NCSE Past Events
Shattuck Hotel Plaza
2086 Allston Way
Berkeley CA 94704
Species, subspecies, races, varieties, demes – although these scientific terms are sometimes difficult to apply in nature, they can be useful for communicating about groups of organisms. But when we talk about Homo sapiens, these terms often are understood differently than when they are used to communicate about plants and animals. Whether races of song sparrows are “real” as a scientific issue is not nearly as important to us as whether there are “races” of humans, and what we think are the attributes of such entities. Pseudoscience about the concept of race abounds, and these misunderstandings of science can have serious consequences for our society. What is the real science – the genetic key to understanding – the concept of “race”?
A talk for SkeptiCal, northern California's science and skepticism conference. Paid conference registration is required.
Irvine Ranch Water District Headquarters
15500 Sand Canyon Avenue
Irvine CA 92618
Though the “intelligent design” movement appears to have faded considerably after the federal district court case Kitzmiller v. Dover, traditional young-earth creationism continues to attract adherents. With the opening of the new Ark Encounter at Answers in Genesis in northern Kentucky, plus expected enthusiasm generated by the appointments being made at the federal level by the incoming administration, we should be prepared for an upsurge in state and local antievolutionism activism.
A talk for the Orange County Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Visit the Orange County AU Events website
Hidalgo Conference Room
The University Center
University of Texas, San Antonio
San Antonio TX 78249
Kitzmiller v. Dover, the 2005 case establishing the unconstitutionality of teaching intelligent design creationism in the public schools, was a pivotal event in the history of the creationism/evolution controversy in the United States. Branch will discuss why Kitzmiller was the effective end of the second phase of anti-evolution strategy and what the third phase is going to be like. A talk for Freethinkers Association of Central Texas, the San Antonio chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the University of Texas, San Antonio, Secular Student Alliance.
Visit WASH's Meetup page for the event
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara CA 95053
The famous geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky once wrote, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” and modern biologists agree. By “making sense,” Dobzhansky meant to explain why things are like they are rather than some other way. That living things have descended with modification from common ancestors is the key to understanding virtually every area in biology from biochemistry, to cell biology, to organismic biology, to population biology, to ecology. Evolution is the glue that holds biology together as a coherent science, making, in Dobzhansky’s words, a “meaningful picture as a whole.”
The keynote lecture for the 42nd annual West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference. Registration is necessary.
Samena Swim & Recreation Club
15231 Lake Hills Blvd.
Bellevue WA 98007
How have antievolutionist stategies evolved in the ninety-plus years since the Scopes trial, and can Glenn Branch manage to relate the history in fifteen minutes? A talk for Seattle Atheists' Darwin Day event, taking place from noon to 3:00 p.m.
Visit Seattle Atheists' Facebook page for the event
Tyler Junior College
1411 E. Lake St.
Tyler TX 75701
More than 200 years since the birth of Charles Darwin, the teaching of evolution in the United States still poses challenges for many teachers, though his views of evolution through natural selection remain well accepted in the scientific community. To be scientifically literate, students must understand the principles of evolution, full stop. Teachers therefore must be responsible to their profession, and ensure that evolution is taught. How to do this while minimizing potential problems? The answer has to do with both what and how evolution is taught.
A talk for Tyler Junior College's Darwin Day Teachers' Workshop.
University Center Theater
University of Texas, Tyler
3000 University Blvd.
Tyler TX 75799
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.
The keynote lecture at the University of Texas, Tyler's Darwin Day event. The talk is free and open to the public.
Tyler Junior College
1411 E. Lake St.
Tyler TX 75701
Famed geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote in 1973, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” a phrase which has become an aphorism among scientists. But is it really true? The answer depends on your understanding of “making sense.”
A talk for Tyler Junior College's Center for Earth & Space Science Education's Public Science Lecture Series. The talk is free and open to the public.
Events at the Center for Earth & Space Science Education, Tyler Junior College
North Lawn Auditorium
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa AL 35487
A talk of the ALLELE seminar series at the University of Alabama.
The American science classroom is not always a neutral zone. Millions of students are at risk of being miseducated on the critical topics of evolution and climate change because these areas of science have been relentlessly misrepresented as scientifically controversial or unsettled. The drumbeat of doubt and confusion, unfortunately, echoes in our classrooms, where evolution and climate change are too often getting short shrift. Ann Reid will discuss why so many teachers are reluctant to teach these topics, and what can be done to give them the confidence and support they need to teach evolution and climate change honestly, accurately, and completely.
Hyatt Concourse Hotel
6225 W Century Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90045
Though the intelligent design movement appears to have faded considerably after the federal district court case Kitzmiller v. Dover, traditional young-earth creationism continues to attract adherents. With the opening of the new Ark Encounter by Answers in Genesis in northern Kentucky, plus expected enthusiasm generated by the appointments being made at the federal level by the incoming administration, we should be prepared for an upsurge in local antievolutionist activism.
A presentation at LogiCalLA. Tickets start at $95 (for Sunday, January 15, lectures only).