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National Center for Science Education
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{{short description|Nonprofit supporting the teaching of evolution and climate change.}}







factoids
}}The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a not-for-profit membership organization in the United States whose stated mission is to educate the press and the public on the scientific and educational aspects of controversies surrounding the teaching of evolution and climate change, and to provide information and resources to schools, parents, and other citizens working to keep those topics in public school science education. Based in Oakland, California, it claims 4,500 members that include scientists, teachers, clergy, and citizens of varied religious and political affiliations.WEB,weblink About NCSE, January 2012, National Center for Science Education,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120119181010weblink">weblink January 19, 2012, "Frequently Asked Questions about NCSE". January 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012. The Center opposes the teaching of religious views in science classes in America's public schools; it does this through initiatives such as Project Steve. The Center has been called the United States' "leading anti-creationist organization".BOOK, The Panda's Black Box, Nathaniel C., Comfort, Nathaniel C. Comfort, Introduction, Daniel J., Kevles, Daniel J. Kevles,weblink 6, Johns Hopkins University, 9780801885990, 494445311, The Center is affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.WEB, AAAS Affiliates,weblink American Association for the Advancement of Science, 17 March 2013,

History

In 1980 Stanley L. Weinberg, a veteran high-school teacher in Iowa, began to organize statewide Committees of Correspondence "committed to the defense of education in evolutionary theory," modelled upon the committees of correspondence in pre-Revolutionary America. Their purpose was to keep interested parties informed about creationist endeavours and to share ideas for responses, allowing a political response at a local level. This grew into volunteer networks in most states, with the Creation/Evolution Newsletter interconnecting them,Numbers(2006) p353 which was incorporated as the NCSE in 1983.History of NCSE, National Center for Science Education In 1987, author and lecturer Eugenie Scott, who holds a PhD in Physical Anthropology, became its executive director.Tom McIver in Isis, quoted in Eugenie C. Scott's Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction, National Center for Science Education The Board of Directors and official supporters, as explained by NCSE, "reflects our scientific roots."QUOTE, March 2011, In the 1990s, based upon its monitoring of creationist efforts, it issued warnings of high levels of official anti-evolutionism and a "sharp surge upwards" in creationist attacks on evolution, including attempts to downgrade evolution from "fact" to "theory" (see evolution as theory and fact) or present the "evidence against evolution" (see objections to evolution).Numbers(2006) p2The organization's supporters include Bruce Alberts, former President of the National Academy of Sciences; Donald Johanson, discoverer of the "Lucy" fossil; and evolutionary biologist Francisco J. Ayala. Also the late paleontologist and writer Stephen Jay Gould was a long-time supporter. As of 2012, the group has 4500 members who are "scientists, teachers, clergy, and citizens with diverse religious and political affiliations."In November 2013 Ann Reid succeeded Eugenie C. Scott as executive director. Eugenie C. Scott served as executive director for 27 years, 1986 to 2013.NEWS,weblink NCSE's new executive director, National Center for Science Education, 2013, 2013-12-23,

Activities and programs

The NCSE acts as a central information and resource (wikt:clearing house|clearinghouse), and helps to coordinate the activities of people fighting creationists. It maintains up-to-date listings of current events and information regarding creationist endeavours and evolution education.Evolution and Creationism, Christian C. Young, Mark A. Largent, 2007 Historian of science Michael Shermer describes its website as being one of "the two best resources on the Internet on the evolution/creation topic" (the other being TalkOrigins Archive).Science Friction: Where the Known Meets the Unknown, Michael Shermer, 2004 The NCSE also opposes intelligent design and other "alternatives" to evolution because it says they are misleading euphemisms for creationism.NEWS,weblink Facing Challenges to Evolution Education, National Center for Science Education, 2008, 2008-11-04, NCSE "is religiously neutral, though it cooperates nationally and locally with religious organizations, as well as scientific and educational organizations like the National Academy of Sciences, the National Association of Biology Teachers, and the National Science Teachers Association." Its willingness to engage positively with, and avoid taking sides against, religiously minded supporters of evolution has been noted by historian of creationism Ronald L. Numbers and atheist author Richard Dawkins.Numbers(2006) p354The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, pp66-67The NCSE offers a variety of lecturers, including biologists, anthropologists, philosophers, and theologians, for topics relating to evolution, science, and education.NEWS,weblink Staff, National Center for Science Education, 2008, 2008-11-04, Also it hosts activities including trips and conferences.NEWS,weblink NCSE Events, National Center for Science Education, 2008, 2008-11-04, It publishes Reports of the National Center for Science Education bimonthly, containing peer-reviewed articles, book reviews, and news.NEWS,weblink Reports of the National Center for Science Education, National Center for Science Education, 2008, 2008-11-04, From 1980 to 1997, it published the Creation/Evolution Journal, which has since been merged into Reports of the National Center for Science Education.WEB,weblink Creation/Evolution Journal, 29 June 2017, Additionally, it publishes books, such as a compilation of scientific analyses of creationist books.NEWS,weblink NCSE Books, National Center for Science Education, 2008, 2008-11-04, In 2003, the NCSE gained international attention with Project Steve.Project Steve, National Center for Science Education, Last updated October 25, 2008, retrieved November 4, 2008.In 2005, the NCSE assisted the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the most prominent case testing the constitutionality of intelligent design in public school science classes, and put their extensive library of creationist materials at the plaintiffs' disposal. Nick Matzke, the NCSE's Public Information Project Director at the time, served as liaison to the legal team, and was responsible for uncovering the substitution of "intelligent design" for "creationism" within drafts of Of Pandas and People, which became a devastating part of the testimony of Barbara Forrest (also an NCSE Director),Deception by Design, Lenny Flank, Lenny Flank, Jr., 2007 and was cited extensively in Judge John E. Jones III's (Wikisource:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District|decision).(Wikisource:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District), p32In April 2008, the NCSE launched Expelled Exposed, a website critical of the alleged documentary (Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed) starring Ben Stein.NEWS,weblink Expelled flunks the test, National Center for Science Education, April 15, 2008, 2007-05-17, The website received press attention and a large amount of traffic.NEWS,weblink Expelled exposed, National Center for Science Education, April 18, 2008, 2007-05-17, In 2012, the NCSE announced they would be engaged in efforts to keep climate change education, and global warming issues, safe from threats from special interests.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130308234531weblink">weblink 2013-03-08, ScienceInsider, Education Advocates Enter the Climate Tempest, Sara, Reardon, January 17, 2012, American Association for the Advancement of Science, They have developed a series of lessons addressing climate change misconceptions and offer teacher training through a Teacher Ambassador program. PODCAST,weblink The Skeptic Zone, www.skepticzone.tv/, Richard Saunders (skeptic), Richard Saunders, January 20, 2019, January 29, 2019,

Media

Eugene Scott appeared on Uncommon Knowledge, as NCSE spokesperson, twice in 2001 debating intelligent design creationist William A. Dembski.NEWS,weblink Darwin Under The Microscope: Questioning Darwinism, December 7, 2001, 2008-07-17,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100610060419weblink">weblink 2010-06-10, Uncommon Knowledge, yes, NEWS,weblink In Whose Image? Evolution and Spirituality, December 7, 2001, 2008-07-17,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080829132820weblink">weblink 2008-08-29, Uncommon Knowledge, Then in 2004, NCSE was represented by Scott on Penn and Teller's Showtime television show (Penn & Teller: Bullshit!|Bullshit!) on the episode "Creationism".NEWS,weblink Creationism, (Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, Bullshit!), 2004, 2008-05-17,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080618023601weblink">weblink 2008-06-18, yes, Scott offered scientific views about the creationist and intelligent design movements. She noted, "it would be unfair to tell students that there is a serious dispute going on among scientists whether evolution took place. There's not." She further noted that "a lot of the time the creationists ... they'll search through scientific journals and try to pull out something they think demonstrates evolution doesn't work and there is a kind of interesting rationale behind it. Their theology is such that if one thing is wrong with the Bible you have to throw it all out so that's why Genesis has to be interpreted literally. They look at science the same way. If one little piece of the evolutionary puzzle doesn't fit the whole thing has to go." Scott then explained "that's not the way science is done."In November 2007 Scott discussed the NCSE's exploration of intelligent design on the NOVA documentary (Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial), which documented Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.NEWS,weblink Judgment Day in the news, November 15, 2007, 2008-05-17,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160427194810weblink">weblink 2016-04-27, National Center for Science Education,

Staff and supporters

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Staff

  • Executive Director: Ann Reid
  • Deputy Director: Glenn Branch
  • Director of Community Science Education: Kate Carter
  • Director of Teacher Support: Brad Hoge
  • Member Relations Manager: Nina Hollenberg
  • Director of Operations: Rae Holzman
  • Director of Development: Deb Janes
  • Editor, Reports of the NCSE: Stephanie Keep
  • Director of Communications: Paul Oh
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Officers and Directors

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Advisory Council

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See also

Notes

{{Reflist}}

References

  • BOOK, Numbers, Ronald, Ronald Numbers, The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, Expanded Edition, Harvard University Press, November 30, 2006, 0-674-02339-0,

External links

{{Creation Science}}

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