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The trial in Kitzmiller v. Dover -- the first legal challenge to the constitutionality of teaching "intelligent design" in the public schools -- was one of the five biggest stories in Bioscience for 2005, in the view of The Scientist (December 5, 2005). NCSE's Eugenie C.
Just as the first challenge to the constitutionality of teaching "intelligent design" in the public school science classroom is underway in the trial of Kitzmiller v. Dover, Matthew J. Brauer, Barbara Forrest, and Steven G. Gey offer a definitive assessment of the legal issues involved in their new law review article "Is it science yet? Intelligent design creationism and the Constitution," published in Washington University Law Quarterly (2005; vol. 83, no. 1).
"Two groups examining the same evidence. Traveling nearly identical itineraries, snoozing under the same stars and bathing in the same chocolate-colored river. Yet, standing at opposite ends of the growing creation-evolution debate, they seemed to speak in different tongues." Thus Jodi Wilgoren's story "Seeing creation and evolution in Grand Canyon," published above the fold on the front page of the October 6, 2005, issue of The New York Times.
NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott is to be presented with NABT's Honorary Member Award, given to those who have attained "distinction in teaching, research, or service in the biological sciences," at the National Association of Biology Teachers convention held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from October 5 to October 8, 2005. Also receiving the award will be NCSE member Randy Moore, a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and until recently the editor of The American Biology Teacher.
On September 15, 2005, the University of California Museum of Paleontology and NCSE launched a major expansion to the Understanding Evolution website. The initial Understanding Evolution site was intended for teachers, but with this update, the target audience is now everyone interested in learning about evolution. The site has numerous new feature articles, highlighting many aspects of evolution science, presented as interactive investigations, research profiles, evolution news (updated monthly), and even a comic strip.
With the addition of Steve Trigwell on September 12, 2005, NCSE's Project Steve attained its 600th signatory. A tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition of amassing lists of "scientists who doubt evolution" or "scientists who dissent from Darwinism," Project Steve mocks such lists by restricting its signatories to scientists whose first name is Steve (or a cognate, such as Stephanie, Esteban, or Stefano). About 1% of the United States population possesses such a first name, so each signatory represents about 100 potential signatories.
NCSE deputy director Glenn Branch contributed "The battle over evolution: How geoscientists can help" to the September 2005 issue (2.5M PDF) of The Sedimentary Record, published quarterly by the Society for Sedimentary Geology. "Eighty years after the Scopes trial," Branch writes in his abstract, "evolution is still under attack in the public school science classroom.
In her essay "How Quantum Physics Can Teach Biologists About Evolution," published in the July 5, 2005, issue of The New York Times, Cornelia Dean suggests that biologists would do better to defend evolution not by insisting on its truth per se but by explaining the scientific methodology on which it is based.
NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENCE EDUCATION
SUBMITS AMICUS BRIEF IN FEDERAL COURT
OPPOSING EVOLUTION DISCLAIMERS IN COBB COUNTY, GEORGIA, TEXTBOOKS
NCSE was featured prominently in Peter Slevin's article "Teachers, Scientists Vow to Fight Challenge to Evolution," published in the May 5, 2005, issue of the Washington Post. The article begins with a review of the situation in Kansas, where the state board of education is conducting a contentious series of hearings on the place of evolution in the state science standards.