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No tax incentives for ark park

"Kentucky's Tourism Arts & Heritage Cabinet Secretary Bob Stewart informed representatives of the proposed Ark Encounter tourist attraction today that their project will not be eligible for up to $18 million in tax incentives from the state, due to their refusal to pledge not to discriminate in hiring based on religion," Insider Louisville (December 10, 2014) reports.

Kudos for Climate Smart & Energy Wise

NCSE's Mark McCaffrey's Climate Smart & Energy Wise: Advancing Science Literacy, Knowledge, and Know-How (Corwin Press, 2014) received a positive review from the National Science Teachers Association's NSTA Recommends.

Opinion on evolution in Latin America

"Overall, Latin Americans embrace the idea that humans and other living things have evolved over time." That was the upshot of a Pew Research Center survey on "Religion in Latin America" (PDF) which included a question about evolution: "Thinking about evolution, which comes closer to your view? Human beings and other living things have evolved over time, or humans at other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time."

The new Climate Education and Literacy Initiative

White House logo"[T]he White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) is launching a new Climate Education and Literacy Initiative to help connect American students and citizens with the best-available, science-based information about climate change," according (PDF) to a December 3, 2014, press release from the White House. And NCSE is involved.

Lawsuit over NGSS dismissed

A federal court dismissed a creationist lawsuit seeking to prevent Kansas from adopting the Next Generation Science Standards on the grounds that doing so would "establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview." In a December 2, 2014, order (PDF) in COPE et al. v. Kansas State Board of Education et al., Judge Daniel D. Crabtree of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the case.

A major new survey on religion and human origins

NSHRO cover

A new survey suggests that public attitudes toward religion and human origins are more diverse and less confident than the Gallup findings indicate. "It's important to know that a large portion of the population is unsure about their beliefs, and there is a large portion of the population that doesn't care," Jonathan P. Hill told the Atlantic (November 23, 2014), prior to the December 2, 2014, release of the National Study of Religion & Human Origins.

Evolution in a new PRRI survey

Believers, Sympathizers, & Skeptics cover

Attitudes toward evolution and the compatibility of science and religion were addressed in a new survey (PDF) from the Public Religion Research Institute (which, as NCSE previously reported, was mainly focused on climate change).  Presented with "Evolution is the best explanation for the origins of human life on earth," 24% of respondents completely agreed, 29% mostly agreed, 14% mostly disagreed, and 27% completely disagreed, with 5% of respondents saying that they didn't know or refusing to answer.

Climate change in a new PRRI survey

Believers, Sympathizers, & Skeptics cover

A new survey (PDF) from the Public Religion Research Institute hopes to help to explain, in the words of its report's subtitle, "Why Americans are Conflicted about Climate Change, Environmental Policy, and Science." Included in the survey was a series of questions probing beliefs about climate change and its causes.

Corrected textbooks adopted in Texas

The Texas state board of education voted to adopt a slate of social studies textbooks for use in the state on November 21, 2014. Among the books approved were several textbooks that, after criticism from NCSE and its allies in the scientific, educational, and civil liberties communities, were revised by their publishers (including Pearson and McGraw-Hill) to eliminate misrepresentations of climate science.


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