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NCSE advises -- try not to get drawn into a direct debate with a creationist. Sometimes, however, it is important to explain why a creationist claim is misleading or just plain wrong, especially if you are talking with a confused friend, parent, school board member, or interested citizen.
The claims you are most likely to run into:
Meet the Steves
As of November 14, 2013, 1288 Steves have signed the statement. Will you be the next Steve?
People often ask us, “How can I further the cause of evolution education?” We've compiled some practical and effective suggestions:
In 2001, the United States Senate adopted a "Sense of the Senate" amendment proposed by Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) as part of an education bill. As reported here, the resolution included the phrase, "where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why the subject generates so much continuing controversy..." There was little doubt that Santorum's language could be used to undercut the teaching of evolution.
Each controversy over the teaching of evolution is unique. However, these basic principles have proven to be valuable for opposing anti-evolutionism whether it occurs at a local school or in national discussions.
Basic Principles for Taking Action
It's religious discrimination.
Teaching creationism privileges a single religious viewpoint. Most mainstream Christians, Jews and Muslims, along with Hindus, Buddhists, deists, and those of other faiths, reject many or all of the doctrines held by self-styled creationists.
Covering the entire spectrum of religious beliefs about origins might be appropriate for a comparative religion class, but it is not appropriate for science classes.
In 1983, The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) was founded to promote excellence in science education, improve public understanding of evolution, and defend evolution education from sectarian attacks. In 1987, when the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana anti-evolution law, many observers thought the "creation science" controversy had been put to an end. Instead, it returned to the local level, where new strategies appeared in countless communities and at the state level, as well.
In a Washington Times editorial, March 14, 2002, Senator Santorum implied that Senator Edward Kennedy supported the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. Senator Kennedy responded in a letter to the editor on March 21.
Embargoed till February 16, 2003
Over two hundred scientists named Steve agreeDenver, Colorado, February 16, 2003 -- A first-of-its-kind statement on evolution signed by over 200 scientists was unveiled today at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual convention in Denver, Colorado, following Lawrence Krauss's topical lecture entitled "Scientific Ignorance as a Way of Life: From Science Fiction in Washington to Intelligent Design in the Classroom." The statement -- sponsored by the Natio