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Less than a month remains before Darwin Day! Colleges and universities, schools, libraries, museums, churches, civic groups, and just plain folks across the country -- and the world -- are preparing to celebrate Darwin Day, on or around February 12, in honor of the life and work of Charles Darwin. These events provide a marvelous opportunity not only to celebrate Darwin's birthday but also to engage in public outreach about science, evolution, and the importance of evolution education.
On September 4, 2007, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued "Science, Evolution, and Intelligent Design," a statement expressing concern about "current attempts to mandate the teaching of 'intelligent design' and other non-scientific accounts of the origins of species and biological diversity in our nation’s science classrooms" and "the misleading interpretations of scientific principles being used to discredit and misrepresent the science of evolution," and calling
The scientific community needs to increase its involvement in defending science education -- especially evolution -- according to a coalition of seventeen scientific and educational societies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Teachers Association, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, and the American Institute for Biological Sciences.
The National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine recently released Science, Evolution, and Creationism, a book designed to give the public a comprehensive and up-to-date picture of the current scientific understanding of evolution and its importance in the science classroom.
Speaking to a group of Italian priests on July 24, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI again addressed the topic of evolution.
Pope Benedict XVI's views on evolution are back in the news, following the publication of Schoepfung und Evolution (Sankt Ulrich Verlag, 2007), the proceedings of a seminar on creation and evolution that he conducted at Castel Gandolfo, the pope's summer residence, with his former doctoral students in September 2006.
The Alliance for Science -- a non-profit organization which seeks "to heighten public understanding and support for science and to preserve the distinctions between science and religion in the public sphere" -- is holding a contest:
Why would I want my doctor to have studied evolution? If you are a high school student in the United States, we want to hear your answer to that question.
The biochemist-turned-theologian Arthur Peacocke died on October 21, 2006, at the age of 81, according to the Telegraph's obituary (October 25, 2006). Born in 1924 in Watford, Peacocke trained at Oxford University as a biochemist, and researched the physical chemistry of DNA at the University of Birmingham and Oxford.
In a statement (PDF) issued on October 18, 2006, the American Sociological Association took a strong stand for the integrity of science education, describing evolution as "a central organizing principle of the biological sciences that is based upon overwhelming empirical evidence from various scientific disciplines." The statement observes, "Efforts to qualify, limit, or exclude the teaching of biological evolution in U.S.