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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2015/06/19

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

Good signs for evolution in Turkey after a recent parliamentary
election. And a reminder that you can help NCSE's archives.


When the Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary
majority in the June 7, 2015, election, scientists in Turkey were
"euphoric," according to Nature (June 16, 2015), hoping that the next
parliament will "reverse the creeping restrictions on academic freedom
and the seeping away of scientific standards that have been a feature
of the AKP's 12 years of political domination" -- including the
party's support for creationism.

As NCSE previously reported, there is a long-standing concern about
the state of evolution education in Turkey at both the pre-college and
the university level. A useful review by Zehra Sayers and Zuhal Özcan,
writing in APS News (June 2013), concluded, "Turkey is raising a
generation of biologists/scientists whose grasp of scientific thinking
is flawed and whose ability to participate in modern biology is
correspondingly compromised."

The effects of antievolution activity are felt beyond the classroom as
well. In 2013, for example, the Science and Technological Research
Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK), the main funder of scientific research in
Turkey, denied a funding application for a summer workshop on
evolutionary biology in Turkey on the grounds that "evolution is a
controversial subject," according to Science Insider (July 5, 2013).

In a Pew Research Center survey of Muslims in Turkey asking, "Thinking
about evolution, which comes closer to your view? Humans and other
living things have evolved over time [or] Humans and other living
things have existed in their present form since the beginning of
time," 49% of respondents preferred the former and 35% preferred the
latter. In a survey in the United States in 2014, 65% of respondents
preferred the former and 31% preferred the latter.

For the story in Nature, visit: 

For the article in APS News, visit: 

For the story in Science Insider, visit: 

For the survey data cited (both PDF; p. 132 and p. 43, respectively), visit: 

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


NCSE's archives house a unique trove of material on the
creationism/evolution controversy, and we regard it as part of our
mission to preserve it for posterity -- as well as for occasions such
as Kitzmiller v. Dover, where NCSE's archives helped to establish the
creationist antecedents of the "intelligent design" movement. And we
are beginning to amass a similar trove of material on disputes over
climate change education. We cordially invite you now to help NCSE's
archives keep up-to-date by purchasing books for NCSE through our wish
list at And it's not just books -- gifts of needed
hardware, software, and office equipment are welcome, too! All of
these donations are tax-deductible. We're pleased to report that 278
items have been purchased already, and we thank the donors for their
generosity. You can view the catalogue of books in NCSE's archives at

For NCSE's wishlist at, visit: 

For NCSE's catalogue at LibraryThing, visit: 


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

* NCSE intern Kate Heffernan reviewing the BBC's Climate Change game: 

* Josh Rosenau analyzing attitudes toward evolution and the
environment among different groups of Catholics: 

* Glenn Branch investigating the presence of Darwin's ideas in Civil War camps: 

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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