Ten Tips for Writing a Letter to the Editor

Although most of the battle against creationism has focused on the political and legal battles over textbooks and curriculum development, it is important to remember that public opinion plays a major role in determining the material actually taught in biology classrooms. One inexpensive and effective way to educate the public on the nature of science in general, and evolution in particular, is through the editorial pages. Letters to the editor are widely read, and fundamentalists have long used letter campaigns to push their agenda.

Ten Major Court Cases about Evolution and Creationism

1. In 1968, in Epperson v. Arkansas, the United States Supreme Court invalidated an Arkansas statute that prohibited the teaching of evolution. The Court held the statute unconstitutional on the grounds that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not permit a state to require that teaching and learning must be tailored to the principles or prohibitions of any particular religious sect or doctrine.

Voices for Climate Change Education

Many leading scientific and educational groups have expressed support for teaching climate change in college, high school, grade school and informal settings. Here are some of their statements:

Supporting Climate Change Education

What can you do to support climate change education in your local community?

Climate Change Education: Testifying Before Policymakers

A controversy over climate change education may involve a public hearing before policymakers — a meeting of a local school board or of a legislative committee, for example. Following are a few time-tested principles for effectively testifying before policymakers.

The Age of the Universe — Measuring Cosmic Time

The earth is about 4.5 billion years old, slightly younger than the oldest objects in the solar system whose ages we have been able to measure.1 But the age of the earth is conceptually a much simpler idea than the age of the universe. We’re all riding the earth together.

Species Concepts in Modern Literature

Please note: This text is part of Species, Kinds, and Evolution, by John Wilkins, Reports of NCSE 26 (4), 2006.

How Old is the Earth?

The age of the Earth is 4.54 billion years (Ga or Gyr), a number which geologists have determined by several independent methods. Because of the recycling of crustal rocks by plate tectonics, no direct material from the earliest Earth still exists. However, geologists are able to analyze meteorites and lunar rocks returned by the Apollo missions.