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Josh Rosenau's presentation at West Virginia University's symposium on science communication.

Josh Rosenau's presentation at West Virginia University's symposium on science communication.

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  • There is a useful way to From physicist James Trefil : A consumer’s Guide to Pseudoscience\nWhere does evol fit in this? It’s a core idea\n-Useful to help students understand this principle by teaching evol as being composed of three parts\n
  • There is a useful way to From physicist James Trefil : A consumer’s Guide to Pseudoscience\nWhere does evol fit in this? It’s a core idea\n-Useful to help students understand this principle by teaching evol as being composed of three parts\n
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  • Singling out evolution \n
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  • (routine)\n-as of Feb 07, DI claimed >700 scientists on list\n
  • (routine)\n-as of Feb 07, DI claimed >700 scientists on list\n
  • (routine)\n-as of Feb 07, DI claimed >700 scientists on list\n
  • (routine)\n-as of Feb 07, DI claimed >700 scientists on list\n
  • (routine)\n-as of Feb 07, DI claimed >700 scientists on list\n
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  • Dobzhansky was clear about the fundamental importance of evolution, but looking at NCSE's Voices for Evolution, it's clear that he was not alone.  That book collects statements … from hundreds of societies, including the AAAS and many other scientific societies\n
  • from hundreds of societies, including the AAAS and many other scientific societies, but also societies of educators, civil libertarians, and religious leaders, emphasizing the importance of teaching evolution, and arguing against the teaching of religious attacks on evolution.  We always want more statements, so if your professional societies aren't represented in here, get cracking! … Further endorsement of Dobzhansky's maxim comes from a petition\n
  • from hundreds of societies, including the AAAS and many other scientific societies, but also societies of educators, civil libertarians, and religious leaders, emphasizing the importance of teaching evolution, and arguing against the teaching of religious attacks on evolution.  We always want more statements, so if your professional societies aren't represented in here, get cracking! … Further endorsement of Dobzhansky's maxim comes from a petition\n
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  • to follow Dobzhansky's maxim.\n

Controversies, scientific and otherwise Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Controversies, scientific and otherwise Josh Rosenau National Center for Science Education
  • 2. What is a scientific controversy?
  • 3. COREFrontier
  • 4. COREFrontier
  • 5. COREFrontier Fringe
  • 6. Are these controversies?
  • 7. Are these controversies?Gravity
  • 8. Are these controversies?GravityString theory
  • 9. Are these controversies?GravityString theoryAlchemy
  • 10. Are these controversies?GravityString theoryAlchemyGroup selection/kin selection
  • 11. Are these controversies?GravityString theoryAlchemyGroup selection/kin selectionEvolution
  • 12. Are these controversies?GravityString theoryAlchemyGroup selection/kin selectionEvolutionGlobal warming
  • 13. Opinion TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution Vol.18 No.10 October 2003 499Evolution: what’s wrong with‘teaching the controversy’Eugenie C. Scott1 and Glenn Branch11 National Center for Science Education, PO Box 9477, Berkeley CA 94709-0477 USAA new slogan in the fight against evolution education in biological evidence as they see why it matters to a bigthe USA and elsewhere is ‘teach the controversy’. question’ [3]. The thought does not originate with theAlthough there are scientific controversies about the ‘intelligent design’ movement, however. The Institute forpatterns and processes of evolution that are appropri- Creation Research (ICR), the oldest major antievolutionistate topics for the science classroom, and there is a con- organization in the USA, recommends that students andtinuing social controversy in certain circles about the teachers be ‘encouraged to discuss the scientific infor-validity of evolution, it is scientifically inappropriate mation that supports and questions evolution and itsand pedagogically irresponsible to teach that scientists underlying assumptions, to promote the development ofseriously debate the validity of evolution. critical thinking skills’ (emphasis in original) [4]. The intent is not to have students investigate controversiesAntievolutionists swarmed out of the woodwork recently, about patterns and processes within evolutionary theory,as Ohio prepared to adopt new statewide science education but to debate whether evolution occurred.standards – guidelines that specify what scientific knowl- Presenting all sides of a controversial issue appeals toedge and abilities students in the state’s public schools are popular values of fairness, openness and equality ofexpected to acquire – that accorded a central place to opportunity. It thus plays well with the public. But it isevolution. The situation in Ohio is not unusual for the important to examine any such appeal carefully, because itUSA. Although there is no serious dispute among Eugenie C. Scott and Glenn Branch, is easy to abuse the public’s willingness to be swayed byscientists about the scientific credentials of evolutionary such a call. Consider the following appeal: ‘students should TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution 18(10):499-502biology, a significant proportion of the American public be encouraged to investigate the […] controversy the same
  • 14. When to“teach the controversy”
  • 15. When to “teach the controversy”Of interest to audience
  • 16. When to “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientific
  • 17. When to “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientificEqual availability of information on all sides
  • 18. When to “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientificEqual availability of information on all sidesEqual quality of materials on all sides
  • 19. When to “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientificEqual availability of information on all sidesEqual quality of materials on all sidesUnderstandable by audience
  • 20. When to “teach the controversy”Of interest to audiencePrimarily scientificEqual availability of information on all sidesEqual quality of materials on all sidesUnderstandable by audienceScientific equivalency of all sides
  • 21. 136 co-authors!Plus 17 authors of 4 other letters, all rebutting Nowak et al. … 2 more pages!
  • 22. Evo-Devo
  • 23. Evo-Devo
  • 24. SynthiaEvo-Devo
  • 25. SynthiaEvo-Devo Evolving RNA enzymes
  • 26. SynthiaEvo-Devo Artificial biochemistry Evolving RNA enzymes
  • 27. Darwin, 1837
  • 28. So why do people callevolution controversial?
  • 29. Tennessee
  • 30. Tennessee
  • 31. Tennessee
  • 32. Check the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
  • 33. PubmedCheck the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
  • 34. PubmedGoogle Scholar Check the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
  • 35. Pubmed Well-sourcedGoogle Scholar Check the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
  • 36. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar Check the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
  • 37. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar (Check the references Check the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
  • 38. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar (Check the references and the Talk page) Check the literature! Consensus statements from scientific bodies
  • 39. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar (Check the references and the Talk page) Check the literature!Credible science blogs Consensus statements from scientific bodies
  • 40. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar (Check the references and the Talk page) Check the literature!Credible science blogs Consensus statements(Who do they link, and from scientific bodies
  • 41. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar (Check the references and the Talk page) Check the literature!Credible science blogs Consensus statements(Who do they link, and from scientific bodieswhat do people linking
  • 42. Pubmed Well-sourced Wikipedia entriesGoogle Scholar (Check the references and the Talk page) Check the literature!Credible science blogs Consensus statements(Who do they link, and from scientific bodieswhat do people linking to them say?)
  • 43. Scientific OrganizationsBrief of Amici Curiae by 56 Scientific Organizations in Selman v. Cobb County Alabama Academy of Science (1981) Alabama Academy of Science (1994) American Anthropological Association (1980) American Anthropological Association (2000) American Association for the Advancement of Science (1923) American Association for the Advancement of Science (1972) American Association for the Advancement of Science (1982) American Association for the Advancement of Science (2002) AAAS Commission on Science Education American Association of Physical Anthropologists American Astronomical Society (1982) American Astronomical Society (2000) American Astronomical Society (2005) American Chemical Society (1981) American Chemical Society (2005) American Geological Institute
  • 44. http://ncse.com/voices
  • 45. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology“While there may be some disagreement aboutthe details of evolution, it is not a controversial theory among scientists. Rather, there is overwhelming scientific consensus that evolution is a valid explanation for the development of species. Although students should be encouraged to think critically about all ideas, introducing false controversy into science classes will ultimately impair science education.”
  • 46. Columbia Journalism Review, 2005
  • 47. What can we do?
  • 48. Make politicalcontroversy political
  • 49. Resist false balance
  • 50. Opinions don’t differ onthe shape of the Earth.
  • 51. Shift to a real debate (Neutralism vs. adaptationism, not evolution vs. creationism)
  • 52. http://ncse.comhttp://facebook.com/evolution.ncse http://twitter.com/ncse