A recent article from ScienceInsider asks, “Is climate change education the new evolution, threatened in U.S. school districts and state education standards by well-organized interest groups?” The National Center for Science Education believes so and has taken upon themselves the task of making sure that science teachers are sufficiently informed to teach “good climate science”. Director Eugenie Scott, who is best known for promoting the teaching of evolution and fighting to quash legislative maneuvers that allow ‘creationist’ ideas in public schools, justified the new focus by highlighting similarities between skeptics of both evolution and climate change. She also notes that groups challenging current models of climate change are “more numerous and much better funded” than those battling evolution, and she anticipates tougher resistance to the new move.Dr. Scott is not the first to draw a parallel between these two controversies, and her sentiments are unfortunately true. I noted in a previous post, for example, that although most skeptics of climate change are not creationists, ‘climate-change skepticism’ is a logical consequence for those who believe that scientists have grossly misinterpreted Earth history. A quick search on any young-Earth ministry site will demonstrate how tight the bond is, despite the fact that none of these organizations employ qualified climatologists (Michael Oard may be a close exception, but his analysis of the Greenland Ice Core belies his comprehension of paleoclimatology).So how effective will NCSE’s campaign be? Individuals and organizations that deal strictly with creationism have one advantage in that creationists are relatively uniform in their ideological premise. It is far more difficult to generalize about what causes people to doubt the scale of anthropogenic climate forcing than to understand why evangelicals struggle with human evolution. I am anxious, therefore, to see how NCSE decides to tackle the issue, and I hope they will be able to avoid divise and pejorative rhetoric like ‘denialism’. Long ago, I stopped using NCSE as a resource on science/faith issues, not for any incompetence on their part but rather for their lack of compassion/empathy with creationists (perhaps they have improved since then?). When it comes to controversies such as evolution and climate change, it doesn’t take long to clear out the pews so that preaching to the choir is your only option.