NCSE Past Events

Eugenie C. Scott

What if “Intelligent Design” Had Won? Reflecting on 10 Years Since Kitzmiller v. Dover

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
2:30am
Date: 
December 4, 2015
Location: 

Google Mountain View Campus
Room Emoji Tech Talk
1255 Pear Avenue
Mountain View CA 94043

 

A talk for the Silicon Valley Skeptics. Ten years ago, the decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover determined that "intelligent design" was a form of creationism, and thus unconstitutional to advocate in public schools, but what if the decision had gone the other way? What would have been the legal, political, scientific, and educational fallout? Eugenie C. Scott is the former executive director of the National Center for Science Education, which was part of the plaintiff's legal team.

Silicon Valley Skeptics logo

The talk is free and open to the public.

For more information: 

Silicon Valley Skeptics Meetup page (please RSVP)

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Emily Schoerning

Cedar Rapids Science Booster Club Project Inaugural Meeting

Featuring: 
Emily Schoerning
Time: 
8:00pm
Date: 
December 3, 2015
Location: 

Room 119, Peterson Hall, Lower Level
Coe College
1220 1st Ave NE
Cedar Rapids IA 52402

Learn more about the current success of NCSE's Science Booster Club Project, and be part of the effort to expand this organization to Cedar Rapids. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information: 
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Gems from the Quote Mines

Featuring: 
Glenn Branch, NCSE Deputy Director
Time: 
3:30am
Date: 
November 12, 2015
Location: 

La Peña Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, California

People who reject the scientific consensus aren’t fond of scientific authorities, but they love to quote scientific authorities in support of their views. A paradox? Well, no. Examination of such quotations reveals that their meaning and significance is misrepresented, often because they are quoted out of context. Moreover, these quotations are frequently transcribed inaccurately and occasionally misattributed or fabricated, often obtained from dubious or obsolete authorities, and invariably selected tendentiously. The practice of “quote mining,” as it is sometimes called, is dismaying for scientists and skeptics—but debunking it is often amusing and informative. In his talk, Glenn Branch will discuss a number of examples from creationists and climate change deniers.

This is one of a monthly series of
SkepTalks
sponsored by the
Bay Area Skeptics

For more information: 
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Atmosphere of Hope

Featuring: 
Benjamin D. Santer, Ph.D., NCSE board member; Tim Flannery; Rebecca Shaw
Time: 
2:30am
Date: 
November 10, 2015
Location: 

Commonwealth Club of California
555 Post Street
San Francisco CA 94102

A Climate One event at the Commonwealth Club.

People concerned about climate disruption sometimes mope around like the fictional character Eeyore, convinced that humanity is doomed. But cause for hope is everywhere. Clean energy is advancing rapidly and people around the world are realizing the benefits of moving away from fossil fuels. Citizens are also learning to live with severe weather and the fires, floods and droughts that it brings.

When Tim Flannery, an Australian scientist, came to Climate One several years ago he said California’s future happens first in Australia. He was right. Our current drought is so similar to Australia’s Big Dry that Sacramento officials last year sent a delegation down under to learn from it. What else can California learn from Australia? Can Australia’s carbon price come back from the dead? What does the latest science tell us about how the climate is changing?

Join us for a conversation about science, hope, and solutions.

Tickets are $12 for members of the Commonwealth Club, $20 for non-members, $7 for students with identification.

For more information: 
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Nick MatzkeNick Matzke

Kevin PadianKevin Padian

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Kitzmiller v. Dover

Featuring: 
Kevin Padian, Nick Matzke, Christie Rehm, Eric Rothschild, Baba Brinkman
Time: 
4:00am
Date: 
November 7, 2015
Location: 

The Gallery at Appalachian Brewing Company
50 North Cameron Street
Harrisburg PA 17101

Panel discussion featuring Dover trial participants on the impact and experience of being part of the constitutional test case of intelligent design and evolution.

Performer: Baba Brinkman, the Rap Guide to Climate Chaos, whom The New York Times describes as, "Very funny, very educational … like attending the best TED talk ever, but with musical breaks."

ACLU-PA logo

Kevin Padian is past president of NCSE's board of directors and also Professor of Integrative Biology and Curator in the University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley; he testified for the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v. Dover. Nick Matzke is a former staffer at NCSE; he served as scientific advisor to the plaintiffs' legal team. Christie Rehm was one of the eleven parents to serve as plaintiffs. Eric Rothschild of Pepper Hamilton LLP was the lead attorney for the plaintiffs.

For more information: 
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Eugenie C. Scott and Kenneth R. Miller

What If Intelligent Design Had Won?

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott and Kenneth R. Miller
Time: 
3:00am
Date: 
November 5, 2015
Location: 

DeMeester Recital Hall
York College
York PA 17403-3651

‌What if the judge in Kitzmiller had ruled that ID was legal to teach? Very little would change in the science community where ID repeatedly has been shown to lack scientific merit. But the politicization of education and science would have increased exponentially.

Eugenie C. Scott and Kenneth R. Miller will explore the legal, political, scientific, and educational implications of the trial and its aftermath.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information: 
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Climate Change

Featuring: 
Benjamin D. Santer, Ph.D., NCSE board member
Time: 
3:00am
Date: 
October 28, 2015
Location: 

First Presbyterian Church of Livermore
2020 Fifth Street
Livermore CA 94550 

Ben Santer will be giving a talk and leading a discussion on climate change.

A member of NCSE's board of directors, Santer is a noted climate researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a recipient of the MacArthur "genius" grant, and a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

The event is free and open to the public. 

For more information: 

Visit the church's website.

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Eugenie C. Scott

Kitzmiller v. Dover at Ten: Lessons Learned

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
1:10am
Date: 
October 17, 2015
Location: 

Gardens Theatre
Queensland University of Technology
2 George Street
Brisbane QLD 4000, Australia

 

In the United States, the First Amendment requires schools and other state institutions to be religiously neutral. Courts have held for decades that any advocacy of creationism in science class is unconstitutional, but creationists have evolved new adaptations. One of the cleverer recent developments was “intelligent design theory,” which grew in the 1990s and 2000s to challenge the teaching of evolution. In 2004 a Pennsylvania school district passed an ID policy, and was challenged in court in 2005. Evolution won as the teaching of ID was declared unconstitutional, and the case virtually stopped similar policies from being passed. But in the ten years since Kitzmiller v. Dover we have learned that eternal vigilance is essential. The creationist movement continues to adapt to its legal environment and has evolved new strategies. These call for teaching the “strengths and weaknesses of evolution” or the “critical analysis of evolution” which are creationism in disguise. A common form of these laws is “Academic Freedom Acts” in which the disguised teaching of creationism is claimed to reflect a student’s right to learn or a teacher’s right to teach.

Australian Skeptics National Convention logo

Tickets for the whole weekend convention are $280, $240 for students.

For more information: 
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Kevin PadianKevin Padian

Why Intelligent Design Flunked Science — and the Law

Featuring: 
Kevin Padian
Time: 
3:30am
Date: 
October 8, 2015
Location: 

La Peña Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, California

In 2005, an important trial was held in a Federal District court to test the constitutionality of the Dover, Pennsylvania, school board policy requiring the teaching of a new form of creationism, "intelligent design." To commemorate the 10th anniversary of this case, Kitzmiller v. Dover, expert witness Dr. Kevin Padian, former board president of the National Center for Science Education, explains how the trial required rehearsal not only of First Amendment rights, but of how science is done and not done, and what qualifies as an explanation in science.

This is one of a monthly series of
SkepTalks
sponsored by the
Bay Area Skeptics

Kevin Padian is past president of NCSE's board of directors and also Professor of Integrative Biology and Curator in the University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1980. An international expert on the evolution of vertebrates, particularly dinosaurs and their relatives, his principal interest is in the origin of major adaptive changes. It was on this subject, as well as on phylogenetic relationships, homology, and the nature of science, that he testified in the Dover, Pennsylvania trial on "intelligent design" in 2005. He is the author of over a hundred scientific articles and numerous books. He was one of the authors and editors of the California Science Framework K-12 in 1990, and has served on three panels advising the adoption of textbooks and other instructional materials in science to the state of California. He has received numerous awards and academic honors and appointments, including the Carl Sagan Award for the Popularization of Science.

For more information: 
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Eugenie C. Scott

Why do people reject good science?

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
5:15pm
Date: 
August 3, 2015
Location: 

Gold/Small Room
Commonwealth Club of California
555 Post St.
San Francisco CA 94102

 

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 and the public’s opposition to climate change, and to other questions of the rejection of empirical evidence.

Tickets are $20, $7.00 for students, free to members of the Commonwealth Club.

For more information: 
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