NCSE videos about creationism heat up debate on YouTube
Next entry looks at attacks on science education around the country
Oakland, California, April 23, 2008 -- "Teacher Expelled Over Religion," the first in a series of videos produced by the National Center for Science Education, is currently among the most-watched and most-discussed videos on YouTube. NCSE's brief video, featured at www.ExpelledExposed.com, explores the firing of Chris Comer, the director of science curriculum for the Texas Education Agency, after her superiors in the state agency determined she was insufficiently "neutral" on creationism.
"We're overjoyed at the response we've gotten," says Eugenie C. Scott, executive director of NCSE. "The outpouring of concern and support for Ms. Comer and for the plight of science education has been truly gratifying." Since its launch on April 15, 2008, the video has been viewed over 200,000 times, and is already among the 100 most highly rated science and technology videos in YouTube's history, as well as in the top ten highest rated science and technology videos for the month.
Following the success of this first foray onto YouTube, NCSE is now featuring the next in a series of four brief videos on www.ExpelledExposed.com. "Teaching Creationism in Schools" presents three case studies of attacks on science education where NCSE was called upon to help.
"These three cases represent only a fraction of the thousands of concerned parents and teachers we've helped," explains Glenn Branch, deputy director of NCSE. "Most of the situations we respond to never make the papers." In 2007, NCSE tracked creationist attacks on science education in 32 states from all regions of the United States, as well as in 11 other countries.
In the video released today, NCSE staffers discuss the range of assistance they provide local activists. During textbook adoption in Texas, NCSE helped citizens like middle school student Erec Hillis stand up to the state board of education to demand textbooks that teach evolution accurately. In Kansas, NCSE provided support and advice to concerned citizens as they worked to prevent a creationist state board of education from removing evolution from state science standards. And in Dover, Pennsylvania, NCSE's staff, board of directors, and archives played crucial roles when parents and teachers sued the town's school board over a policy that forced science teachers to present "intelligent design," a dandified form of creationism.
In the video, NCSE's Eugenie C. Scott explains: "If we're going to have good science education, now and in the future, we have to support people like Erec, people like the citizens of Dover, and people like the citizens in Kansas, and we have to put out those brushfires. And NCSE is going to be there until the last fire is out."
The National Center for Science Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the teaching of evolution in the public schools. The NCSE maintains its archive of source material on the history of creationism at its Oakland, California, headquarters. On the web at www.ncseweb.org.
NCSE's other site, www.ExpelledExposed.com, is a resource for journalists, teachers, and curious moviegoers who want the full story behind the creationist movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.Contacts:
Eugenie C. Scott, firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-290-6006
Glenn Branch, email@example.com, 800-290-6006
Josh Rosenau, firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-290-6006