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Antiscience bills in Florida

Two bills introduced in the Florida legislature — House Bill 899 and Senate Bill 1018 — are ostensibly aimed at empowering taxpayers to object to the use of specific instructional materials in the public schools, for example on the grounds that they fail to provide "a noninflammatory, objective, and balanced viewpoint on issues." There is reason to believe that evolution and climate change are among the targets.

"Creationism Whistleblower"

Zack KopplinZack Kopplin

Writing in The Daily Beast (December 28, 2015), Zack Kopplin reviews the last decade of antievolution strategies — with the assistance of a former employee of the Discovery Institute, the de facto institutional home of "intelligent design" creationism.

Matzke's Kitzmas tree in the news

Nick Matzke outside the Rhea County, Tennessee, courthouse, where John T. Scopes was tried in 1925.Nick Matzke outside the Rhea County, Tennessee, courthouse, where John T. Scopes was tried in 1925

Nick Matzke's "The Evolution of Antievolution Policies after Kitzmiller v. Dover" (PDF; subscription required), a new paper forthcoming in Science, is receiving plenty of press coverage. As NCSE previously reported, the paper shows that even though creationism is getting stealthier in the wake of legal defeats such as Kitzmiller v. Dover, techniques from modern evolutionary biology reveal how creationist legislation is evolving.

Matzke's Kitzmas tree!

Figure from "The Evolution of Antievolution Policies After Kitzmiller v. Dover"

In a new paper (PDF; subscription required) forthcoming in Science, Nick Matzke shows that even though creationism is getting stealthier in the wake of legal defeats such as Kitzmiller v. Dover, techniques from modern evolutionary biology reveal how creationist legislation is evolving. Using data collected by NCSE and state-of-the-art phylogenetic analysis, Matzke constructed a phylogenetic tree of seventy-five distinct antievolution bills and policies, reconstructing their genealogical relationships with a high degree of confidence.

Utah adopts new middle school science standards

The Utah state board of education voted 11-4 on December 4, 2015, to adopt a new set of science standards for grades 6-8, according to a December 4, 2015, press release. Included, despite early signs of controversy, are evolution and climate change.

 

AU remembers Kitzmiller

Americans United logoAs the tenth anniversary of the decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover approaches, Americans United for Separation of Church and State commemorated the occasion with "Science Lessons," published in the December 2015 issue of Church & State.

Kitzmiller in the York Daily Record

York Daily Record logo

As the tenth anniversary of Kitzmiller v. Dover approaches, the York Daily Record (September 11, 2015) devoted a suite of stories to the landmark case, which established the unconstitutionality of teaching “intelligent design” creationism in the public schools.

Antievolution lawsuit dismissed in West Virginia

A federal lawsuit contending that teaching evolution in West Virginia's public schools is unconstitutional is over. In the decision (PDF) in Smith v. Jefferson County School Board et al., issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia on August 25, 2015, the defendants' motions to dismiss the case were granted. 

Extending summer vacation for the sake of creationism?

Will Kentucky extend the duration of summer vacation in order to enable students to attend a creationist attraction?

Encouraging news from Turkey?

When the Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary majority in the June 7, 2015, election, scientists in Turkey were "euphoric," according to Nature (June 16, 2015), hoping that the next parliament will "reverse the creeping restrictions on academic freedom and the seeping away of scientific standards that have been a feature of the AKP's 12 years of political domination" — including the party's support for creationism.

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