In part 1, I was describing how Kanawha County, West Virginia, almost anticipated Dover, Pennsylvania, in provoking the first legal case over the constitutionality of teaching “intelligent design” in the public schools. After a proposed equal-time-for-creation-science policy was unsuccessful in 1999, local Kanawha creationists regrouped with a campaign to press for the purchase of copies of the creationist textbook Of Pandas and People. NCSE was asked to inform the school district about what was wrong with the textbook, and complied, with Molleen Matsumura sending a superb detailed letter and plenty of supporting information to the superintendent of schools. What was the upshot?

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I’ve been volunteering in the NCSE archives since I retired, and it’s been a lot of fun rummaging through old files. I came across one this week that brought me up short, because its contents suggested the possibility that the 2005 “intelligent design” trial, Kitzmiller v. Dover, could have played out five years earlier, in West Virginia.

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Eugenie Clark, via Wikimedia CommonsThe recent death of Eugenie Clark, the famous ichthyologist, was sad news, though not unexpected. After a very full and productive life, she died at 92. Her passing reminded me of an article I wrote back in 2011 that I thought I might share with you on the Science League of America. Read on.


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You can’t say we didn’t try.

As Stephen Colbert ends his long run as the bombastic, willfully ignorant television talk show host of The Colbert Report, I’m wistful that we never landed him as a Steve.

stephen colbert

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When someone says, “the science isn’t settled yet—it’s too soon to make a decision,” why are we suspicious?

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