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Atmosphere of Hope

Featuring: 
Benjamin D. Santer, Ph.D., NCSE board member; Tim Flannery; Rebecca Shaw

Time: 
6:30pm
Date: 
November 10, 2015
Location: 

Commonwealth Club of California
555 Post Street
San Francisco CA 94102

A Climate One event at the Commonwealth Club.

People concerned about climate disruption sometimes mope around like the fictional character Eeyore, convinced that humanity is doomed. But cause for hope is everywhere. Clean energy is advancing rapidly and people around the world are realizing the benefits of moving away from fossil fuels. Citizens are also learning to live with severe weather and the fires, floods and droughts that it brings.

When Tim Flannery, an Australian scientist, came to Climate One several years ago he said California’s future happens first in Australia. He was right. Our current drought is so similar to Australia’s Big Dry that Sacramento officials last year sent a delegation down under to learn from it. What else can California learn from Australia? Can Australia’s carbon price come back from the dead? What does the latest science tell us about how the climate is changing?

Join us for a conversation about science, hope, and solutions.

Tickets are $12 for members of the Commonwealth Club, $20 for non-members, $7 for students with identification.

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Gems from the Quote Mines

Featuring: 
Glenn Branch, NCSE Deputy Director

Time: 
7:30pm
Date: 
November 12, 2015
Location: 

La Peña Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, California

People who reject the scientific consensus aren’t fond of scientific authorities, but they love to quote scientific authorities in support of their views. A paradox? Well, no. Examination of such quotations reveals that their meaning and significance is misrepresented, often because they are quoted out of context. Moreover, these quotations are frequently transcribed inaccurately and occasionally misattributed or fabricated, often obtained from dubious or obsolete authorities, and invariably selected tendentiously. The practice of “quote mining,” as it is sometimes called, is dismaying for scientists and skeptics—but debunking it is often amusing and informative. In his talk, Glenn Branch will discuss a number of examples from creationists and climate change deniers.

This is one of a monthly series of
SkepTalks
sponsored by the
Bay Area Skeptics

For more information: 

Kitzmiller v. Dover at Ten: Lessons Learned

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott

Eugenie C. Scott

Time: TBA
Date: 
October 17, 2016
Location: 

Gardens Theatre
Queensland University of Technology
2 George Street
Brisbane QLD 4000, Australia

 

In the United States, the First Amendment requires schools and other state institutions to be religiously neutral. Courts have held for decades that any advocacy of creationism in science class is unconstitutional, but creationists have evolved new adaptations. One of the cleverer recent developments was “intelligent design theory,” which grew in the 1990s and 2000s to challenge the teaching of evolution. In 2004 a Pennsylvania school district passed an ID policy, and was challenged in court in 2005. Evolution won as the teaching of ID was declared unconstitutional, and the case virtually stopped similar policies from being passed. But in the ten years since Kitzmiller v. Dover we have learned that eternal vigilance is essential. The creationist movement continues to adapt to its legal environment and has evolved new strategies. These call for teaching the “strengths and weaknesses of evolution” or the “critical analysis of evolution” which are creationism in disguise. A common form of these laws is “Academic Freedom Acts” in which the disguised teaching of creationism is claimed to reflect a student’s right to learn or a teacher’s right to teach.

Australian Skeptics National Convention logo

Tickets for the whole weekend convention are $280, $240 for students.

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