NCSE Past Events

Eugenie C. Scott

What Would Darwin Say to Today's Creationists?

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
12:30pm
Date: 
February 25, 2018
Location: 

Berkeley Community Media
2239 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Berkeley CA 94704

A talk for David Seaborg's Darwin Day event.

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 the Earth was not considered mainstream Christian theology in the late 19th century, though certainly the view had its adherents among some 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.

In addition to Scott's talk:

  • David Seaborg, evolutionary biologist, President of the World Rainforest Fund (worldrainforest.org), and organizer of Darwin Day for the last ten years, will again impersonate Charles Darwin, speaking on “The Principles of Evolutionary Theory Today.” His talk will explain how new species are created; how evolution undergoes major transitions, such as fish evolving into amphibians; predators and prey; competition between species; how species work together in symbiosis; and human threats to evolution and biodiversity.
  • Steve Garan, researcher on life extension and Chief Technology Officer at Trans Time Laboratories, will speak on how low-temperature biology can extend the human lifespan and uses of cryobiology in medicine. His talk is titled “Prospects of Increased Lifespan Through Low-temperature Biology.”
  • Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation, award-winning leader on controlling and reducing nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war, will speak on “The Urgent Need for Confronting the Growing Threat of Nuclear War.”
  • Live reptiles, fossils, and a real Nobel Prize will be there for people to observe, touch, hold, and be photographed with. No one will be forced to touch or hold any animal they do not want to.
  • There will be opportunity for socializing, which is always a fun highlight of this event. Last year’s Darwin Day created a feeling of happiness, fellowship, and camaraderie that was exceptional, and we hope we can create that at this Darwin Day with your help.

Admission is $25.00 in advance for adults; $30.00 at the door the day of the event; $12.50 in advance for children aged 12 and under; $15.00 at the door the day of the event. Reception with speakers and food and drink from 4:45 to 6:00 PM for those who purchase tickets for it: $199.00 in advance for reception for adults; $225.00 at the door the day of the event; $99.00 in advance for reception for children; $125.00 at the door the day of the event. Pay via Paypal to http://paypal.me/darwinday or by check to David M. Seaborg, 1888 Pomar Way, Walnut Creek CA 94598-1424.

For more information: 
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Emily Schoerning

Talking about Evolution with Creationists: Practical Skills and Stories

Featuring: 
Emily Schoerning
Time: 
4:00pm
Eastern Time
Date: 
February 23, 2018
Location: 

Hall of Human Origins
National Museum of Natural History
10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW
Washington DC 20560

Come hear our informal discussion about the state of evolution education across our country, hear stories from the field, and learn skills to help you start positive conversations about evolution. Free and open to the public.

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Understanding Public Opinion Polling on Evolution

Featuring: 
Glenn Branch
Time: 
12:00pm
Date: 
February 18, 2018
Location: 

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
1413 NE 45th Street
Seattle WA 98105
 

What do the results of the Gallup poll really say about public opinion on creationism and evolution? In his minitalk for Darwin Day at the Burke, the National Center for Science Education’s Glenn Branch will explain that, on the one hand, the conceptual geography of the creationism/evolution controversy is more complicated than Gallup’s question acknowledges and, on the other hand, the public’s engagement with the controversy is less intensive than Gallup’s question presupposes.

Seattle Atheists logo

Part of Darwin Day at the Burke. Meet scientists, educators, and game designers. Celebrate the genius of Charles Darwin and the wonder of evolution. Snacks, crafts, activities for kids, and professional speakers for grownups, including Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education. Tickets give you access to the Burke Museum, 10–5, which is hosting its own crafts and activities. Sponsored by Seattle Atheists, an educational nonprofit.

For more information: 

There's space for only 100 people, so obtain a free ticket at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3319663.

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Eugenie C. Scott

What Would Darwin Say to Today's Creationists?

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
8:30am
Date: 
February 10, 2018
Location: 

Rebstock Hall #309
Washington University Danforth Campus
St. Louis MO 63130

A talk for Washington University in St. Louis's Darwin Day celebration.

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 the Earth was not considered mainstream Christian theology in the late 19th century, though certainly the view had its adherents among some 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.

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Kevin Padian

Myths of Mass Extinctions

Featuring: 
Kevin Padian
Time: 
7:30pm
Date: 
November 9, 2017
Location: 

La Peña Cultural Center 
3105 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley CA 94709

Everyone talks about mass extinctions. But what are they, really? Can anyone even define them? Let’s see.

Kevin Padian is Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, Curator of Paleontology at the University of California Museum of Paleontology, and a past president of NCSE's board of directors.

A talk for Bay Area Skeptics; admission is free and open to the public.

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Eugenie C. Scott

Why Do People Reject Good Science?

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
2:00pm
Date: 
October 28, 2017
Location: 

Excalibur Hotel & Resort
3850 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas NV 89109

A talk for CSICON, the national scientific skepticism meeting.

Scientists are often puzzled when members of the public reject what we consider to be well-founded explanations. They can’t understand why the presentation of scientific data and theory doesn’t suffice to convince others of the validity of “controversial” topics like evolution and climate change. Recent research highlights the importance of ideology in shaping what scientific conclusions are considered reliable and acceptable. This research is quite relevant to the evolution wars, the antivaccination movement, the public’s opposition to climate change, and to other questions of the rejection of empirical evidence.

CSICON 2017 logo

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Eugenie C. Scott

Race, Science, and Society

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
4:30pm
Date: 
October 21, 2017
Location: 

Holiday Inn Orlando International Airport
5750 T.G. Lee Blvd
Orlando FL 32822

A talk for FREEFLO 2017, the annual conference of the Florida Humanist association.

The concept of race in biology or anthropology refers to groups of populations in a geographic region that share some characteristics. As such, races, as open genetic systems, are neither permanent, stable, pure, nor are they discrete units. The concept of race to most Americans, however, includes most of this list, and thus has no scientific foundation. Yet socially, race is extraordinarily important in American society, and misunderstanding biology and genetics can have serious consequences for our society. How should we approach this subject to both reflect science as well as our social needs?

FREEFLO logo

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Brad Hoge

Hurricanes and Heat Waves: Is This Climate Change?

Featuring: 
Brad Hoge
Time: 
7:30pm
Date: 
October 12, 2017
Location: 

La Peña Cultural Center 
3105 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley CA 94709

Are Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and the recent heat waves and extreme weather events in California, the product of climate change? If they are, how should they influence public discussions and teaching of climate change? To answer the first question, we must know what the predictions of extreme weather events from climate models are, and how these predictions are generated. Is there a consensus among climate scientists that extreme events are more likely? How much more likely are they? And how extreme are Harvey, Irma, and the California heat wave? Ultimately, how do we connect the dots? If a connection is made, how useful is this information for public discussion? Will the conclusions of climate scientists be more convincing due to the dramatic impacts of these events on people's lives, or are we being "insensitive"? Is it a good idea to use these events as examples of the impact of climate change in classrooms, or is it misleading and inappropriate pedagogically? This talk will answer these questions, and will present some perspectives from teachers in Houston and Florida who are on the front lines.

A talk for Bay Area Skeptics; admission is free and open to the public.

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Doubt and Denial as Challenges to, and in, Teaching Climate Change

Featuring: 
Glenn Branch, NCSE Deputy Director
Time: 
11:00am
Date: 
September 17, 2017
Location: 

CFI Los Angeles
4773 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90027

Scientists overwhelmingly agree about the occurrence, causes, and consequences of climate change. But the public is not so sure. And science education is suffering as a result. Reviewing recent controversies over the place of climate science in state science standards and summarizing the results of a recent rigorous national survey of science teachers, Glenn Branch from the National Center for Science Education will explain how doubt and denial about climate change are affecting science education.

A presentation for the Center for Inquiry, Los Angeles; admission is $8, $4 for students, free for Planet-level or higher members of CFI.

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Doubt and Denial as Challenges to, and in, Teaching Climate Change

Featuring: 
Glenn Branch, NCSE Deputy Director
Time: 
4:30pm
Date: 
September 17, 2017
Location: 

Training Room
Business Expo Center
1960 S. Anaheim Way
Anaheim CA 92805

Scientists overwhelmingly agree about the occurrence, causes, and consequences of climate change. But the public is not so sure. And science education is suffering as a result. Reviewing recent controversies over the place of climate science in state science standards and summarizing the results of a recent rigorous national survey of science teachers, Glenn Branch from the National Center for Science Education will explain how doubt and denial about climate change are affecting science education.

A presentation for the Center for Inquiry, Orange County; admission is $8, $4 for students, free for Planet-level or higher members of CFI.

For more information: 
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