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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2015/03/20

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

The latest from Wyoming. Evolution and climate change in a proposed
new set of science standards are provoking controversy in South
Dakota. And a new issue of Reports of the NCSE.


The Wyoming state board of education voted on March 17, 2015, to
return to the task of adopting new science standards, according to
Wyoming Public Media (March 17, 2015) -- but a proposal to adopt the
Next Generation Science Standards outright was rejected.

Instead, the board will reconvene a committee of science educators
which, after eighteen months of review, recommended the adoption of
the NGSS in 2014. "The group will be asked to consider new
information" before making a new recommendation.

The board was previously forbidden, by a footnote in the state budget
for 2014-2016, to use state funds for "any review or adoption" of the
NGSS. The treatment of climate change in the standards was cited as
the reason for the footnote.

The legislature's blockage of the NGSS was widely condemned by the
state's scientists, educators, and newspapers, and the board
eventually declined to develop a new set of science standards
independent of the NGSS.

The footnote was repealed in March 2, 2015, when House Bill 23 was
signed into law. The new law directs the board to "independently
examine and scrutinize any science standards proposed or reviewed as a
template" for Wyoming's state science standards.

For the story from Wyoming Public Media, visit: 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Wyoming, visit: 


"The debate over choosing standards for science education in South
Dakota's public schools has become a divisive battleground with a
clear split between science professionals who strongly support the new
standards and opposing parents who disbelieve climate change and
evolution," reports the Rapid City Journal (March 17, 2015).

At the third of four public hearings on a new set of science standards
for the state, one testifer described climate change and evolution as
"fringe ideas" and suggested that the schools ought not to be
advocating for or against them. Similar comments were heard at the
second hearing in November 2014, as NCSE previously reported.

But "more than twice as many science teachers, researchers[,] and
scientists" testified in favor of the standards, including Julie
Olson, a high school science teacher and president of the South Dakota
Science Teachers' Association, who commented, "I am fully in support
of the adoption of these standards."

Following a final public hearing in May 2015, the board is expected
either to adopt the standards at its May 18, 2015, meeting, or to
"direct the department to further revise them for possible final
approval at the board’s July 27 meeting in Rapid City," according to
the Journal. The standards would be in use in the 2017-2018 academic

For the story in the Rapid City Journal, visit: 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in South Dakota, visit: 


NCSE is pleased to announce that the latest issue of Reports of the
National Center for Science Education is now available on-line.The
issue -- volume 35, number 2 -- contains Nicholas J. Matzke's
review-essay of Alan de Queiroz's The Monkey's Voyage, Herman Mays's
"Speaking Out Against Climate Change Denial in West Virginia," and
Mark Terry's "An Interdisciplinary Approach to Evolution Education."
And for his regular People and Places column, Randy Moore discusses
the biologist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.

Plus a host of reviews of books on the history of biology:  Walter H.
Conser Jr. reviews Monte Harrell Hampton's Storm of Words, Tina
Gianquitto reviews Kimberly A. Hamlin's From Eve to Evolution, J.
David Hoeveler reviews David N. Livingstone'sDealing with Darwin, John
Holmes reviews J. David Pleins's In Praise of Darwin, Sara B. Hoot
reviews Tim M. Berra's Darwin and his Children, Christoph Irmscher
reviews Tina Gianquitto and Lydia Fisher's collection America's
Darwin, John M. Lynch reviews Paul Johnson's Darwin: Portrait of a
Genius and The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary
Thought, Matthew Morris reviews Bradley J. Gundlach's Process and
Providence, and Charles H. Smith reviews James T. Costa's Wallace,
Darwin, and the Origin of Species.

All of these articles, features, and reviews are freely available in
PDF form from Members of NCSE will shortly be 
receiving in the mail the print supplement to Reports 35:2, which, in
addition to summaries of the on-line material, contains news from the
membership, a regular column in which NCSE staffers offer personal
reports on what they've been doing to defend the teaching of
evolution, a regular column interviewing NCSE's favorite people, and
more besides. (Not a member? Join today!)

For the table of contents for RNCSE 35:2, visit: 

For information about joining NCSE, visit: 


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

* Minda Berbeco finding hope in a report on a decline in carbon
dioxide emissions: 

* Stephanie Keep reviewing a HHMI film on natural selection and adaptation: 

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

Check out NCSE's new blog, Science League of America: 

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