NCSE: Texas schoolbooks should stick to the climate dogma

Story submitted by Eric Worrall | mcGraw-hill-world=geo-bookThe National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has published a critique which expresses deep concerns about the latest McGraw Hill Education, World Cultures & Geography [Teacher Version] (Grade 6) school textbook. According to the critique;

“This book has a deeply concerning section comparing the Heartland Institute with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in relation to climate change.

This misleads students as to good sources of information, pitting an ideologically driven advocacy group (Heartland Institute) that receives funding from Big Tobacco and polluters against a Nobel Peace Prize-winning scientific body (IPCC).

The IPCC reports utilize hundreds of scientific experts and reviewers, as well as thousands of peer-reviewed articles. The Heartland Institute has no such expertise nor do they utilize the depth of research available in this area. Independent of the content area, this is a completely inappropriate presentation of the information or comparison of sources.

Specifically; “This entire section is misleading. Scientists do not disagree about what is causing climate change, the vast majority (97%) of climate papers and actively publishing climatologists (again 97%) agree that human activity is responsible.”


As support for this claim, the NCSE cites a paper which references Naomi Oreskes, who is a well known objective activist scientist, and a deeply flawed paper whose lead author was John Cook, the cartoonist who runs Skeptical Science.

The link to the Cook paper is broken, the link they were trying to provide is this one.

My thought – this effort by the NCSE deserves an “F”. Not only did they not bother to proof read their own paper, they also obviously didn’t perform any serious background research on the activist sourced material they provided, as the supporting evidence for their critique of Texan education policy.

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September 17, 2014 1:22 am

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has published a critique which expresses deep concerns about the latest McGraw Hill Education, World Cultures & Geography [Teacher Version] (Grade 6) school textbook.
Quick question: is the title of the textbook really “World Cultures & Geography”? Because the image accompanying the article shows “World Geography & Cultures.” Might that be a totally different textbook? The NatGeo logo on the image surprised me since I expected NatGeo to slam the Heartland Institute, not endorse it as a reputable source of info.

Brad Rich
Reply to  Katherine
September 18, 2014 6:54 am


Brock Way
September 17, 2014 1:37 am

Which one (IPCC or Heartland) has made climate predictions that have turned out to be closer to the truth?
This is either yet another attempt at indoctrination via gatekeeping, or else it is impossibly naive. Al Gore won the Nobel Prize too. Someone tell me how his divinity training made him an expert in climate sciences.
Moral of the complaint – when it comes to holding up as a paragon people who have no idea what they are talking about…it’s okay when WE do it.

Reply to  Brock Way
September 17, 2014 3:12 am

Maybe Al thinks he’s a god!!

Reply to  Brock Way
September 17, 2014 5:08 am

Know who else won a Nobel Peace Prize?
Yassir Arafat.
Draw your own conclusions.

Reply to  LeeHarvey
September 17, 2014 8:01 am

Also B.H.O., a community organizer/lawyer……….just saying.

Reply to  LeeHarvey
September 17, 2014 8:13 am

@ dlbrown –
Did he? Or did Hope and Change win it?

Reply to  Brock Way
September 18, 2014 10:10 am

As an aside, Al’s divinity training consisted of only a year at Vanderbilt. I believe he flunked out. Obviously he never got to the prognostication courses.

September 17, 2014 1:41 am

You have to love the hypocrisy of them attacking Texas for suggest schoolbooks should not be dogmatic and should encourage their reader to think for themselves on a subject. When these same people attack Texas and others for schoolbooks that are dogmatic and discourage people thinking for them. Of course as ‘the cause ‘ is the true unquestionable religion you can understand why they take that view.

September 17, 2014 1:46 am

Oh NO it’s worse than we thought. Consensus is now at 97% squared.

Keith Willshaw
Reply to  lee
September 17, 2014 2:04 am

I know where you are going on this but 97% squared =94.09%

Reply to  Keith Willshaw
September 17, 2014 4:06 am

A few more iterations and the number will be closer to accurate.

Reply to  Keith Willshaw
September 17, 2014 7:26 am

Sorry, but in climate science 97%^2 is 9,409.00%

September 17, 2014 2:39 am

I am ashamed now to have been a member of NCSE, back in the day when they fought against young-Earth creationism being taught in schools. They’ve really gone over to the other side; the CAGW meme is the modern young-Earth creationism, a faith-based dogma.

Reply to  Jeff
September 17, 2014 5:49 am

Funny enough, the origin of this earth will always be more of a philosophical argument than a scientific since observed proof will always be hard to come by (pending any Tardis). I would much rather see our children taught the scientific process down on the basic level and leave all this faith-based dogma including “The Big Bang” for philosophy class. Honestly “that’s how things evolved” has become as much a faith based answer as “God created it that way.”

Cold in Wisconsin
Reply to  Matthew
September 17, 2014 6:24 am

Thank-you very much. My biology training (pre-med) taught me that teleology was bad (non) science, and yet my kids are taught so many examples of teleology in science class it makes me sick. Teach what you KNOW is true and can prove, not what you imagine is true and can make a good story out of.

Reply to  Matthew
September 17, 2014 1:14 pm

There is nothing faith based about the creation of planets, the big bang or evolution. There is evidence that supports the theories where religion does not have any evidence, in fact in religion you’re told that you don’t need evidence, just faith.

Reply to  Baronstone
September 17, 2014 2:58 pm

That is a poor understanding of faith. Yes you can have blind faith, but that happens outside religion as much as in it. Faith in a person implies some understanding of that person. Many people look at the earth and all the convenient laws and complexities and see a God or other intelligence that designed it on purpose (or a whim according to rw) and that combined with a purpose for existence is enough evidence to sustain that faith. So yes there is faith in believing the big bang and evolution just as in anything, because you are still putting faith in the people that have done the studies and the evidence shown. As you pointed out, both are still theories, so still no factual proof. The cricket link provided earlier is a great example. People putting much faith in nature overcoming a problem through evolution when there are still other explanations unexplored. Yes, inbreeding could be considered a form of evolution, but not in the sense the link is trying to pass.
On a side note any religion telling you to just take it on faith without understanding is selling something and followers should tread very carefully.

September 17, 2014 2:59 am

Why are EITHER mentioned in a book on Geography and Culture?

Harry Passfield
Reply to  prjindigo
September 17, 2014 3:23 am

prjindigo: The ‘consensus is even mentioned in a beef they have about a 5th grade text book: Pearson, Social Studies K-5 (English) !!!!

Reply to  Harry Passfield
September 17, 2014 10:36 am

” Over 97 percent of climate scientists are in agreement that human activity is driving much of the climate change that we are now experiencing, and which will grow in severity. Statistically, we can predict that there will be more heat waves, floods and droughts and a rise in global sea level as the heat in the atmosphere and in the oceans increases,”
Catherine Gautier, UCSB Professor of Geography
Misconceptions About the Greenhouse Effect
” we comment on the potential role of these students in public decision making related to global climate change,… Our work (Rebich and Gautier, 2005) included a thorough analysis of conceptual change that occurred as a result of ESS instruction in the form of a mock summit class. The goal of this role-playing class (Gautier and Rebich, 2005) is to review the basic scientific concepts underlying climate change”
(Conceptual change taught in upper division UCSB Geography course. Gautier’s publications include analysis of conceptual change in middle school grades.)

Reply to  prjindigo
September 17, 2014 4:44 am

It’s the Common Core concept. Everything has to include references to climate change.

Reply to  spetzer86
September 17, 2014 7:47 am

How else to get folks to want $0.40 / kWh electricity? Lessons in hellfire and brimstone to come.

Reply to  prjindigo
September 17, 2014 7:50 am

Good question I have often wondered why National Geographic talks about global warming at all.

September 17, 2014 3:05 am

Questioning CAGW??
Well done Texas, way to go.

Reply to  johnmarshall
September 17, 2014 12:45 pm

Is it really a surprise that one of the USA’s biggest conservative bastions is waking up?

September 17, 2014 3:28 am

well, at heartland institute 100% of people “agree that human activity is responsible” (*), so why do NCSE bother ?
(*) according to an article at WUWT i may find some day

Olaf Koenders
Reply to  paqyfelyc
September 17, 2014 3:45 am

Nature is responsible for 97% of atmospheric CO2. 100% of Heartland agree that any warming effect man is having can’t be extrapolated from the noise and therefore must be minute and nothing to worry about. Straighten facts please paqyfelyc.

Bloke down the pub
September 17, 2014 3:30 am

Gosh, teaching the concept that pupils should use a variety of sources! Whatever next?

September 17, 2014 3:43 am

“The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has published a critique which expresses deep concerns …”
Any national organization connected with the public schools or the government (however loosely) will sooner or later become a propaganda organ for the state. That is just the natural way of things. The NCSE has never been an advocate for the scientific method and open debate. It never will be, as that is not its purpose.
There is no “consensus” but even if there were a “consensus” it would not matter since we seek the best approximation of the truth and not a happy consensus. As far as I know, the consensus that the planets revolved about this planet rather than the sun was in effect and dominate for centuries; yet it turned out to be wrong.

Reply to  markstoval
September 17, 2014 5:26 am

Mark-in 2010 the University of Virginia, Arizona State, the Boston Museum of Science, the Colorado School of Mines, and National Academy of Engineering all established an NSF-funded Climate Change Educational Partnership. It is determined to force schoolchildren into believing in the need to engineer human systems like cities, economies, and how individuals live in order to combat Climate Change. Climate Change must be accepted as a cross-cutting concept, not questioned. Yesterday the NAS released a report from three related workshops called “Climate Change, Engineered Systems, and Society.”
Climate Change-the ultimate excuse for social engineering, industrial policy, behavioral planning, and especially taxpayer money to cronies. The poor schoolkids are being led to believe the world works like a videogame’s virtual reality. In fact the NSF loves to cite River City as a new way to teach science.

September 17, 2014 3:55 am

A key aspect of the current K-12 education reforms known as the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, which are so closely aligned with Texas’ TEKS and its STAAR assessment that they are using Understanding By Design like the other states to teach the ‘knowledge’ (Texas went to outcomes-based education in the late 80s. It did not need to join these initiatives to get to performance standards) is that students should learn to discern between ‘good’ sources of information and inferior sources.
Now since knowledge is so underplayed, this plays out in training students to defer to the presence of professional degrees (are they an ‘expert’ is the question asked?) and other symbols of authority. Those sources get accepted as authoritative and there is little independent knowledge to dispute what is asserted or to challenge inapt comparisons. Course materials in both the hard sciences like AP Biology and the social sciences and history are just full of comparisons between closed physical systems like heart-pulmonary to how weather or social systems must work. I call it the inapt comparison problem and it intentional and omnipresent.
Textbooks in general are going away. The desire now in K-12 is for ‘guided experience.’ explains that and the 4th Grade science lesson training students to analogize from weather systems to ecosystems. The AP Biology example is from a reader who wrote in after Parents Night at her private school was just full of the inapt comparisons to social systems.

Reply to  Robin
September 17, 2014 4:40 am

Heh, Bad Poets Society.

Reply to  kim
September 17, 2014 5:16 am

The Early Bird has caught enough worms to cover a multi-day fishing tournament.

September 17, 2014 3:55 am

Meanwhile down under the usual suspects are going catatonic before the next Big Climate knees up-
You Texans are not going to have disappearing beaches as big as ours 😉

September 17, 2014 3:58 am

Ah, the NCSE. During my internet wanderings I found an outrageous piece on their site about their pressing for a new European initiative promoting “climate literacy” for children, wrote a blog post.
Who can not like their organization, read what they say on their About page:

In the last few years, we’ve noticed anti-evolution attacks being bundled with attacks on climate change science. Like evolution, climate change is a topic that elicits intense emotions. And like evolution, the science of climate change is remarkably clear and well-supported. We know that CO2 is a prime driver of climate and that the modern rise of CO2 in the atmosphere is caused by human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels. What humans are doing today may result in rapid and catastrophic changes in our climate. Climate change is an urgent issue and it is vital that schools increase and improve climate education, especially in the face of well-funded organizations pushing climate denial and junk science. NCSE’s goal is to encourage more climate information in science courses, and to assist educators who face opposition in this effort.

Powerful stuff. And they support the absolute truth that is science, so you know all of that must be true.

Reply to  kadaka (KD Knoebel)
September 17, 2014 5:57 am

Oh yes, it must be true…especially their reliance on CO2 as the “prime driver of climate”. And yet while the Pause is approaching 18 years, the global level of CO2 has increased about 20%. Apparently, the NCSE’s “science” doesn’t consider correlation or they’d not make such an unfounded assertion.

September 17, 2014 4:07 am

A propagandist organisation referencing a blatant propagandist for authority. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

September 17, 2014 4:08 am

I wonder if their criticism would be quite as childishly scathing and/or indignant if it was one of the hundreds of AGW advocacy groups…

September 17, 2014 4:10 am

In case anyone thinks what I just described is just a Texas or US problem, UNESCO makes teaching these strategies of which sources to defer to and which to ignore a key component of K-12 education itself going forward. It is embodied with the acronym MIL–Media and Information Literacy. It was all laid out about a year ago at an international conference in Sakhalin, Russia called “Internet and Socio-cultural Transformations in Information Society.”
The same MIL focus was also a key component of the Aspen Institute report that came out this summer “Learner at the Center of a Networked World.” Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush chaired that Task Force.
Both the Sakhalin Conference and the Aspen report are primarily focused on changing student values and ways of thinking. Everyone these days seems determined to prevent K-12 education from creating any more Axemaker Minds, using my favorite metaphor.

Reply to  Robin
September 17, 2014 4:41 am

The Early Bird has found the Worm.

Reply to  kim
September 17, 2014 5:18 am

Yes except unfortunately this is all NOT just a metaphor or the virtual reality of a videogame.

September 17, 2014 4:15 am

Eugenie Scott, head of the NCSE, is a bigshot in one of the soi-dissant capital-S “Skeptical” organizations, which have also nailed their colors to the mast of this climate-change ship of fools. Bon voyage to the bottom of the sea!

Reply to  rogerknights
September 17, 2014 3:58 pm

I’ve always found it odd that “skeptical groups” would be believers.

September 17, 2014 4:18 am

That one paragraph is appaling but this sentence I find especially egregious and disgusting.
“And like evolution, the science of climate change is remarkably clear and well-supported.”
Climate science is no where near as well supported as Evolution science. Worse it is implying that people who disagree with bizarre, rationally disputed or unsupported claims of the climate field are the same people who disagree with evolution on the basis of religious texts.
It is outrageous and abusive behaviour. If a piano fell on their heads from a tall building I would not weep.

Reply to  Alx
September 17, 2014 5:40 am

The current climate alarmist position and that of the hard-core Darwinists are very similar. In both cases they claim a total consensus and yet there is much controversy in both disciplines. We talk about the controversies in climatology here and elsewhere often, but evolutionary theory also has controversies. People who believe that life has evolved may disagree on how that happened and often do just that. Likewise most people believe that certain gases in the atmosphere have warming and cooling effects but disagree on the extent of these effects.
So now we want to teach our young to obey authority, to not even question authority, and to worship those good things that the “experts” bring to us. Hmmmmmm. I bet Stalin is looking on and feeling very envious of the modern rulers.

Reply to  markstoval
September 17, 2014 1:06 pm

Nonsense. You’re saying Dobzhansky and Fisher and Mayr are like Jones and Wrigley and Mann? Have you actually read anything in the field of evolution? Say, for example, (at the very least) a recent textbook such as the one by Futuyma?
Do you think that the fact that the genetic code is universal is an accident? What about the prokaryotic features of chloroplasts and mitochondria, is that just happenstance? What about differences along clines, should we just ignore that? What about dominance wrt alleles? What about biogeographical patterns such as the fact that islands at the same latitude always have species that resemble those of the nearest continent – is that an accident? a whim of the Creator? Etc., etc. etc.

Cold in Wisconsin
Reply to  Alx
September 17, 2014 6:36 am

And yet there is a range of views on evolution as there is on climate change, based on the level of proof and how far you take the evidence that exists. Can one believe in evolution without believing that men evolved from the primordial soup? Yes, and that does not make you an idiot. I believe that is analogous to agreeing that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and causes some incremental warming, but it does NOT mean that CO2 is the control knob of global climate. Don’t take the evidence too far in either case, thank-you. I require a higher level of proof.

Jeff Mitchell
Reply to  Cold in Wisconsin
September 17, 2014 11:24 pm

Even if they could perform an experiment showing that life came from a soup of suitable chemicals, that soup would still have been created by an intelligent being, and would not be accidental. We do genetic engineering all the time now, and in some future time where this technology was forgotten, how would they explain the evolution of things we created for fun, like glow in the dark trees and fish?
One of my big concerns is that our development as a species is treated in a binary way ie it was all evolution or all pre-programmed by an intelligent being? What about a compromise? All the various breeds of dogs were created by people selecting for traits they liked. Those breeds are not random accidents even though the genes that made them possible might have been.
It seems people need an absolute explanation when none is possible with what we currently know. The bible may have the creation events in the correct order, but it tells us nothing about the processes used. Knowing how the processes worked enables us to then extend them into useful applications we can use now.
I believe science and religion can live harmoniously together if both don’t take themselves too seriously.

Dan Clauser
Reply to  Alx
September 17, 2014 9:32 am

what about all of us who disagree with evolution on the basis of scientific evidence (which happens to align well with the Bible)? Where can we be lumped?

Reply to  Alx
September 17, 2014 3:39 pm

It’s evil; the essential factor in the fabrication of AGW, a strawman to disguise the depopulation agenda that’s been promoted by a psychopathic elite since the 1960’s.

Reply to  Alx
September 18, 2014 12:35 am

“If a piano fell on their heads from a tall building I would not weep.”
Why do you hate pianos?

September 17, 2014 4:29 am

It’s nice to see a science body such as this call for listening to authority over teaching kids the basics of scientific method. /sarc
I wonder what kind of inquisitive minds that would produce? Or what kind of minds do they want to produce?

Gary Pearse
Reply to  mickyhcorbett75
September 17, 2014 6:11 am

The solution would seem to be for parents to have a big input into their children’s education. Discuss this stuff with them. Argue the points. Get them to check stuff out themselves. Tell them some of the stuff they are being taught is not without controversy. Tell them ONLY sceptics have an inquiring mind. The others just soak up the formula. Most have let this babysitting institution for K-12 have its way. Sinistras, recognizing this, have taken the opportunity to subvert the minds of the next generations. It’s often pointed out by alarmists that sceptics are a bunch of old duffers. Gee, I hope we haven’t left it too late to open the minds of young folk to scepticism. Anyway, “Don’t mess with Texas” seems to be still a valid notice.

Owen in GA
Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 17, 2014 7:03 am

The problem with this suggestion is that most of the parents I have dealt with will defer to authority faster than their children do. Between working hard (most of the parents who work, work 60+ hours per week) and struggling to keep their homes together most people do not have time to keep up with the details of all this research, so whatever was shouted at them from the CBS radio news at the top of the hour is all they know about the issues. Most people don’t understand enough world history to keep up with current events, let alone enough science knowledge to grasp more than the alarming concepts. In many cases they don’t even understand the reason, they just know they are supposed to be afraid. People make STUPID political decisions when they are scared, and that is what this whole scam is about.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 17, 2014 7:25 am

Owen I know it ain’t easy. I still work 10 years after retirement age, partly because of things I felt I had to do for my children’s education. Young parents today, too, have been educated in an earlier version of the same stuff -this was the reason for my second last sentence. But something must be done. Get your kids into chess clubs, at least discuss what they learned in school. At least tell them not to believe everything they hear or read and pick an example. You are only reinforcing the idea of an incubator to shape your kids.

Owen in GA
Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 17, 2014 7:46 am

I know. I did that with my children, but I am a retired Intelligence Analyst who was paid for years to keep on top of the scientific and political events around the world. For me, it was easy to counter the misinformation coming in the curriculum, but most people don’t have these sorts of resources. (My wife and I may have overdone it a bit – our oldest came home from school one day and said “why should I listen to any of my teachers? If I want to know something, I can just come home and ask you and mom.” My wife is a historian and librarian to add to my expertise.)
What we need is some sort of Cliff’s Notes for the marginally interested to get these busy people up to speed. It really isn’t apathy or lack of intelligence on most of these people’s part, it is just that they are so caught up in living their own lives that they don’t make time to look at data and read a bunch of graphs. The statistical arguments glaze many of their eyes over, as the schools don’t even cover the normal distribution, let alone a fractal one and why the tests applied should be different. This is a steep hill we are trying to overcome, but somehow, we need someone who can break this down in layman’s terms the way Feynman did for his physics lecture series, and in small enough chunks to digest in a five to ten minute session.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 17, 2014 8:16 am

The “Don’t Mess with Texas” slogan originated with an anti-littering campaign about thirty years ago. This slogan was supposed to stop people from tossing trash out of their car windows. It did not work so well and Texas is still littered.

September 17, 2014 4:33 am

“Scientists do not disagree about what is causing climate change, the vast majority (97%) of climate papers and actively publishing climatologists (again 97%) agree that human activity is responsible.”
This is a flat out lie.
97% scientists agree on vague and various things, hard to tell what, since the Cook paper is so shoddy. But that human activity is [solely] responsible for climate change is not one of them.
I do not know if the NCSE is that ignorant or purposely blatantly lying. Either way I have to question the motives for such mis-information. Have they devolved to simply a propaganda tool for a political cause?
So much for higher education.

September 17, 2014 4:37 am

“they also obviously didn’t perform any serious background research on the activist sourced material they provided”
Nor apparently on the IPCC…

September 17, 2014 5:18 am

Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
NCSE is a joke. Kudos to Texas.
BTW, is this current?
The book is copyrighted 2008. There does seem to be a 2012 edition.
I am certain the text book sellers like to keep Texas happy, as Texas is their biggest customer.
Again, NCSE is simply and advocacy group. They are dangerous in my opinion.

September 17, 2014 5:32 am

“The IPCC reports utilize hundreds of scientific experts and reviewers, as well as thousands of peerNreviewed articles. The Heartland Institute has no such expertise nor do they utilize the depth of research available in this area.”
This claim is false. The Heartland Institute produces reports written by the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change. These reports are written by scientists, they reference only peer-reviewed literature (NB: the IPCC reports include gray literature) and they are as extensive and detailed as the IPCC reports. The difference is that they include the evidence which is contrary to the current paradigm, which the IPCC deliberately excludes.
“……pitting an ideologically driven advocacy group (Heartland Institute) that receives funding from Big Tobacco and polluters…..”
One of the few good things to emerge from the Peter Gleick “Fakegate” affair was that the funding sources of the Heartland Institute were revealed in the documents he obtained by criminal deception. These showed that the Heartland Institute is not funded by big tobacco or major oil companies. It was probably this embarrassing discovery which necessitated the faking of the “strategy document”.
Enough other commenters have referred to the ridiculous claims of a 97% consensus.

Reply to  dcfl51
September 17, 2014 5:53 am

Indeed it should be embarrasing enough that the critic even cites “that receives funding from Big Tobacco” because it has no bearing whatsoever on the issue at hand. Big Tobacco doesn’t give a s— about climate change.
The fact that the claim is verifiably untrue is incidental to me.

September 17, 2014 6:04 am

“against a Nobel Peace PrizeNwinning scientific body (IPCC).”
(check spelling above)
Dare anyone question the credentials of any past winners, IPCC, Al Gore, Yasser Arafat, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, EU, UN, …

Jenn Oates
September 17, 2014 6:07 am

The NCSE has absolutely zero influence on what happens in my science classroom, jes’ sayin’. They jumped the shark long ago.

Reply to  Jenn Oates
September 17, 2014 6:53 am

Encouraging news. I look at the teachers and students at public school with sympathy for the bill of goods pushed on them by arrogant fools.

HGW xx/7
September 17, 2014 6:20 am

Mikey, this is one of your best insanely incorrect, horribly biased, and egregiously misspelled pieces of leftist screed ever! I’m so very proud of my little man! In fact, we’re gonna put it up on the fridge, right next to the Nobel Prize we printed out in celebration of you finally being potty trained. Momma’s so proud!

Russ in TX
September 17, 2014 6:31 am

It’s Texas Schoolbook Time, when the most pig-ignorant people on the planet descend on Austin in order to compete to see who can be the biggest and loudest and most ignorant jack*** on record in order to try to drag thousands of unsuspecting schoolkids into their mire. Between the Trotskyites, the Creationists, the “of course American history only has one legitimate point of view” crowd, it’s enough to make me want to gargle gasoline.
It’s a profound embarrassment to my state.

Reply to  Russ in TX
September 17, 2014 7:34 am

“It’s a profound embarrassment to my state.”
That it is. I say this as a Texan in exile. I used to love that state. But something has gone seriously wrong there in the past 20 years. I voted for Clements. I despised Molly Ivans and Ann Richards. I almost long for them now. As contentious and wacky as politics was back then, at least the state seemed to have its head screwed on straight.

Greg Goodman
September 17, 2014 6:56 am

“they also obviously didn’t perform any serious background research on the activist sourced material they provided”
NCSE is a political campaign group whose self proclaimed mission is

We educate the press and public about the scientific and educational aspects of controversies surrounding the teaching of evolution and climate change, and supply needed information and advice to defend good science education at local, state, and national levels.

They clearly have no idea “good science” does not include rebutted and retracted papers.
Rather makes a mockery of thier efforts.
On the other hand they did pick up a very careless error that attributed the ozone hole to deforestation and fossil fuels. They were not partisan enough to ignore it and pointed out this was CFCs, not coal burning power stations.

Les Johnson
September 17, 2014 7:19 am

The same food fight at the Graudian. I am amazed at how people in a different country, 5000 miles away, think they need to be involved in the writing of single paragraph, in a Grade 8 text book. There are some aspects of globalization that I do not agree with, and this would be one.

September 17, 2014 7:24 am

Hearthand is an ideologically driven advocacy group. There’s no doubt about that. The IPCC is too. They just try to hide that fact. Nevertheless, both the NCSE and the Texas State Board of Education deserve an F. Political issues should be no part of a high school geography class. Geography class should stick to geography, not science, be it physics, chemistry or climate.

Reply to  donjindra
September 17, 2014 8:20 am

Except that geography determines climate.

Reply to  mpainter
September 17, 2014 9:33 am

Sure, geography class should mention Antarctica is cold. It shouldn’t get into the business of predicting how cold it might be in 100 years.

Reply to  mpainter
September 17, 2014 10:00 am

Yes, and geography courses should educate students on all the factors that determine climate: latitude, altitude, proximity to oceans and ocean currents, rain-shadows, etc. This will help innoculate our youth against the refrain of the propagandists that CO2 determines climate.

Reply to  donjindra
September 17, 2014 11:27 am

I think you are confusing Political Geography with Physical Geography. Obviously, you have never had a Physical Geography class.

September 17, 2014 7:31 am

Here in BC the schools bring in the High Priests to educate the kids in “stewardship of the environment”. They end the day with a personal life pledge.

Reply to  Monroe
September 17, 2014 12:43 pm

I just got a very unsavory mental image of David Suzuki looking on, beaming at the freshly indoctrinated children reciting the personal life pledge…

September 17, 2014 7:36 am

Alx: “Climate science is no where near as well supported as Evolution science.”
Yes. But that is not saying much. We can each jot for ourselves what science is: developing a hypothesis, making it testable by some observation, determining what data would support or fail to support in that observation, then going and making that observation.
What new species have we observed evolving?
Evolution is a theory of where the various species came from. It accounts for a lot of observations, and sounds plausible, in some ways, as long as you accept simultaneous flukes coming together to make incredibly complex, interdependent biological systems within an organism and between organisms.
The appeal of evolution, its support, is by argument/reason/induction. Not by scientific verification.

Thomas Englert
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
September 17, 2014 9:58 am

It seems to me that bacteria and viruses must be evolving, otherwise they would not be developing into strains resistant to antibiotics and vaccines.

Reply to  Thomas Englert
September 17, 2014 10:43 am

Bacteria and viruses are evolving – into different types of bacteria and viruses. The information required for the intra species changes is already there. The whole “macro” vs “micro” evolution thingy that’s has been bantered about.
As a Catholic Christian , I really don’t have a dog in this fight. The Big Kahuna can do whatever he wants. I DO know that because I believe God exists, I, and the rest of humanity is very, very special. Whatever the details of how I came about, I am not a result of completely natural, random processes that “just happened” . And, therefore, I am of great value. Peter Singer claims that “the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee”, and while that statement is repulsive to me, I give Singer credit for actually boldly stating the logical consequence of a random, unguided, everything-happened-by-chance universe. And, make no mistake, those at the top of the CAGW movement consider humanity to basically be just another species that “just happened”, and give it no special elevation. And, they also do not consider all of humanity to be of equal value. With those attitudes, a whole host of evils can and will come about. One of the reasons why sites like this one are so crucially important.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
September 17, 2014 10:42 am

“What new species have we observed evolving?”
Some food for thought.

Reply to  deebodk
September 17, 2014 11:35 am

I read through it, lots of questions. I like this line too: “what is probably a single mutation affecting wing shape in male crickets.” Probably…good term. I had to read it again though because the thought occurred to me of the possibility that the “silent male” was just another type of cricket that either already existed in smaller numbers until the flies started killing off the chirping crickets, or came over by boat/plane to the same affect. This is finally hinted at later after all the “nature fixed it stuff”. There is also a lot of personification of crickets that is just hearsay (how the females become “lax” on what males they choose). For all we know there is no “new” species here, just inbreeding. Once again I feel evolution (in the vague sense with no definition of macro vs micro) is the “who done it” when you could have left the term out altogether and it wouldn’t have changed anything.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
September 17, 2014 11:47 am

Obviously evolution by natural selection operates at some level, i.e. fruit flies, viruses, etc. It may also operate at higher levels to some extent. However, when you stop to consider that Darwin advanced his theory in 1859 and that in the 155 years since that time no decent intermediate forms have been uncovered, despite all the digging that has gone on, you wonder how much longer evolution by natural selection can continue to stand as the sole explanation.
There seems to be some good evidence that evolution also occurs by rapid mutation. Even so, you don’t want to say that too loudly, since the topic of evolution seems to be just as emotional as CO2-driven climate change.

Reply to  jbird
September 17, 2014 12:45 pm

No decent intermediate forms of what, exactly?

Reply to  jbird
September 17, 2014 3:56 pm

The human species for starters.

September 17, 2014 7:41 am

Cold in Wisconsin: “And yet there is a range of views on evolution as there is on climate change, based on the level of proof and how far you take the evidence that exists. Can one believe in evolution without believing that men evolved from the primordial soup? Yes, and that does not make you an idiot.”
Of course we did not evolve from the primordial soup. That theory ruled for a long time, despite counter-evidence. Now, it has largely been abandoned.
Now, the correct belief is to believe our primordial foundation fell to earth from outer space. Much more wiggle room there.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
September 17, 2014 10:15 am

Yeah, that is a step, but not all the way yet. Even skirting the origin of life question eventually won’t be enough “wiggle room”. As life here on earth is found to be more and more complex and interdependent (as you state above), then unguided “natural” evolution, even starting from a point of simple life from outer space – will be found to be statistically untenable – of course this will likely take many decades before it is finally acknowledged by the scientific community. Five billion years won’t be enough time, 50 billion (longer than the current estimated age of the universe) won’t be enough , 5 trillion won’t be enough. At that point, the meme will be that intelligent aliens seeded the planet with primitive but “encoded” life billions of years ago as a science experiment , and we evolved from that. How did the aliens evolve themselves? Not important.
And I’m not saying some kind of evolution did not occur. I DO know that the earth is billions, not thousands of years old, and that we did not evolve completely through random, natural, “unguided by intelligence” processes. Both notions are equally absurd to me.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
September 17, 2014 10:53 am

The evolution theory has a little more scientific support than global warming caused by CO2…
Humans share at least 98% of their DNA with chimpanzees and the related bonobo’s. Seems quite unlikely that we were dropped in from outer space with so much in common with these apes…
From out of the European view it is still surprising that so many in the USA still don’t believe in evolution. That seems an extinct species in Europe…
Even for Christians here, there is no contradiction between evolution and the Bible, after all the miracle is not that Someone did take earth to create a human being, but the fact that the element carbon is so extremely versatile that it could form life in all its forms… Who or what created carbon is the real Creator…

Thomas Englert
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
September 17, 2014 2:07 pm

“Who or what created carbon is the real Creator…”
I understand carbon is created by stars (along with all other elements; to the best of my knowledge, those above Atomic Number 92 are too unstable to be found in earthly deposits).
From a religious viewpoint, the creation of a set of physical, biological, and mathematical laws and processes to arrive, over time, to intelligent human life seems a much more elegant method than brute force creation of millions or billions of lifeforms which then remain static and unchanging forever.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
September 17, 2014 11:03 am

Sorry, didn’t read the BBC link before answering, even if the original microbes did come in via asteroid impacts (and weren’t burned during the passing of the atmosphere), that doesn’t explain how they evolved on the extra-terrestrial planets. On the other side, all building blocks currently found in microbes to humans can be formed under certain circumstances like in the primordial soup, be it that the possibility of getting together in the right order to form something like “life” is very, very small…

September 17, 2014 7:50 am

This story parallels (in my mind) the activities of the Communist Apparatchiks during the build up of the Soviet “Block” nations during the 50’s and 60’s. Specifically, it (the NCSE assertion) appears to be an attempt to influence leadership using the Russian born “science” of disinformation. Specifically, the process and procedures of the KGB and similar agencies (e.g. Romanian DIE, East German STASSI, etc…) used to control the populace, as described by Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa.

September 17, 2014 8:21 am

Here is a link to a video for the federal DoED Green Schools Coalition on how they intend to use K-12 to create sustainability natives.

September 17, 2014 9:18 am

Seriously! ! Great. First off after Al Gore and Obama won the propaganda prize that “credential”is now worthless. Secondly as someone has already rightly pointed out what has IPCC ever correctly predicted with respect to climate? They have to be the only entity on the planet that can’t even predict the past correctly. Lefty is fantastic. Always trying to silence reality while claiming to be the only “tolerant” ones.

September 17, 2014 9:42 am

Why should a book on geography and culture even talk about the science behind global warming? Last time I checked this is neither geography nor anthropology.

Reply to  Science
September 17, 2014 12:20 pm

Because the focus in all these courses is on systems. Geography and anthropology are both treated now as learning about human systems. The human systems are supposedly impacting the climate. In comes Climate Change as a problem created by current human activities. Therefore the activities themselves need to change.
It’s also what the most recent IPCC report called Adaptation. No need to wait for actual damage. Assume it is true and force changes prophylactically since as Roy Spencer said about next week’s summit, it’s all about wealth redistribution anyway.

chris moffatt
September 17, 2014 10:22 am

Orestes is a ‘scientist’ now? I think not. last time I looked, a few days ago, she is a historian. Last week I saw Jeffrey Sachs described as a ‘scientist’. He is not; he is an economist. One wonders how many more of those 97% of scietists are actually scientists….precious few from what I can make out.

chris moffatt
Reply to  chris moffatt
September 17, 2014 10:23 am

Oreskes sorry. Freudian slip there. But Orestes wasn’t a scientist either.

September 17, 2014 10:33 am

The UN is a purely and very extreme political organization…. for anyone to expect SCIENCE to be done at the UN is laughable. The UN does politics… not science. The NCSE contention that the IPCC is unbiased science is flat out wrong.

September 17, 2014 10:41 am

Yep all the real experts agree, this is why we have 3 or 4 dozen different explanations for the fact it is not warming as we were told it would.

September 17, 2014 11:11 am

The National Center for Sciencey PROPAGANDA (NCSE)

September 17, 2014 11:16 am

>>…pitting an ideologically driven advocacy group (Heartland Institute) that receives funding from Big Tobacco and polluters against a Nobel Peace Prize-winning scientific body (IPCC).<<
Uh huh.
Should the IPCC or the Nobel Peace Prize committee be given any credibility for anything they say? When you stop to consider that in the last 20 years Nobel Peace Prizes have been handed out to the European Union, Barack Obama (for peace making he was expected to do but hadn't done yet and still hasn't done), Al Gore who has been caught in any number of lies while promoting the UN's global warming agenda, the United Nations itself, and Yassar Arafat, a known terrorist and responsible for uncounted deaths, you have to wonder why anyone gives them any credence what-so-ever. Future recipients of good conscience should begin turning down their prizes from this purely political "Peace Prize" pretender.

Ralph Kramden
September 17, 2014 12:33 pm

the vast majority (97%) of climate papers and actively publishing climatologists (again 97%) agree that human activity is responsible”, they obviously don’t read WUWT or they wouldn’t use the 97% consensus argument.

September 17, 2014 1:29 pm

All other is abuse.
You can either teach science or indoctrinate dogma. If climate, or even creation evolution are “science”, the process of science should expose the truth.
In a different meme, someone noted that when someone cuts out a man’s tongue, it is rarely because they fear he will tell untruth.

September 17, 2014 5:13 pm

For all those who are under the (mis)impression that the NCSE’s foray into CAGW advocacy represents a departure from its careful, reasoned, objective stance on all things science-related, let me be the one to break it to you that this is not a departure. It is simply another example of the NCSE’s modus operandi. The NCSE exists, is funded for, and has as its purpose to be a “consensus” science advocacy group. And they are willing to pull out the big guns for anyone who dares question that consensus.

Dr. Strangelove
September 17, 2014 7:58 pm

Like good scientists, science teachers should be observant. There are Nobel science prizes. Why would a ‘scientific’ body like IPCC win the Nobel Peace Prize? That prize is for political advocacy. Pupils, answer the bonus question. And Al Gore says earth’s interior is hotter than the sun. He would flunk the Grade 6 science quiz. No wonder he became a politician.

September 17, 2014 8:36 pm
What a great read!
Creationists can continue to win evolution-versus-creation debates with this kind of muddled thinking.
Why hasn’t anyone posted the study of the bacteria that have “evolved” to be a bacteria that can digest plastic, or whatever it is?

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