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EvoEcoLab

Explorations and ideas at the intersection between Evolution and Ecology

NCSE Picks Fight Against Climate Science Deniers

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The National Center for Science Education is a wonderful institution dedicated to fighting junk science from entering our Nation's schools and media. This is a tireless and often thankless job, yet there are so few "think tank" type organizations to promote science standards out there that they really stand out. I had the fortune 2 years ago to visit their offices and was impressed by how passionate the staff were and what they could accomplish out of a tiny office and a garage to store their immense archives.

NCSE is best know for fighting creationism in schools and provided crucial assistance during the landmark Dover Trial and battles over intelligent design legislation throughout several states. Now, they are turning their attention to climate change denial - a wholly other beast! See this brief video below.

The fight over evolution and intelligent design/creationism was essentially a legal one hinging on a loose definition of religion entering public school classrooms. Naturally, there is much more to it than that, but i want to make a point that the climate change denial fight is not necessarily a legal battle much like the the religious infiltration of ID was. This makes it a much more difficult fight! It is mostly an education campaign, not a legal campaign. Curiously, though, the tactics of climate change deniers are all too familiar! They have borrowed and mirrored many of the strategies (and in fact, people) from ID proponents.

I've long been a supporter of NCSE when I could afford membership. I think it's time to make that small financial sacrifice once again to support their noble efforts at improving the standards of science education in America. If you think this is about single issues, like teaching evolution or climate change in grade school, then you are dead wrong. This is about the deceitful infiltration of an anti-science politico-cultural agenda into the most vulnerable sector of society, our nations publicly-funded schools. The country can regain its prominence as a science beacon in the world once again, but it takes organisations like NCSE to help and ordinary citizens like you and I to care.

UPDATE: Steve Mirksy has a podcast interview with Eugenie Scott about this new initiative from NCSE right here on Scientific American! Some really great points made by Eugenie by about parallels between evolution and climate change denialism.

*Earth photo credit: Modified from a NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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