Here are some tips for appearing at school board meetings.
- Show up, stand up, and speak up. Elected school board officials respond to numbers, so try to get as many people as possible to attend the meeting-the school board must not think that opponents of evolution are the only voices in the community. Scatter yourself throughout the audience and applaud those on your side.
- Plan ahead. There is usually little time available for testifying. Avoid redundancy and ensure that all of your essential points are made by deciding which group
Although most of the battle against creationism has focused on the political and legal battles over textbooks and curriculum development, it is important to remember that public opinion plays a major role in determining the material actually taught in biology classrooms. One inexpensive and effective way to educate the public on the nature of science in general, and evolution in particular, is through the editorial pages. Letters to the editor are widely read, and fundamentalists have long used letter campaigns to push their agenda. By promptly detailing the scientific errors in+ read
1. In 1968, in Epperson v. Arkansas, the United States Supreme Court invalidated an Arkansas statute that prohibited the teaching of evolution. The Court held the statute unconstitutional on the grounds that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not permit a state to require that teaching and learning must be tailored to the principles or prohibitions of any particular religious sect or doctrine. (+ read
Many leading scientific and educational groups have expressed support for teaching climate change in college, high school, grade school and informal settings. Here are some of their statements:
National Research Council of the National Academies of Science of the US, Climate Change Education
What can you do to support climate change education in your local community?
- Tell your child’s science teacher that you support climate change education, in the science classes and throughout the curriculum.
- Emphasize that you reject the idea of teaching the controversy over climate change as scientifically inaccurate and pedagogically irresponsible.
- Support the inclusion in climate change education of a discussion of solutions, which helps to allay the possible emotional impact of the topic.
- Ask your child about activities and
Even with the decreasing importance of print media, letters to the editor of your local newspaper are a good way to help to defend climate change education. Following are a few time-tested principles for writing effective letters to the editor.+ read
A controversy over climate change education may involve a public hearing before policymakers — a meeting of a local school board or of a legislative committee, for example. Following are a few time-tested principles for effectively testifying before policymakers.
- Show up, stand up, and speak up. Elected officials respond to numbers, so try to get as many people as possible to attend the meeting. Scatter yourself throughout the audience and (if appropriate) applaud those on your side.
- Plan ahead. There is usually little time available
The earth is about 4.5 billion years old, slightly younger than the oldest objects in the solar system whose ages we have been able to measure.1 But the age of the earth is conceptually a much simpler idea than the age of the universe. We’re all riding the earth together. This means we have simply ignored the fact that the earth has been spinning around its axis, rotating around the sun, spiraling around the Galaxy as our sun orbits the Galactic center roughly every 220 million years, and moving with the Galaxy itself in both the local flow of+ read
Please note: This text is part of Species, Kinds, and Evolution, by John Wilkins, Reports of NCSE 26 (4), 2006.
Summary of 26 species concepts
There are numerous species "concepts" at the research and practical level in the scientific literature. Mayden's (1997) list of 22 distinct species concepts along with synonyms is a useful starting point for a review. I have added authors where I can locate them in addition to Mayden's references, and I have tried to give the concepts
The age of the Earth is 4.54 billion years (Ga or Gyr), a number which geologists have determined by several independent methods. Because of the recycling of crustal rocks by plate tectonics, no direct material from the earliest Earth still exists. However, geologists are able to analyze meteorites and lunar rocks returned by the Apollo missions.
Rocks in the 4-5 Ga range may be dated by measuring ratios of isotopes of uranium/lead, rubidium/strontium, potassium/argon, argon/argon, and neodymium/samarium. One way to judge the reliability of a+ read
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