Evolution and climate education update: July 20, 2018

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Glenn Branch

Jul 20, 2018, 10:16:29 AM7/20/18
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Dear friends of NCSE,

NCSE is featured in a Scientific American story on efforts to improve
evolution education.


"Bringing Darwin Back," published in the August 2018 issue of
Scientific American, discusses efforts to improve evolution education
in the American science classroom -- and NCSE is featured.

NCSE's deputy director Glenn Branch was cited as explaining the "three
distinct phases" of "the war over evolution education": attempts in
the 1920s to ban the teaching of evolution; attempts from the 1970s to
the 1990s to balance the teaching of evolution with biblical
creationism, creation science, or "intelligent design"; and the
current attempts to require or allow teachers to belittle evolution as

"If you can't ban the teaching of evolution, and you can't balance it
with creationism in some form or other, what do you do?" Branch told
Scientific American. "You belittle it, you say evolution is a
theory[,] or you say it's controversial." He added, "Creationists have
been saying this all along. The difference is that now" -- in the wake
of the decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover -- "they don't have anything

Despite the passage of a handful of so-called "academic freedom"
bills, the article argued, "the far larger obstacle for the vast
majority of ordinary science teachers is the legacy of acrimony left
over from the decades of legal battle." Survey data indicate that only
28 percent of high school biology teachers nationally treat evolution
as a central unifying principle of their subject, while 13 percent
explicitly present creationism as scientifically credible, and 60
percent compromise their presentation of evolution.

Accordingly, the article focuses on researchers and teachers who are
studying and applying ways of effectively teaching evolution without
-- in the words of a researcher -- "personal turmoil and student

For "Bringing Darwin Back" (subscription required), visit:

Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website --
https://ncse.com -- 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.
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 600
Oakland CA 94612-2922
fax 510-788-7971

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