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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2014/08/08

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

A glimpse of Greg Craven's What's the Worst that Could Happen? And sad
news of the death of Jack Friedman.


NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Greg Craven's What's the
Worst that Could Happen? A Rational Response to the Climate Change
Debate (Perigee, 2009). The preview consists of chapter 1, "The
Decision Grid: What's the Worst that Could Happen? (Or Giant Mutant
Space Hamsters)," which engagingly discusses ways to think about the
probabilities and consequences of global warming (and less likely

Praising What's the Worst that Could Happen? Bill McKibben commented,
"This book trumps most of our accounts of the global warming crisis,
partly for its good humor and straightforward logic, and partly
because the author has actually figured out what actions make sense.
Changing your lightbulb will help a little, but changing the political
debate will help enormously — and this book will get you started down
that path."

For the preview of What's the Worst that Could Happen? (PDF), visit: 

For information about the book from its publisher, visit: 


Jack Friedman, a past president of NCSE's board of directors, died on
July 31, 2014, at the age of 88, according to Newsday (August 2,
2014). As a master biology teacher, Friedman viewed the surge of
antievolution activity in the 1970s with alarm, and consequently
helped to mobilize concerned citizens in the New York City area --
including Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge -- to take the threat
seriously. He served as president of the New York Council for
Evolution Education, one of the first Committees of Correspondence
that preceded the establishment of NCSE. Subsequently, Friedman helped
to found NCSE in 1983, and served on its board for twenty-nine years
(1983-2012), including five years as treasurer (1988-1992) and seven
years as president (1983-1987 and 1993-1994).

Writing in Newsday (July 14, 1995), Friedman explained, "Biology makes
no sense unless we view it through the eyes of evolution ... Teaching
creationism as if it were accepted scientifically deprives students of
the most unifying principle of biology." A good example of his
profound commitment to the integrity of science education was featured
in Newsday (November 27, 2005), just after the Kansas state board of
education's decision to adopt a set of state science standards that
impugned the scientific status of evolution and just before the
decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover. Amid these controversies, Friedman,
then 80, was busy "coaching middle school teachers on how to address
the issue [of creationism] with their students." He told the
newspaper, "They didn't want to step on anybody's religion and have
their parents come in and get them in trouble" even while they were
complying with the state's expectation that evolution would be taught.

Friedman was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 26, 1925. He
served in the Army in World War II as a medic. Discharged with the
Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart, he attended
Brooklyn College, graduating in 1950, and New York University, from
which he earned a master's degree in biology in 1960. In the same
year, he helped to write a BSCS high school biology textbook published
in 1963. He taught at the Bronx High School of Science for five years
and then at Syosset High School, where he founded the science
department and chaired it for thirty years. After retiring, he taught
biology at Hofstra University and for a decade at Nassau Community
College, where he was honored as teacher of the year for 2003.

For Newsday's obituary, visit: 


Have you been visiting NCSE's blog, The Science League of America,
recently? If not, then you've missed:

* Robert Luhn making his blog debut with a discussion of climate
change around Lake Shasta: 

* Glenn Branch introducing the flat-earther who wanted to testify
against Scopes: 

* Eugenie C. Scott discussing science denial in the tanning bed: 

And much more besides!

For The Science League of America, visit: 

Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution and climate education and threats to them.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
510-601-7203 x303
fax: 510-601-7204

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