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NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2016/03/25

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

The Idaho legislature puts the kibosh on a new set of state science
standards. And the latest climate poll from Gallup.

SCIENCE STANDARDS DEFINITIVELY REJECTED IN IDAHO

With the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 140 by both the House
of Representatives and the Senate in the Idaho legislature, the Idaho
state science standards adopted in 2015 have been definitively
rejected. (Previous coverage, including from NCSE, prematurely
described the rejection as occurring when the House and Senate
Education Committees both voted to reject the standards in early
February 2016.)

Although the House and Senate Education Committees were quiet about
the content of the standards, instead objecting to the lack of
opportunity for public comments, there was reason to think that
hostility toward the inclusion of evolution and climate change in the
standards played a role in the committees' decisions to reject the new
standards, as NCSE previously reported. The old, pre-2015, standards
will remain in effect.

For information about Idaho's Senate Concurrent Resolution 140, visit:
https://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2016/SCR140.htm 

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

THE LATEST CLIMATE POLL FROM GALLUP

A record was broken in a new poll from Gallup, which found that 65% of
Americans believe that increases in the earth's temperature over the
last century are due more to "the effects of pollution from human
activities" than to "natural causes in the environment that are not
due to human activities." According to Gallup, "This represents a
striking 10-percentage-point increase in the past year and is four
points above the previous high of 61% in 2007."

Speculating on the cause of the increase, Gallup suggested, "Several
years of unseasonably warm weather -- including the 2011-2012,
2012-2013 and 2015-2016 winters -- has potentially contributed to this
shift in attitudes. If that's true, continuation of such weather
patterns would likely do more than anything politicians and even
climate-change scientists can to further raise public concern."

The poll also asked respondents whether they believed that most
scientists believe that global warming is occurring, most scientists
believe that global warming is not occurring, or most scientists are
unsure. Sixty-five percent of respondents selected the first option --
which is correct -- while 7% selected the second option, 25% selected
the third option, and 3% expressed no opinion.

The poll was "based on telephone interviews conducted March 2-6, 2016,
with a random sample of 1,019 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all
50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the
total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is +/-4
percentage points at the 95% confidence level." Both cellphone and
landlines were used; numbers were selected using random-digit-dial
methods.

For Gallup's press release about the poll, visit:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/190010/concern-global-warming-eight-year-high.aspx 

For the topline results (PDF), visit:
http://www.gallup.com/file/poll/190055/Global_Warming_Trends_160316%20.pdf 

And for NCSE's collection of polls and surveys on climate, visit:
http://ncse.com/polls/polls-climate-change 

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:

* Josh Rosenau explaining the many ways in which teachers can access
the scientific literature:
http://ncse.com/blog/2016/03/teachers-access-to-scientific-literature-is-priceless-0016972 

* Stephanie Keep welcoming glyptodonts to the armadillo family:
http://ncse.com/blog/2016/03/glyptodonts-weren-t-just-armadillo-cousins-they-were-0016976 

* Glenn Branch examining a strange claim from a biographer of Darwin:
http://ncse.com/blog/2016/03/did-darwin-fear-priestley-s-fate-0016824 

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.
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 600
Oakland CA 94612-2922
510-601-7203
fax 510-788-7971
branch@ncse.com 
http://ncse.com 

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

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http://reports.ncse.com 

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