A Great Essay: “The Environmental Movement Is Not About Saving the Earth”

I didn’t hear this when it first premiered in 2006, but Lauren Becker‘s audio essay on Earth Day (which is today in case you missed it) is just fantastic:

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New Poll Shows the Effect of Religious Ignorance on Scientific Issues

According to a new survey by GfK Public Affairs for the Associated Press, we’re dumb. Really, really dumb.

While most Americans understand that smoking causes cancer and that a mental illness affects the brain (real stumper, that one), only 53% are confident about childhood vaccines being safe and effective, 31% confidently accept evolution, and even fewer are confident about the age of the Earth and origin of the universe.

There’s actually a striking contradiction on the list. While only 31% of adults accept human evolution, 65% of them accept microevolution (though not in name) in the sense that overusing antibiotics can lead to drug-resistant bacteria. But what is human evolution but a long series of microevolutions?

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Creationist Complains Because Christian School Only Promotes Creationism, Not Young Earth Creationism

You may recall that Bryan College, a Christian school in Dayton, Tennessee, was considering a change last month to its statement of faith that all faculty members have to sign. It would be revised to include a section regarding the origin of man.

“We believe that all humanity is descended from Adam and Eve. They are historical persons created by God in a special formative act, and not from previously existing life forms.”

In other words, you had to be a Creationist. No room for theistic evolution (much less how it actually happened).

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Actress Alicia Silverstone Joins the “Vaccinate Your Kids Only if You Feel Like It” Club

Following the leads of Jenny McCarthy, Mayim Bialik, and Kristin Cavallari, actress Alicia Silverstone (you remember her from Clueless) is jumping onboard the train of ignorant mothers who eschew vaccinations for their kids because they think they know better than the scientists.

In her new book The Kind Mama, Silverstone writes that vaccines are not necessary:

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How Carl Sagan Talked to His Daughter About Death

Last month, we heard from Carl Sagan‘s son Nick about his father’s legacy.

Now it’s his half-sister’s turn. Writing for New York Magazine, Sasha Sagan tells us about her life growing up, including the time she asked her father about whether he would ever see his deceased parents again:

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