The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Posts Tagged ‘Charles Darwin’

Help Get Charles Darwin on an E-Book

Posted by mattusmaximus on March 27, 2014

One of the most memorable science and skeptical experiences I had was to organize a Darwin Day event a few years back wherein my local group – Darwin’s Bulldogs – hosted Charles Darwin impersonator and historian Brian “Fox” Ellis.  Brian is an amazing performer, and we packed the room with people who were mesmerized by his work.

Now I’d like to help Brian out with his campaign to create an e-book (that incorporates both audio and video) through a campaign called “History… In Person!” that features Charles Darwin and many other figures of historical and scientific note.  Read on for more information, and please consider donating to his cause…

Darwin impersonator and excellence in science educational policy advocate, Brian “Fox” Ellis is working with a great team of educators, artists and techies to help produce a series of living books, HISTORY… In Person! They are using crowd sourced funding, which means that if you want to support this project you purchase books before-hand to help them move forward. You can be part of this team and produce a living book that you can Print on Demand, read on your tablet, listen to as a podcast and download as video, giving you an intimate encounter with historical characters as portrayed by Brian “Fox” EllisYou get to help decide which characters get produced. Join this crowd sourced funding campaign and win cool perks including a chance to be a costumed character in the film! http://www.Indiegogo.com/projects/history-in-person Share this link on social media and invite your friends to vote! If we get enough folks to support Darwin, he has agreed to offer a free program in the Chicago area for Darwin’s Bulldogs and donate Biography Cards to the Clergy Project! Follow the link and choose your perk for supporting HISTORY… In Person!

 

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“Evolving Universe / Evolving Faith” Series

Posted by mattusmaximus on February 10, 2013

Darwin Day is coming up, and I am happy to announce a new series on the issue of evolution, science, religion, reason, and faith from our friends at The Clergy Letter Project and Darkwood Brew.  The series is titled “Evolving Universe / Evolving Faith” and it starts on Sunday, Feb. 10th; check out the trailer below:

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Tell Congress to Support the Darwin Day Resolution!

Posted by mattusmaximus on February 5, 2013

I am pleased to pass on the news that there is a resolution pending before the U.S. Congress to adopt a resolution in favor of Darwin Day!  There is more information available on how to get in touch with your Representative and Senator from the Freedom From Religion Foundation below…

Ask Congress to adopt Darwin Day

February 5, 2013

Continuing the tradition of former Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) has introduced a resolution designating Charles Darwin’s 204th birthday, Feb. 12, 2013, as Darwin Day. The resolution “recogniz[es] the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.”

Holt was recently quoted in The New York Times as saying, “I hope we can hold hearings, where people can hear about Darwin and science and the jobs it creates, the lives it saves, everything.”

Holt’s resolution touts “the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution,” “the monumental amount of scientific evidence” that supports the theory, and notes that evolution’s “validity … is further strongly supported by the modern understanding of the science of genetics.”

The resolution chastises science-deniers: “the advancement of science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change” and “the teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the United States education systems.”

Our country faces a crisis of ignorance. To the shame of the United States’ international standing, about half of Americans reject evolution. Globally the United States ranks just above Turkey in public acceptance of evolution. How can we compete in a global, technologically advanced community when a majority of U.S. citizens deny basic reality and embrace creationism?

The voices of science and secularism must be heard. Ask the U.S. House to hold Darwin Day hearings.

Take Action Today!

Contact your U.S. Representative to support the resolution and ask for hearings.  To find out who your representative is, type in your zip code on this website http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ to find your representative. Click on their name to contact them.

If you already know who your representative is, find their contact information on this alphabetical list http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Call, email, fax, write, or Facebook them. Do whatever it takes to be heard!

Contact the chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, where the bill was referred, to ask for a hearing.

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) http://science.house.gov/contact-us/email-us 2321 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-6371 Fax: 202-226-0113

Thank Darwin Day Sponsors

Take a moment to thank Rep. Holt. Rep. Holt, a nuclear physicist by training, self-identifies as a Quaker and deserves our gratitude for his efforts. Do feel free to identify yourself as a nonbeliever, atheist, etc., so he knows the secular bloc has clout (and good manners)!

Letters: 1214 Longworth HOB Washington DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-5801 Fax: (202) 225-6025 Webform: https://forms.house.gov/holt/webforms/issue_subscribe.htm (Representative Holt will only accept email from residents of New Jersey.)

While you’re at it, thank Holt’s cosponsors (especially if they represent you). They are:

Rep. Michael Honda (CA-17) Rep. Edward Markey (MA-5) Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) Rep. Jared Polis (CO-2) Rep. Louise Slaughter (NY-25) (If your representative’s name isn’t on this list, ask why not!)

Contact your Senator

Ask your Senator to introduce a Darwin Day resolution, while you’re at it!

Find and contact your U.S. Senators: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Write a letter to the editor

Supporting Darwin Day would make an excellent and timely topic of a letter to the editor to your local or favorite publication. Don’t forget social media and online news comment sections to help spread the word.

Thank you for your activism. Freedom depends on freethinkers, and Darwin Day deserves your support!

Posted in politics, skeptical community | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Darwin Day & Evolution Weekend 2011 Approaches

Posted by mattusmaximus on January 26, 2011

Every year around February, skeptics & science boosters of all stripes join together to celebrate the birthday of Charles Darwin (February 12th) in a series of events outlining evolution & science in general.  I wanted to share with you a couple of good Internet outlets which try to help people connect & organize for these events.  So take some time to look for an event near you, or consider creating your own…

The Clergy Letter Project & Evolution Weekend — Despite what a lot of creationists claim, there are a lot of people out there who both believe in God and accept the science of evolution.  These people are organizing into a series of events during the weekend closest to Darwin’s birthday, and many of the events involve speeches and sermons at religious houses of worship.

The International Darwin Day Foundation — For those of a slightly more secular bent, events commemorating Darwin’s birthday and contributions to science  can also be found here.  In fact, the folks at the IDDF have put together a neat little video outlining why we should all celebrate Darwin Day…

Posted in creationism, skeptical community | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Textbook stickers for all your educational needs

Posted by mattusmaximus on December 21, 2009

If you’ve kept track of various creationist-related nonsense over the years, then you no doubt have heard about their attempts to insert “disclaimer stickers” into biology textbooks.  For example, in the case of the infamous Cobb County debacle, here’s what the sticker looked like…

Of course, this is just another variation on the tired, old creationist tactic where they say schools should “teach the controversy” or “teach all views” and “let the kid’s make up their minds”.

In response to this idiocy, some skeptics & educators have decided to fight fire with fire: by providing textbook stickers for all manner of subjects.  This is done partly as a joke, but the serious side is to illustrate just how stupid & intellectually vacuous this creationist argument really is – here’s a link to the stickers (image below)…

Read the rest of this entry »

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Creationist Kirk Cameron Displays a Whole Lotta Stupid

Posted by mattusmaximus on December 5, 2009

In a recent post, I outlined how creationists Ray Comfort & Kirk Cameron were handing out edited copies of Darwin’s “Origin of Species” in an effort to sabotage the teaching of evolutionary science. Apparently, they visited UCLA recently to promote their edited & twisted version of Darwin’s work, and Kirk Cameron got caught with some pretty tough questioning on video…

Now it’s a bit hard to follow the video in some spots, so I’ll be providing the entire transcript of the video’s text below.   Watching the video and a read through the transcript show pretty clearly that Kirk Cameron doesn’t have the first damn clue as to what he’s talking about.  Hat tip to TechSkeptic at Effort Sisyphus for posting this originally…
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Creationists Ray Comfort & Kirk Cameron “Promote” Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’

Posted by mattusmaximus on November 10, 2009

In the latest installment of the lame attempts by creationists to stifle and distort the teaching of evolution, Christian evangelists Ray Comfort & Kirk Cameron (yes, that guy on Growing Pains) are giving away copies of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species. Except they’re doing that thing that too many creationists love to do… they screw up science in an effort to promote their own narrow religious ideology. Specifically, Comfort’s Christian ministry – Living Waters – has begun a new program called “Origin Into Schools” where they are distributing free copies of a special reprinted edition of Darwin’s work, complete with an introduction by Ray Comfort himself.

The Secular Student Alliance is all over this, so allow me to reference their page on the matter:

Living Waters, the evangelical Christian ministry of Ray Comfort (Banana Man) and Kirk Cameron (sitcom star of Growing Pains), is on a mission to distribute 100,000 copies of a reprinted version of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, with an introduction by Comfort attempting to refute Darwin’s theories.  You can see Comfort’s explanation of the project on their website.  Or, you can download and read the Introduction in PDF form.

The highlights of the introduction, according to Kirk Cameron (who explains the project on YouTube), include “a timeline of Darwin’s life, Adolf Hitler’s undeniable connection with the theory, Dariwn’s racism, his disdain for women and Darwin’s thoughts on the existence of God.”  The introduction also “lists the theory’s many hoaxes.”

David Waters’ column “Origin of the Specious” in the Washington Post,  sums up the project quite nicely.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Darwin’s 200th – Happy Birthday Chuck!

Posted by mattusmaximus on February 12, 2009

Well, this Thursday is the BIG day – it’s the 200th anniversary of that famed naturalist, Charles Darwin, and it also happens to be the 150th anniversary of the publishing of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Seeing as how important the entire scientific concept of evolution is to our daily lives, and Darwin’s specific theory of evolution through natural selection in particular, I think it is only fitting that we pause to honor the man who helped to revolutionize biology & many other aspects of science. It should be noted that evolution is a concept that spans the sciences – in fact, it is so broad-reaching a concept that Scientific American magazine recently called evolution “the most powerful idea in science.”

darwin

In celebration of this event, there are events being organized all over the world. Here are some of the groups organizing these events, so feel free to browse and see if there’s something going on near you! In addition, I’ve included below a series of links specific to learning more about evolution and science in general…

Darwin Day
Evolution Weekend
National Center for Science Education
Understanding Evolution
Understanding Science
Evolution Series from PBS-NOVA

And if you are into taking on the pseudoscientific claims of creationists, then you might find these links of use…

15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense
TalkOrigins Archive
Answers In Genesis BUSTED!
Expelled Exposed: Why Expelled Flunks
Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Panda’s Thumb
Pharyngula
Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial

Last, but not least, I wanted to provide you with a couple of special links. The first is a link to the TalkOrigins Archive and outlines the vast amount of evidence that clearly establishes the reality of evolution. Take some time to read that link (it’s a lot of material) and convince yourself that the evidence for evolution is rock solid.

The second is a hilarious video, basically a challenge to creationists from Answers In Genesis BUSTED!, that asks a lot of questions of creationists which they never seem to address…

In closing, take some time this weekend to celebrate Darwin’s birthday and his great achievements. Have a drink, throw a party, and tell your friends & family about the importance of the man and, more importantly, his contributions to science.

Happy Birthday, Chuck! Wheeeee! :D

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