NCSE Past Events

Eugenie C. Scott

Deja vu all over again: Denialism of climate change and of evolution

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Time: 
8:00pm
Date: 
March 8, 2013
Location: 
Lowell Conference Center
610 Langdon Street
Madison, Wisconsin

Both evolution and global warming are "controversial issues" in education, but are not controversial in the world of science. There is a remarkable similarity in the techniques that are used by denialists in both camps to promote their views. The scientific issues are presented as "not being settled," Freethought Festival 2or that there is considerable debate among scientists over the validity of claims. Both camps also practice "anomaly mongering," in which a small detail seemingly incompatible with either evolution or global warming is held up as dispositive of either either evolution or of climate science. Although in both cases, reputable, established science is under attack for ideological reasons, the underlying ideology differs: for denying evolution, the ideology of course is religious; for denying global warming, the ideology is political and/or economic.

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Peter Hess, Ph.D.George Smoot, Ph.D.David Seaborg

Darwin's Vital Contribution to Religion

Featuring: 
Peter Hess, George Smoot, David Seaborg
Time: 
1:30pm
Date: 
February 24, 2013
Location: 
Fellowship of Humanity Hall
390-27th Street
Oakland, California

Celebrate Darwin Day with a pot luck dinner commerating the birth of Charles Darwin. Speakers will include a Physicist who won the Nobel Prize, a Darwin expert, and a famous biologist.

Speaking will be Dr. George Smoot, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics for finding the non-uniformity in the cosmic microwave background radiation from the Big Bang.

Peter Hess, a leading expert on Darwin and the evolution-creation controversy with the National Center for Science Education, will speak on Darwin's vital contribution to religion.

The third speaker will be David Seaborg, cutting-edge evolutionary biologist and Darwin expert, who will discuss current evolutionary theory—what is known today, and the unsolved problems and controversies—dressed as Charles Darwin, and impersonating him.

After his lecture, David Seaborg will show fossils and live animals that illustrate evolutionary principles, and he will allow you to hold them—only if you want to.

This will be followed by a group discussion.

Finally, enjoy a pot luck dinner party with the speakers and many other interesting, stimulating, knowledgeable, and friendly people. Bring any dish to share.

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Eugenie C. Scott

Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Time: 
7:00pm
Date: 
February 21, 2013
Location: 
Maucker Union
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa


Many topics in the curriculum of American schools are controversial, but perhaps the one with the longest tenure is evolution. Politics plays a role in this controversy in a number of ways. Politicians have keen antennae for cultural values, and the "fairness" argument (i.e., it is only"fair" to "balance" evolution with creationism) regularlyDarwin Week is exploited, regardless of the appropriateness of its application to science education. Variants of the fairness argument such as balancing evolution with "scientific alternatives to evolution" or balancing evolution with "strengths and weaknesses of evolution" have in fact become the current predominant antievolutionist strategy, partly in response to a series of legal decisions that have excluded the overt advocacy of creationism in public schools.


Keynote address for
Darwin Week
sponsored by the
U.N.I. Freethinkers and Inquirers

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Eugenie C. Scott

Creationism du jour

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Time: 
12:00pm
Date: 
February 13, 2013
Location: 
Guyon Auditorium, Morris Library
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois

After the failure of creation science and intelligent design to survive legal tests of their constitutionality, the creationist movement evolved new strategies. These callSIU Logo for teaching the “strengths and weaknesses of evolution” or the “critical analysis of evolution” which are creationism in disguise. In lieu of policies promoting the teaching of creation science or Intelligent Design, modern creationists try to change state science education standards or pass state legislation to promote these “softer” and less-obvious approaches. Such “Academic Freedom Act” legislation has popped up in several states already, and reflects the creationism du jour.
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Eugenie C. Scott

What Would Darwin Say to Today's Creationists?

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Time: 
7:30pm
Date: 
February 13, 2013
Location: 
Ballroom D, SIU Student Center
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois

Many elements of the modern American creationist movement would be familiar to Darwin, especially the argument from design, which of course was very well known (and well-regarded) by educated people of his time. Young-Earth creationism, on the other hand, would be puzzling to him; Bishop Ussher's 4004 BC age of SIU Logothe Earth was not considered mainstream Christian theology in the late 19th century, though certainly the view had its adherents among clergy. Darwin might have heard of the “scriptural geologists” who promoted a young-Earth view during the 19th century, but like other scientists of his time, he would have ignored them. The current creationist strategy of disclaiming evolution as weak science would have seemed more familiar to him, given the criticisms of evolution he encountered during his own time.


A talk for the
Southern Illinois University
Darwin Day Commemoration


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Minda Berbeco, PhD

Science Denial: "Academic Freedom" Bills

Featuring: 
Minda Berbeco, Ph.D.
Time: 
11:00am
Date: 
February 10, 2013
Location: 
Albany Community Center
1249 Marin Avenue
Albany, California

"Academic Freedom" Bills are being introduced at the state level across the country to undermine quality science education. Originally devised to weaken evolution education in public schools, these bills have been expanded in recent years to include climate change science as well. Under the guise of teaching students critical thinking skills and protecting educators, this legislation insidiously erodes science education by promoting misinformation as scientific controversy. Dr. Berbeco will talk about the history of these bills, status of current legislation, and the future of science education in America.


A presentation for the
Kol Hadash's Darwin Day Program


Kol Hadash logo
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Eugenie C. Scott


The New Anti-Science Laws

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Date: 
February 8, 2013
Location: 
Indiana Convention Center
Indianapolis, Indiana



Over the past 10 yearsHASTI or so about 40 anti-science laws have cropped up around the country that teachers and scientists have strongly opposed. Where do these bills come from, and how do they relate to Indiana's recent legislative history and the teaching of allegedly “controversial” topics in science?


A presentation at the
Hoosiers Association for Science Teachers
Annual Meeting

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The Revisionaries

Fundraising for Science

Featuring: 
Movie: The Revisionaries
Time: 
2:00pm to 5:00pm
Date: 
January 27, 2013
Location: 
Screenland Armour Theater
408 Armour Road
North Kansas City, Missouri

Join the Kansas City Atheist Coalition for a viewing of the chilling 2012 documentary The Revisionaries at the Screenland Armour Theatre and help support the National Center for Science Education.

The Revisionaries follows the rise and fall of Don McLeroy, an avowed young-earth creationist, duringKansas City Atheist Coalition his time as chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, in which he oversees the adoption of new science and history curriculum standards, drawing national attention and placing Texas on the front line of the so-called "culture wars."

KCAC is asking for a $10 to $15 donation (or whatever you can afford). 75% of all donations will go to the National Center for Science Education until we cover the $197 cost of showing the documentary, after which all proceeds will go to the NCSE. The NCSE is a nonprofit membership organization providing information and resources for schools, parents and concerned citizens working to keep evolution and climate science in public school science education.

After the documentary, NCSE Programs and Policy Director Josh Rosenau, who was at the Texas board hearings, will Skype with us.

The Screenland Armour is providing its facilities to us at no cost. KCAC is only having to pay for the rights to show the documentary. To show our appreciation to the Screenland Armour, we ask that you consider purchasing a beer or two while you enjoy the film!

Movie trailer for The Revisionaries: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2369299481/

The Revisionaries’ official website: www.therevisionariesmovie.com

Screenland Armour Theatre: www.facebook.com/armourtheatre

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Steve Newton

Defending Climate Science: Applying Lessons From Creationist Attacks on Evolution

Featuring: 
Steve Newton
Time: 
11:00am
Date: 
December 3, 2012
Location: 
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
301 Moscone Center South
747 Howard Street
San Francisco, California

Attendance limited to registered participants


AGU Logo

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Eugenie C. Scott

Creationism du jour

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Time: 
9:00am
Date: 
December 1, 2012
Location: 
Victoria Park Suites
377 O'Connor Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada


Every year in the Eschaton 2012United States, state legislatures contemplate bills regarding the teaching of evolution, climate change and other allegedly “controversial subjects”. Known generically as “Academic Freedom Acts”, these proposed bills direct teachers to “critically analyze” these scientific disciplines, or to present the “full range of scientific views”. Although these bills are couched in terms of academic freedom and critical thinking education, these bills have a history – and that history shows that bills of this sort are the current manifestations of the old creationism and evolution controversy that has dogged science education for over 100 years.


A presentation at
ESCHATON 2012
sponsored by
Center for Inquiry Ottawa
and
Center for Inquiry Canada

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