National Center for Science Education Unveils New Blog to Combat Anti-Science Teaching

The National Center for Science Education has just unveiled its new blog dedicated to “Defending the Teaching of Evolution & Climate Science.” It features Barbara Forrest and Eugenie Scott, which should be enough of an enticement, but just check out the logo:

Science League of America for the win!

You’re going to want to add this site to your RSS feed.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Mackinz

    I figure that the best way to appeal to people is with a personal touch, and a blog seems to fit perfectly that way.

    Here’s to science!

    • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

      Here here! :)

  • R2D3

    Of course evolution and climate science should be taught! With regard to evolution, Phillip Johnson (Darwin On Trial) said on CNN in 1999: “I think we should teach a lot about evolution. In fact, I think we should teach more than the evolutionary science teachers want the students to know. The problem is what we’re getting is a philosophy that’s claimed to be scientific fact, a lot of distortion in the textbooks, and all the difficult problems left out, because they don’t want people to ask tough questions.”

    • Compuholic

      Most of the time the problem is not that the students don’t ask tough questions. The problem is that they don’t understand enough to even ask intelligent easy questions.

      And the few students who do understand the stuff are usually intelligent enough to find the answers themselves…

    • Bender

      With regard to evolution, Phillip Johnson (Darwin On Trial) said on CNN in 1999

      With regard to evolution, the opinion of a creationist lawyer is worth about shit. If you have a couple functional braincells and some intellectual honesty, which I doubt, read this review to see why that book is crap:

      http://ncse.com/cej/13/2/darwin-prosecuted-review-johnsons-darwin-trial

    • Andy_Schueler

      Indeed, all the difficult problems are left out because a high school science class is not the place to discuss “difficult scientific questions” – it is a place to teach children central scientific issues that are not controversial.
      The “difficult problems” wrt Evolution are discussed in the scientific literature by people that are actually trained to study and discuss these questions. And none of these problems cast doubt on whether Evolution happened or not, all of these problems deal with how exactly Evolution happened.

    • Spuddie

      There are no “evolutionary science teachers”. There are people who teach science. Evolution being the current accepted scientific theory on the subject of biodiversity.

      Evolution is not a belief, it is a scientific theory. A valid framework for interpretation of research in the field. Philosophy has nothing to do with it.
      There are no current scientific theories which challenge it for validity. (Creationism is a cheapened form of religion)
      Phillip Johnson knows nothing of science or its education at a high school level. An appeal to his “authority” is worthless.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      I see your problem. This is an ancient quote from Johnson, and while it appears to be in modern American English, it isn’t. Way back in the 20th century, when computers had mere megabytes of RAM, there was a unique dialect called High-middle Bullshit. It looked a lot like English — it even had superficially the same syntax. But in fact wasn’t. None of those words mean what you think they mean. Here is the quote translated from High-middle bullshit into modern English.

      “I don’t think we should teach evolution correctly. In fact, I think we should ignore most of the evidence for evolution and instead teach supposed ‘problems’ which usually are either gross misrepresentations of facts, or are known to be based of outright falsehoods. The problem is evolution disagrees with my philosophy that I am claiming to be scientific fact. Therefor we should include lot of distortions in the textbooks, and leave all the difficult problems out. Because I don’t want people to ask tough questions about my religion.”

      • Spuddie

        I cannot upvote you enough

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      That’s weird. I could have sworn that Phillip Johnson is a lawyer who wrote a terrible book panned to within an inch of its life for its dishonesty, and who has actually claimed that AIDS is not caused by HIV. But he’s a trained scientist who has found the super-secret “problems” with Evolutionary Theory that millions of other scientists have failed to find while using the theory to do things like save you from dying horribly of disease, you say?

      Huh. Strange. Well, Google is clearly in the pocket of Big Evolution and shouldn’t be trusted to point to information in only a second or two.

  • ImRike

    I like the logo, but I wonder why the people on it look so unhappy? None of them are smiling – science must really be an unpleasant subject!

    • Bitter Lizard

      Because fuck fuckers is why.

    • Monika Jankun-Kelly

      They’re reacting to the likes of O’Reilly trying to explain tides.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Those are their game faces for the gang fight a-brewin’.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    The NCSE site has too much religion on it. Here they offer instructions on how to read the Bible.

  • Art_Vandelay

    Can I get an opinion on this? I was at my niece’s birthday party this past weekend and I had 5 girls tell me that the science teacher at the local high school will always preface her evolution lessons with, “They’re making me teach this to you, but I just want you to know that I don’t believe any of it. I’m a Christian and I believe in the bible.”

    Now of course I’m completely indignant over this as it tends to deflate the hell out of a science about this but would you say this is a transgression in the eyes of the law?

    • Monika Jankun-Kelly

      I would first ask why she’s even teaching science in the first place if she thinks it’s a matter of belief. Let her go teach Sunday school and have someone qualified to teach science take her place.

      Not sure about the legality of her statements. I lean towards this being violation of church / state separation, since she’s interjecting her irrelevant personal religious beliefs into a science class, but I’m no lawyer.

      • Spuddie

        A job is a job. Sunday schools rarely pay very much, if at all. Science and math teachers are hired at a premium in many places. Finding enough people who meet the baseline licensing standards in those fields is difficult enough.

        The legality of the statements are all dependent on whether the teacher is actually trying to teach the Bible in class instead of science. Just saying I believe in the Bible is not going to do much.

        • Art_Vandelay

          Sure it is. It’s going to make all of the indoctrinated kids think that they have to chose one and they can’t believe in God and evolution at the same time (which I tend to agree with by the way but it’s not the teacher’s place to diminish an established scientific theory by proposing an alternate shitty one).

          • Spuddie

            Its in bad taste, counter-productive and can be a legitimate cause for getting fired. Unless he crosses the line and starts teaching Creationism or about his religious faith, then he is just a hair on the right side of legal.

        • Monika Jankun-Kelly

          She is an authority figure in a school, and thus should not be bringing up her religion in class. Given her status as an authority figure, her words do carry tremendous weight. She doesn’t have to explicitly teach her religion for her words to apply implicit pressure on her students to conform to her views.

          I’ve taught. I never brought up my secular views in class, partly because they weren’t relevant, partly because we’re a despised minority, but also largely because it would be an abuse of power for me to do so.

          • Spuddie

            As I told Art Vandelay, it is perfectly legitimate grounds for the teacher to be fired. But it doesn’t go into illegal territory. Not at that stage.

    • Charles

      A few years ago I had an Environmental Biology professor at a community college give a disclaimer about evolution at the start of the semester, but it was directed to the creationists among her students. It was an acknowledgment that many of her students would not accept evolution. Kind of like saying “I know some of you don’t like it but evolution is scientifically correct and is what will be taught in this class”. I was shocked that she felt the need to give a disclaimer in the first place until I remembered I was now living in the mountains of NC.

  • baal

    The guy with the bone looks like he’s seriously considering where to put that bone.

  • Monika Jankun-Kelly

    Hemant, thank you! You made my day with this wonderful post. The logo alone could make my week!

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    The scientists in the logo remind me of the news team from Anchorman just before the rumble started. I really doubt that’s accidental; it’s too awesome.

  • UWIR

    Downvotes be damned, I really have to say that I don’t like how climate change is put in the same category as evolution. You can say that there is a wide body of evidence for climate change, but high school students aren’t going to be presented with that. Instead they’re going to get bullshit like An Inconvenient Truth. At the Monterey Aquarium, there was a display on climate change, and it said something like “For the first time in human history, people are having to deal with a major change in their climate”. You can make all the claims about climate change science you want, but climate change education is crap.

  • Steve Tanton

    Two questions please: Who gets to decide who is a scientist? Who gets to decide what science is correct? (Note: We all have our Ph.D.’s)


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