Recently a California teacher requesting help from NCSE wrote:
I am a high school biology teacher trying to find information on the official position of Christian denominations and other major world religions on evolution for use in my classes. I have many creationist students in my classes who assume anyone who believes in God agrees with the literal creationist beliefs on this. Can you help?
This teacher also felt he needed more information about the legal rights and responsibilities of teachers who are teaching evolution.
These are questions which arise for teachers+ read
On August 21, 2005, The New York Times published an article entitled "Politicized scholars put evolution on the defensive." This otherwise excellent article unfortunately contained several errors that resulted from treating some false information from the Discovery Institute as accurate. One major error was accepting the claim that New Mexico has "embraced the institute's 'teach the controversy' approach." This is absolutely false, as the following evidence will show.
New Mexico Standards Development Process and History
New Mexico's Public Education+ read
Under the newly approved science standards, Minnesota's youngest students will be expected to understand that biological populations change over time. Students will need to know that many organisms, such as dinosaurs, used to live on earth but are now extinct. This understanding of basic science can't come soon enough.
A suburban Twin Cities elementary school invited me to speak to its students recently about my work. I have written several children's books, including a science book about our intimate connection to earth and life's history. This book recently won the Minnesota
As I was working on a proposal for a project at the Evolution Education Research Centre at McGill University in Montréal, I received an e-mail from an old friend back in Arkansas, where I was raised, whom I had known since high school. She was concerned about a problem her father was having at work. "Bob" is a geologist and a teacher at a science education institution that services several Arkansas public school districts. My friend did not know the details of Bob's problem, only that it had to do with evolution. This was enough to arouse my interest, so I invited Bob to tell me about what+ read
In January 2006, BBC News published an article entitled "Britons unconvinced on evolution", reporting that only 48% of those questioned accept the theory of evolution. About 17% chose "intelligent design" (ID), 22% opted for creationism, and the rest did not know. Several months later, an anti-evolution seminar was scheduled for members of the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels. The meeting took place on October 11, 2006, and was announced under the following title: "Teaching evolutionary theory in Europe. Is your child being indoctrinated in the classroom?"
A PDF version of this article is available here.
1) Quality Control: So much of the mass communication of evolution is dull and uninspiring. For example, the AIBS-sponsored video Evolution: Why Bother? is tragically bad — nothing but talking heads and still images. Any introductory film student could have explained to them that in film and video the primary communication takes place through the images presented. When all we show are faces talking, we communicate virtually nothing. We need the simple, honest feedback
Please note: This text is part of Species, Kinds, and Evolution, by John Wilkins, Reports of NCSE 26 (4), 2006.
Summary of 26 species concepts
There are numerous species "concepts" at the research and practical level in the scientific literature. Mayden's (1997) list of 22 distinct species concepts along with synonyms is a useful starting point for a review. I have added authors where I can locate them in addition to Mayden's references, and I have tried to give the concepts names,
NCSE's executive director Eugenie C Scott was asked to write a declaration in support of the plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order, and if necessary a preliminary injunction, in Hurst et al v Newman et al. The following discussion of specific problems with the "Philosophy of Intelligent Design" course that was at issue in the case is taken from her declaration.
In my expert opinion, the purpose and effect of the course at issue in this lawsuit are not to present a comparative treatment of the various
The Ohio Board of Education voted 11–4 at its February 14, 2006, meeting to remove both the "Critical Analysis of Evolution" model lesson plan and the corresponding indicator — which called for students to be able to "describe how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" — in the state standards. Board member Martha Wise, who spearheaded the drive to eliminate the anti-evolution material, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer (2006 Feb 15), "I’m ecstatic ... It’s a win for science, a win for students and a win for the state of Ohio."+ read
[Asked by Time magazine to provide a nomination for the 2007 Person of the Year, Frans de Waal wrote, "I nominate all the brave biology teachers of this nation who teach evolution despite the opposition they encounter. Without evolution, there is no biology; without biology, there is no medicine. It's as simple as that. These teachers arm their pupils with the knowledge they need, putting them on level footing with the rest of the world where evolutionary theory is uncontroversial." His words appeared in the November+ read
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