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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2015/06/05

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

Zack Kopplin continues to document the teaching of creationism in
Louisiana's public schools. Plus a preview of Tools for Critical
Thinking in Biology, a new milestone for NCSE's presence on Facebook,
and the debut of NCSE's new Teacher Network.

CREATIONISM REVEALED IN LOUISIANA SCHOOLS, CONTINUED

"We will read in Genesis and them [sic] some supplemental material
debunking various aspects of evolution from which the student will
present." So wrote a Louisiana science teacher to her principal, as
quoted by Zack Kopplin, writing in Slate (June 2, 2015).

In his article, Kopplin continued his presentation of evidence that
the teaching of creationism is prevalent in Louisiana's public
schools. As in his earlier article for Slate (April 21, 2015), he
relied on material obtained from various Louisiana school districts
via public records requests.

NCSE's Josh Rosenau commented, "We know that one in eight high school
biology teachers advocate for creationism, even though it's
unconstitutional," but also suggested that the so-called Louisiana
Science Education Act may have encouraged Louisiana's teachers to do
so.

"Louisiana politicians have supported the Science Education Act
because they intended it to allow creationism in the classroom,"
Kopplin observed, noting that the proponents of the bill in the
legislature as well as the governor have conceded as much.

Welcoming the prospect of a lawsuit over the revelations produced by
his public records requests, Kopplin concluded, "But for the moment,
because Louisiana politicians refuse to take action, Louisiana
students are reading Genesis in science class."

For Kopplin's articles in Slate, visit:
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/06/louisiana_science_education_school_boards_principals_and_teachers_endorse.html 
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/04/creationism_in_louisiana_public_school_science_classes_school_boards_and.single.html 

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events in Louisiana, visit:
http://ncse.com/news/louisiana 

A PREVIEW OF TOOLS FOR CRITICAL THINKING IN BIOLOGY

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Stephen H. Jenkins's Tools
for Critical Thinking in Biology (Oxford University Press, 2015). The
preview consists of chapter 5, "From Causes to Consequences:
Considering the Weight of Evidence." Causation in biology often takes
place through complex webs, Jenkins explains, taking as his central
examples "the hypotheses that sea otters are a keystone species in
nearshore marine environments and that killer whales caused a crash in
the population of sea otters in the Aleutian Islands in the 1990s."

"An expert biologist and wonderful teacher who cares deeply about his
students -- and now about us, his audience -- [Jenkins] has the knack
of a science journalist to turn scientific investigation into a series
of fascinating stories. In the process of reading about research into
the amazing behaviors of a variety of critters, the genetic basis of
diseases, and much else, we almost painlessly learn to think
critically about claims, evidence, and argument. What emerges is the
realization that we don't have to be experts in order to ask
intelligent, probing questions," writes Thomas Nickles.

For the preview of Tools for Critical Thinking in Biology (PDF), visit:
http://ncse.com/book-excerpt 

For information about the book from its publisher, visit:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/tools-for-critical-thinking-in-biology-9780199981045?cc=us&lang=en& 

FACEBOOK: N > 100,000

A milestone: there are now over 100,000 fans of NCSE's Facebook page.
Why not join them, by visiting the page and becoming a fan by clicking
on the "Like" box by NCSE's name? You'll receive the latest NCSE news
delivered straight to your Facebook Home page, as well as updates on
evolution-related and climate-related topics. Or if you prefer your
news in 140-character chunks, follow NCSE on Twitter. And while you're
surfing the web, why not visit NCSE's YouTube channel, with hundreds
of videos for your watching pleasure? It's the best place on the web
to view talks by NCSE's staff, including the recent series of activist
workshop webinars.

For NCSE's Facebook page, Twitter feed, and YouTube channel, visit:
http://www.facebook.com/evolution.ncse 
http://twitter.com/ncse 
http://www.youtube.com/NatCen4ScienceEd 

NCSE'S NEW TEACHER NETWORK

NCSE is pleased to announce the debut of the NCSE Teacher Network. Are
you teaching climate change or evolution in your K-12 classroom? Are
you interested in finding quality materials on these topics to use?
Are you wondering how to deal with challenges? Join the NCSE Teacher
Network!

Members of the network will receive a free monthly e-newsletter
containing recommendations of quality materials on climate change and
evolution, strategy and advice -- written by teachers for teachers --
on dealing with challenges, and opportunities to hear about the latest
in NCSE's educational initiatives.

In addition to the e-newsletter, the NCSE Teacher Network will be
participating in social media on Facebook
(https://www.facebook.com/pages/NCSEteach/820855294655868) and on 
Twitter (https://twitter.com/NCSEteach). K-12 teachers (and others) 
are welcome to enroll in the NCSE Teacher Network on NCSE's website.

For enrollment in NCSE's new Teacher Network, visit:
http://ncse.com/taking-action/teachers 

For NCSE's Teacher Network on Facebook and Twitter, visit:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/NCSEteach/820855294655868 
https://twitter.com/NCSEteach 

WHAT'S NEW FROM THE SCIENCE LEAGUE OF AMERICA

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

* Minda Berbeco relating how one teacher dealt with proselytizing
against evolution:
http://ncse.com/blog/2015/05/science-teaching-science-talking-0016391 

* Guest blogger Karen James lamenting the derailment of the NGSS in Maine:
http://ncse.com/blog/2015/06/ngss-blocked-maine-scientist-speaks-out-0016415 

* Stephanie Keep complaining of teleological language in Science News:
http://ncse.com/blog/2015/05/say-what-big-fail-science-news-magazine-0016394 

And much more besides!

For The Science League of America, visit:
http://ncse.com/blog 

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

--
Sincerely,

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
800-290-6006
branch@ncse.com 
http://ncse.com 

Check out NCSE's new blog, Science League of America:
http://ncse.com/blog 

Read Reports of the NCSE on-line:
http://reports.ncse.com 

Subscribe to NCSE's free weekly e-newsletter:
http://groups.google.com/group/ncse-news 

NCSE is on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter:
http://www.facebook.com/evolution.ncse 
http://www.youtube.com/NatCen4ScienceEd 
http://twitter.com/ncse 

NCSE's work is supported by its members. Join today!
http://ncse.com/join