Daily Archives: February 6, 2009

Evolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie Scott, Second Edition

It’s out! Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction Second Edition is now available on line and in bookstores (or at least it is being shipped out as we speak).

This is the newly revamped edition of Genie Scott’s essential reference supporting the Evolutionist Perspective in the so called “debate” over creationism vs. evolution. The original version of this book was excellent, but this updated version is essential. There is quite a bit of new information in this volume reflecting the fact that quite a few things have happened since the publication of the prior edition.

Scott’s book provides both an overview of the basic evolutionary biology that is under attack by creationists and the creationist arguments themselves. The discussion of the creationist arguments and how to deal with them is especially important, as it is written from the perspective of a very experienced individual, and in in the most useful possible way for a teacher or school administrator.

From the press release:

What’s going on here? Why is the United States the only country where teaching evolution is so controversial? Why are scientists so sure that evolution is good science? Are people of faith truly unable to accept the central principle of modern biology? Is it really “fair” for creationism to be taught alongside evolution? What have the courts said? And will attacks on evolution ultimately undermine not only American education but American competitiveness?

These and many other questions are answered in the 2nd edition of Evolution vs. Creationism, Dr. Eugenie Scott’s lucid and comprehensive look at this ongoing debate. Dr. Scott, one of the leading promoters and defenders of teaching evolution in the schools, dissects these ever-changing efforts to undermine science education. Praised for its balance and comprehensiveness, the book places the issues in today’s headlines into historical, cultural, religious, educational, and scientific perspective as no other book does.

At some levels, the tactics used by creationists to force the teaching of religion in public schools are always the same, but pragmatically they change enough that one must always adjust the counter tactics. The revised edition of Evolution vs. Creationism is updated to take into account recent adjustments to the Intelligent Design strategy. Also, there are always new challenges, court decisions, and other legally relevant outcomes all across the country, and this new volume covers several things that have happened since the first edition.

Just as important are the resources outlined in the book are updated and expanded. If you are a school administrator, teacher, or parent with a child in a public school you need this book as a basic reference. A typical chapter may have legal cases and references for handy reference:

The book has a foreword by Judge John Jones, the federal judge who presided over the Dover case, which in turn is fully covered in Genie’s new book. One gets the impression that Judge Jones was just a little smitten with Genie. In fact, it is rather remarkable that he agreed to write this second foreword (the other is by Nils Eldgridge, by the way). Obviously, Genie Scott is capable of making things happen.

This book is essential for anyone involved in this debate.

Go get it now.

Continue reading Evolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie Scott, Second Edition

Amy Kobuchar Brings Down the House

This was at the Washington Press Club. A sample of her jokes:

“I’d like to make this as short as Bill Richardson’s tenure as Commerce Secretary,” she opened. “I raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends — true story! I know that is the record in the Senate, but in the House it’s held by Barney Frank.” Roars of laughter, even from Frank.

Then she turned to the “great reporters? in this room — all of whom got scooped on the John Edwards story by the National Enquirer.” She promised not to be too rough with them, though, since “I’m all about protecting endangered species.”

Perhaps best of all: “Typically a Republican and a Democrat speak at this — you could have saved a lot of money by asking Joe Lieberman.” […]

She may have even been too funny. One line — that her position as a member of the subcommittee on oceans from Minnesota was as incongruous as an ethics committee member from Illinois — led an audience wag to crack that, “she may be on the committee on oceans for a long time.”

Source of story: MnIndy
Hat Tip: Ana T. Blogless


i-ada6d6663e8e227a9c4a2ad6d417d7af-car15.jpgI am hosting The Giant’s Shoulders this month. Please get me your submissions by the 15th. Hint: Darwin’s birthday is this month. Hint: Darwin was a giant. Do Darwin!

Send submissions via the blog carnival submission thingie.

  • Berry Go Round #13: Winter-Tough is here, at Watching The World Wake Up.
  • The Carnival of the Blue #21 is here, at The Oyster’s Garter.
  • Brain Blogging, Forty-Third Edition is here, at Brain Blogger.
  • I and the Bird #93: The Compelling Nature of Birds is at Vickie Henderson’s place.
  • Grand Rounds 5(20) is at Not Totally Rad.
  • Festival of the Trees 32 is at Treeblog.
  • Mendel’s Garden, 28th Edition is here, at Quintessence of Dust.
  • Change of Shift: Welcome to The Fishbowl is at Digital Doorway.
  • The Accretionary Wedge #15: Pondering the geological future of Earth is at Clastic Detritus
  • Carnival of Evolution is Here and Here.
  • Gene Genie #43: Personal genomics, health and evolution is here.
  • Carnival of the Arid #1 is HERE at Coyote Crossing
  • History Carnival # 73 is here.
  • Have you visited Quiche Moraine?

More on the Fiscal Threat to Science (Your action needed)

This is direct from Shawn Otto:

This is direct from Shawn Otto:

Several people have emailed suggestions I will share with everyone:

1. WHAT TO DO: call and email your two U.S. senators. Contact from a constituent on a wonky issue like this will have enormous influence. Calling is better than email, but do both if you can.

Go here to find your Senator, and select your state in the drop down box in the upper right hand corner.

Tell them in your own words to reject the reduction effort in the stimulus bill led by Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) when it comes to science.

Note that most Senator’s web pages contain a form (e.g. – CONTACT ME) that you can fill out to contact the Senator. Also, use your own words since identical messages get rejected by the Senators’ staff. You can adapt language from my previous email or from below, but be sure to personalize it.


A) Science & technology have produced half of the economic growth of the United States since WWII.

B) Spending on basic research is the single greatest economic engine this country has ever known.

C) Funding to federal granting agencies is about as “shovel-ready” a stimulus as you can get. If the granting agencies lower their score thresholds for awards across the board the money will be flowing within months, leading to rapid hiring and increased purchasing from technical service and supply companies that are largely American, and creating thousands of the kinds of high-quality jobs the country needs.

Science Funding In Jeopardy


I just received this note from Sean Otto of ScienceDebate 2008:

I am writing to alert you to efforts underway this morning to zero out a large portion of the science funding from the Senate American Reinvestment and Recovery Act as a part of a $77.9B reduction effort led by Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

As you know better than most, science and technology are responsible for half of the economic development of the United States since WWII and yet, if current trends hold, some, such as the Business Roundtable, have predicted that 90% of all scientists and engineers will live in Asia within 5 years.

The United States simply MUST renew our investment in the single greatest economic engine this country has ever known. Small federal investments in scientific research have helped produce things like the internet and the transistor that have consistently delivered multi-trillion dollar economies.

The United States is at a critical juncture, and if this concerns you we suggest now would be a time to contact your Senators and urge them to support science funding. Here is what is being proposed to be cut from the bill, according to TPM:

NASA exploration $750,000,000 = 50%
NSF $1,402,000,000 = 100%
NOAA $427,000,000 = 34.94%
NIST $218,000,000 = 37.91%
DOE energy efficiency & renewable energy $1,000,000,000 = 38%
DOE office of science $100,000,000 = 100%

More details here.

Every state (except mine) has two senators. You need to contact them immediately in order to fix this. Find your senator here