in "When Cosmologies Collide" was NCSE Supporter Michael Ruse's The Evolution-Creation Struggle.

Second, NCSE's Nick Matzke was described in Matthew Chapman's "God or Gorilla: A Darwin descendant at the Dover Monkey Trial" (Harper's, February 2006) as "lending intellectual heft" and "provid[ing] the science" for the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v. Dover. In his lively, often acid, essay, Chapman -- a great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin -- expressed admiration of a number of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, including Eric Rothschild (who, Chapman reports, received "an Internet proposal of marriage" from a fan during the trial) and Stephen Harvey of Pepper Hamilton LLP, Richard Katskee of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Vic Walczak of the ACLU of Pennsylvania (whom Chapman describes as having "the weary but pugnacious demeanor of a man who had devoted his life, for little pay, to defending the Constitution"). Chapman was also impressed with the testimony of Ken Miller and Robert Pennock ("too full of gusto to be stopped"), and with NCSE member Burt Humburg's defense of evolution at a public showing of a young-earth creationist video at the Dover firehouse.

Third, NCSE executive director Eugenie C. Scott was profiled by Steve Mirsky (Scientific American, February 2006), who described her as "the country's foremost defender of evolution education." "Her current career bears strong similarities to an academic one," Mirsky writes, quoting Scott as explaining, "I'm still teaching. I'm just teaching on a radio show, or I'm teaching a reporter the details. A lot of the same skills I had as a college professor are involved -- taking complicated ideas and bringing them to the level so that whoever you're talking to can understand." "Being a happy warrior is both natural to Scott and probably the best way for her and her side to harness support," Mirsky adds. Sean Carroll of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, told Mirsky, "To me, her most impressive accomplishments are the coalitions she has knit together in support of science education." The article ends with the confident prediction, in light of the Kansas Board of Education's adoption of a set of science standards in which evolution is systematically disparaged, "Scott, it seems clear, won't be out of a job anytime soon."