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The Texas state board of education heard testimony about the proposed new set of state science standards during its meeting on November 19, 2008 — and plenty of the testimony concerned the treatment of evolution in the standards. As the Dallas Morning News (November 20, 2008) explained, the standards "will dictate what is taught in science classes in elementary and secondary schools and provide the material for state tests and textbooks. The standards will remain in place for a decade after their approval by the state board."
NCSE is pleased to announce the publication of the third edition of Voices for Evolution. As NCSE deputy director Glenn Branch explains in his foreword, "Amid the dizzying panoply of creationist activity, what is gratifyingly constant is the thoughtful, balanced, and authoritative opposition from the scientific, educational, and civil liberties communities, as well from a considerable portion of the faith community. Organizations small and large, local, national, and international, have expressed their unflinching support for evolution education. Their statements are collected here, in Voices for Evolution."
NCSE Supporter Francisco Ayala was profiled in the November 2008 issue of Scientific American. "After some 30 years of proselytizing about evolution to Christian believers, the esteemed evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Irvine, has honed his arguments to a fine point," Sally Lehrman writes. "The 74-year-old Ayala is preparing for an exceptionally busy 2009. The year marks the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birthday and the sesquicentennial of the publication of On the Origin of Species, and the battle over the teaching of evolution is sure to heat up. Ayala says the need is especially great for scientists to engage religious people in dialogue."
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On October 10, 2008, NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott was presented with the Field Museum's Award of Merit at a ceremony at the museum, where she gave a talk, attended a gala dinner, and received a $7500 honorarium for NCSE. The award is presented by the Field Museum's Founders' Council each year to "a leading scientist who has brought issues of cultural and environmental understanding to the forefront of public attention." Previous recipients include NCSE Supporter Stephen Jay Gould, Edward O. Wilson, James Watson, Richard E. Leakey, Jane Goodall, NCSE Supporter Lynn Margulis, Walter Alvarez, and NCSE Supporter Niles Eldredge.
With the addition of Steven K. Nordeen on September 5, 2008, NCSE's Project Steve attained its 900th 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, Istvan, Stefano, or even Tapani -- the Finnish equivalent).