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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2015/10/23

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

Over three in four Americans accept the reality of global climate
change, according to the latest poll. The Society of Vertebrate
Paleontology honors James Hopson and Donald Prothero. And NCSE is
accepting applications from teachers to join the next NCSE expedition
to the Grand Canyon -- and you can help!


More than three quarters of the American public accepts the reality of
global climate change, according to a new poll. In the latest
University of Texas at Austin Energy poll, 76% of respondents agreed
that global climate change is occurring, while 14% disagreed and 10%
were not sure. The level of agreement is the highest since the poll
started asking the question in 2012.

There was a sharp divide along political lines: 90% of self-identified
Democrats agreed and 3% disagreed that climate change is occurring,
while only 59% of self-identified Republicans agreed and 29%
disagreed. "Political ideology continues to be the single greatest
determinant of Americans' views on climate change," commented the poll
director Sheril Kirshenbaum.

The poll did not directly ask whether respondents attribute climate
change to human activity. But it is suggestive that, among those who
agree that climate change is under way, a majority selected
deforestation, oil, and coal as significant or very significant
contributing factors ("natural forces" was also offered).

The poll was conducted online between September 1 and 15, 2015, among
2019 U.S. residents age 18 and older. "Figures for age, sex,
race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted
where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions
in the population." The overall margin of error for the poll was +/-

For a press release about the poll (PDF), visit: 

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


NCSE is pleased to congratulate James Hopson and Donald Prothero on
their recent awards from the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. At
the SVP's recent meeting in Dallas, Texas, Hopson was presented with
the A. S. Romer - G. G. Simpson medal, the society's highest award,
granted in recognition of sustained and outstanding scholarly
excellence in the discipline of vertebrate paleontology, while
Prothero was presented with the Joseph T. Gregory Service Award,
honoring outstanding service to the welfare of the SVP. Hopson is
Professor Emeritus in the Department of Organismal Biology and
Anatomy; Prothero is a research associate at the Natural History
Museum of Los Angeles County, whose many books include Reality Check:
How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (2013).

For information on the SVP's 2015 awards, visit: 


The National Center for Science Education is pleased to accept
applications for its second class of Grand Canyon Teacher Scholars.
Lucky teachers will be given an all-expenses-paid seat on NCSE's
annual Grand Canyon expedition, an eight-day voyage through some of
the world's greatest geological wonders. It's an opportunity of a
lifetime, giving deserving teachers a hard-earned vacation and an
incomparable learning experience.

For over a dozen years, NCSE has chartered a raft trip through Grand
Canyon, with staffers Steve Newton and Josh Rosenau currently taking
the lead in the unique and tongue-in-cheek "two model" tour of the
canyon's geological history. Rafters descend through the strata,
considering the hundreds of millions of years revealed on the canyon's
walls, and examine how creationists try to explain that same evidence,
and why such efforts are doomed to fail.

"The Grand Canyon is the best geology classroom in the world,"
explains Steve Newton, a programs and policy director at NCSE and a
geology professor at the College of Marin. "There's no better way to
see deep time and explore the processes that shape our Earth than to
raft down the Colorado River as it cuts down through the eons, past
the Great Unconformity, to rocks almost half the age of the Earth."

"Any teacher would be lucky to be chosen for this scholarship," added
Josh Rosenau. "Aside from the wonders of the canyon and the inspired
presentations Steve and I prepare, the great joy of the NCSE
expedition is the mix of scientists, scholars, and brilliant polymaths
who join us. The winning teachers will have a chance to learn from a
lot of brilliant people, and bringing more teachers into the campfire
conversations will enrich all of our experiences."

In a blog post reflecting on his experience during the 2015 Grand
Canyon expedition, Scott Hatfield, a high school biology teacher in
Fresno, California, commented, "NCSE's Grand Canyon Teacher Scholars
program gave me opportunities and experiences that I never would've
achieved on my own, and I would make the voyage again in a heartbeat."
He described the expedition as "the trip of a lifetime."

"We all want to find ways to honor the amazing work science teachers
do, and I'm glad NCSE has this opportunity," explained NCSE executive
director Ann Reid. "It'll be exciting to see all the applicants, and
to give everyone a chance to help give teachers this spectacular
reward." Teachers are encouraged to apply now (the deadline is January
5, 2016), and anyone interesting in helping teachers have this
experience can contribute to the scholarship fund.

For information about the 2016 expedition, visit: 

For Scott Hatfield's blog post about his experience, visit: 

For information on applying for the scholarship, visit: 

And for information about donating to support the scholarship, visit: 


The link for the documentary No Dinos in Heaven provided in the
October 16, 2015, update is no longer working.

For information about No Dinos in Heaven, visit: 


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

* Steven Newton discussing the speleology of the Homo naledi find: 

* Stephanie Keep interviewing the author of a book on evolution for
the preschool reader: 

* Glenn Branch describing the early use of a survey tool in assessing
the effect of William Jennings Bryan's antievolutionism: 

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: 

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