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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2015/08/21

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

Latino views on climate change in a new poll, and a proposal to extend
summer vacation in Kentucky to benefit the "ark park."


A new poll of Latinos in the United States finds that a large majority
-- more than four fifths -- accept that climate change is real, and
that a majority -- almost two thirds -- accept that climate change is
mostly due to human activity.

Asked "Do you think global warming and climate change are mostly
caused by human activities; caused mostly by natural changes in the
environment; other; or none of the above because global warming and
climate change isn't [sic] happening," 66% of respondents preferred
the first answer, 31% preferred the second answer, 3% preferred the
third answer, and 6% preferred the fourth answer, with 3% saying that
they didn't know.

In a memorandum about the poll, Latino Decisions -- which conducted
the poll for Earthjustice and GreenLatinos -- commented, "Latinos,
more than other Americans, see climate change as a consequence of
human activity. Almost two-thirds (66%) accept anthropogenic
explanations of global warming. Comparing our results to other
national surveys of the broader population, the differences are around
14 percentage points."

The memorandum explains, "The survey, fielded between June 24 and July
8, [2015,] is based on a national sample of 1,200 Latino registered
voters who were interviewed by landline, cell and on-line in English
and Spanish. The survey has a nominal margin-of-error of +/- 2.8%."

For the memorandum (PDF), visit: 

And for NCSE's collection of polls and surveys on climate, visit: 


Will Kentucky extend the duration of summer vacation in order to
enable students to attend a creationist attraction? Two state senators
plan to file a bill that would "prevent schools from starting earlier
than the first Monday closest to Aug. 26," according to the Grant
County News (August 12, 2015), in the hope of boosting tourist
spending. Damon Thayer (R-District 17), the prospective sponsor of the
bill along with Chris Girdler (R-District 15), told the newspaper,
"Grant County is set to become a major tourist destination due to the
presence of the Ark."

Thayer was referring to Ark Encounter, a Noah's-ark-themed attraction
under construction by the young-earth creationist ministry Answers in
Genesis, which also operates a "museum" in Kentucky. In 2011, the
Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority voted to grant tax
incentives -- in the form of retained sales taxes -- to the Ark
Encounter project, but that decision was reversed in 2014, as NCSE
previously reported. Answers in Genesis and its allies are currently
suing the state in federal court over the reversal: the case is Ark
Encounter, LLC et al v. Stewart et al.

Educators in Kentucky have reportedly been cool to the idea of the
state requiring local schools to start later in the year, citing both
the ideal of local control of education and the danger of impairing
student learning. Chris Brady, a member of the Jefferson County School
Board, told Insider Louisville (August 14, 2015), "Tourism is
important to the state, but it's not as important as education. And
these decisions are made with the kids' best education interest in
mind. I'm sensitive to the fact that we want to boost our tourism, but
not at the expense of our kids' education."

Simon Brown of Americans United for Separation of Church and State
commented on the organization's blog (August 18, 2015), "It is long
past time for Kentucky's lawmakers to stop assisting the Ark Park in
every way possible because it is a First Amendment issue when
government props up a project with a clear religious mission. And if
Ham's attraction will be as popular as he claims, he won't need any
help from taxpayers. But if politicians like Thayer and Girdler insist
on keeping the Ark Park afloat, they will find themselves embroiled in
more controversy."

For the story in the Grant County News, visit: 

For the story in Insider Louisville, visit: 

For Simon Brown's blog post, visit: 

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


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

* Josh Rosenau returning to the complex history of science and race: 

* Glenn Branch discussing the 1922 creationist opus God -- or Gorilla: 

* Stephanie Keep commenting on misreporting on the origin of octopuses: 

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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