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Climate Change Denial Supplementary Materials

Teachers often feel the need to use supplementary materials when covering climate change, particularly because the topic is often left unaddressed in state science standards, curricula, and textbooks. Unfortunately, climate change deniers have developed and are distributing supplementary materials (such as lesson plans and DVDs) that foster confusion about the occurrence, causes, and consequences of climate change.

Lights! Camera! Evolve!

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is expanding its online video presence with its new YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/NatCen4ScienceEd.

Here you'll find reports from the evolution/creationism wars—footage of contentious testimony, landmark and illuminating speeches, conference coverage, excerpts from television appearances, and presentations. In the future, look for classroom videos, tutorials for teachers, videos contributed by NCSE members, and much more.

When you visit our YouTube channel, check out a couple of key areas. At top right you'll see the latest, hot video. (In this case, executive director Dr. Genie Scott explaining evolution to the Texas Board of Education.) Below this video window you'll see the Playlist area. We've broken down our initial offerings into different categories—Genie Scott's testimony before the Texas Board of Education; the board's chairman, Don McLeroy, expounding on why evolution is false; and some light-hearted coverage of our recent Project Steve celebration.

Please explore the site, tell us what you like (and don't), and suggest improvements and changes. Send your comments to Robert Luhn at luhn@ncseweb.org.

Defining Evolution

The word "evolution" can evoke a variety of meanings, especially for students and members of the general public. For some, evolution is equated with natural selection. Others think that evolution addresses the origin of life. Still others impose a distinction between micro-evolution and macro-evolution. Part of the issue stems from an unclear understanding of what evolution is in a scientific sense.

"Theory, Not Fact" Policies — What's Wrong?

(Download this document as a pdf file here! )

  1. Legislation or regulations that single out evolution for restriction, ignoring other scientific topics, are unconstitutional (Epperson v. Arkansas)
  2. Legislation that requires teaching evolution as "theory" or "belief" only, or that it not be taught as "fact", without defining these terms, is too vague to give real guidance to school districts and teachers about what may be taught.

Web resources for teachers

Curriculum materials from the National Institutes of Health
http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements

Locations of Oldest Rocks

Fig. 5.2, p. 86 from Ancient Earth, Ancient Skies, by Brent G. Dalyrmple, shows the locations of some of Earth’s oldest rocks.

Links for Teachers

Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes (ENSI)
Originally NSF-funded, the ENSI program focused on teaching teachers about the nature of science, using evolution as the exemplar. A site for teachers by other teachers. Lots of classroom-tested exercises.

Monarch Watch
A collaboration between the University of Kansas and local teachers and citizens focusing around the life cycle, migration, ecology and adaptations of the monarch butterfly.

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