NCSE Past Events
3543 18th (at Valencia)
San Francisco, California
Following their victory in the Scopes Trial, creationists have suffered a string of unequivocal court defeats -- the Epperson v. Arkansas case, which overturned bans on teaching evolution, the Edwards v. Aguillard case, which ruled out 'equal time for creationism' requirements, and the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, which ruled "intelligent design" to be just another form of creationism. Creationists have responded to these setbacks by intelligently crafting a new strategy: encouraging sympathetic state legislators to introduce anti-evolution legislation under the pretense of 'academic freedom.' Such bills twist the meaning of academic freedom to give legal cover for creationist teachers to use their public school classrooms as a personal pulpit from which to proselytize to a captive audience of students. Newton will show the origins of such bills, how they are distributed to legislators by creationist organizations, and explain why the carefully-crafted language in 'academic freedom' bills says one thing, but means quite another. Newton will outline ways for local pro-science organizations to resist this trend and keep public school classrooms free from creationist attacks on science.
Atheist Advocates of San Francisco
Stephen F. Austin State University
What is the status of evolution in American education today? Is there, as so many people think, really a controversy surrounding this subject? And if there is, what exactly is the actual topic of that controversy? What is the history of public opposition to evolution education in America? What form does current anti-evolution activity take, and what can we expect in the future?
School of Honors Wisely Speaker series
821 Volunteer Boulevard
University of Tennessee
In 2012 the Tennessee legislature passed an “Academic Freedom Act” which called for teaching the “strengths and weaknesses” of allegedly controversial subjects such as evolution, global warming, origin of life, and human cloning. Rather than being just a Tennessee oddity, more than 40 of these laws have cropped up in state legislatures in every region of the country. Because they are patently injurious to science education, citizens need to oppose the passage of these bills — as well as contend for a basic level of science literacy that would make such bills impossible to contemplate. K-12 teachers who attend will have the chance to sign up to receive a free copy of Carl Zimmer's The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to Evolution (Roberts and Company, 2010), courtesy of NCSE and Roberts and Company Publishers.
Sponsored by the
University of Tennessee VolsTeach Program
Modesto Junior College
435 College Avenue
In the 2012 documentary Climate of Doubt, a PBS Frontline correspondent investigates recent shifts in the climate change debate and looks especially at the funding, the organized efforts, and the ideology behind the denialist movement.
Mark McCaffrey will lead a discussion session following the video.
Modesto Junior College
Spring Film & Lecture Series
Free and open to the public
8610 Kennel Way
La Jolla, California
The subject of origins — of where we, Earth, and the universe come from — is one that has been considered by many religions since time immemorial. Science, as a relatively recent actor on the intellectual stage, also considers these topics, coming up with answers at variance with those of most religions, including Christianity. How do these two approaches differ? Are there similarities? And is there an uncrossable divide between the two? The answer is not just philosophically interesting, but directly relevant to decisions being made about what to teach in public school science courses.
Scripps Institute of Oceanography
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue at East 66th Street
New York, New York
The subject of origins – of where we, Earth, and the universe come from – is one that has been considered by many religions since time immemorial. Science, as a relatively recent actor on the intellectual stage, also considers these topics, coming up with answers at variance with those of most religions, including Christianity. How do these two approaches differ? Are there similarities? And is there an uncrossable divide between the two? The answer is not just philosophically interesting, but directly relevant to decisions being made about what to teach in public school science courses.
2013 Insight Lecture Series
Irvine Ranch Water District Headquarters
15500 Sand Canyon Avenue (at Waterworks)
Being a specialist in the evolution education versus creationism controversy, Dr. Alters has conducted research and authored books on the subject, testified as an Expert Witness in federal court and other important legal cases on these matters, and is President of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), and Founder and Director of the Evolution Education Research Center (EERC) created over a decade ago between faculty of McGill and Harvard universities.
He has published six books including his best seller, Defending Evolution, taught thousands of pre-service and in-service teachers, and won McGill University’s highest teaching award – the President’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching. He has given hundreds of talks worldwide. His work has been reported globally in thousands of articles and media outlets, including Associated Press, The New York Times, Scientific American, Nature, ABC, CNN, CBC, NBC, MTV, and a cover story on Rolling Stone.
Event sponsored by the
Orange County Chapter of
Americans United for Separation of Church & State
California State University
A sustainable human population, based on the annual energy input of the sun, is in the range of two-to-five billion people. By this measure, Earth will be catastrophically overpopulated with a projected nine billion humans in 2050. Human demands for energy, water, and food are at the root of habitat loss, species extinction, farmland erosion, depletion of aquifers, ocean acidification, climate change, and the worldwide death of coral reefs. Temporarily maintained by plentiful cheap oil, the human population overshoot will be a significant stumbling block to long-term sustainability. The keys to reaching demographic stability are (1) developing comprehensive education on carrying capacity, (2) fostering cultural and religious leadership on population sustainability, and (3) encouraging replacement-sized families. Nature's minions are famine, resource wars and epidemic disease, and nature always bats last. To preempt these forces, the human community must tackle population issues proactively, employing religious and cultural sensitivity to seek honest and workable solutions.
This Way to Sustainability Conference VIII
610 Langdon Street
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," or 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.
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.