Skip navigation.
The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2015/05/08

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

A new antiscience bill in Alabama. Disquieting news about the
continuing presence of creationism in British faith schools. And a
voice for climate change education from California State PTA.


House Bill 592, introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives on
April 30, 2015, and referred to the House Committee on Education
Policy, would undermine the integrity of science education in the
state by encouraging science teachers with idiosyncratic opinions to
teach whatever anything they pleased and prevent responsible
educational authorities from intervening. Topics identified in the
bill as likely to "cause debate and disputation" are "biological
evolution, the chemical origins of life, and human cloning."

Modeled on Tennessee's "Monkey Law" enacted in 2012, HB 592 would
require state and local educational authorities to "assist teachers to
find effective ways to present the science curriculum framework
developed by the State Board of Education as it addresses scientific
subjects that may cause debate and disputation"; it would prevent such
authorities from prohibiting "any teacher of a public school from
helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an
objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of
all existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught
within the curriculum framework developed by the State Board of

The bill's lead sponsor is Mack Butler (R-District 30), who,
discussing a different bill of his with (January 21,
2015), commented, "It takes a lot more faith to believe in evolution."
Except for a failed bill to establish a credit-for-creationism scheme
in 2012, HB 592 is the first antiscience bill in the Alabama
legislature since 2009, when HB 300, the last in a long string of
"academic freedom" bills in Alabama, failed to win passage. The
legislature will be in session for only eleven more days before

For Alabama's House Bill 592 (PDF), visit: 

For the story, visit: 

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


"Creationism is still taught in dozens of faith schools [in the United
Kingdom] despite Government threats to withdraw their funding,"
reports the Telegraph (May 2, 2015), describing the results of a
recent investigation by the British Humanist Association.

In September 2014, the Department of Education instituted a ban on the
state funding of nurseries (for children 2-4) that promote extremist
views. Although the main target of the ban were "nurseries linked to
radical mosques or run by Islamic hardliners," the Telegraph (August
7, 2014) noted, "Nurseries that teach creationism as scientific fact
will be ineligible for taxpayer funding, under the new rules."

Before the ban was instituted, the British Humanist Association
identified ninety-one schools of concern. Subsequently, in January
2015, the BHA sent freedom of information requests to local
authorities to ascertain whether those schools were still receiving
state funds. Only fourteen of the ninety-one schools in fact lost
their funding. Fifty-one schools still receiving funding were regarded
as likely to be teaching creationism.

The BHA's Pavan Dhaliwal told the Telegraph, "It is hugely
disappointing ... to discover that creationist schools have continued
to receive state funds since the ban on their doing so came into
force" and called on the Department of Education to address the

For the May 2, 2015, story in the Telegraph, visit: 

For the British Humanist Association's press release about its
investigation, visit: 

For the August 7, 2014, story in the Telegraph, visit: 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events outside the United States, visit: 


California State PTA adopted a resolution on climate change and
climate change education -- entitled "Climate Change is a Children's
Issue" -- at its annual convention in Sacramento, California, on May
2, 2015.

Observing that there is broad scientific consensus on climate change
and the role of human activity in causing global warming, the
resolution  calls for the California State PTA to "urge its units,
councils and districts to educate parents on the impact of climate
change on children's health and future welfare" and for school
districts to "educate students on climate and energy literacy and
human sustainability."

NCSE's Minda Berbeco spoke in favor of the resolution, saying, "It is
the mission of the California PTA to positively impact the lives of
all children and families. By passing this resolution, we are telling
our children, their teachers, and their schools that we, as their
parents and guardians, are here for them, to support them as they
learn how to navigate the challenges ahead and protect their future. I
can't imagine a more important positive impact."

California State PTA involves nearly one million Californians who
support the education and well-being of children in the state. The
resolution will be submitted to the National PTA for its

For the draft text of the resolution (PDF), visit: 

And for Voices for Climate Change Education, visit: 


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

* Minda Berbeco relating her role in the California PTA's resolution on climate: 

* Glenn Branch inventorying the pallbearers at Darwin's funeral in 1882: 

* Minda Berbeco dispelling misconceptions about climate and weather: 

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: 

Read Reports of the NCSE on-line: 

Subscribe to NCSE's free weekly e-newsletter: 

NCSE is on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter: 

NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today!