Issue Date: January 14, 2008
Evolution, and not creationism, should be taught in public schools, according to a newly released booklet from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The publication, "Science, Evolution, and Creationism," is designed to help scientists, politicians, and other citizens fight state proposals to include creationism or intelligent design in public school science curricula.
The booklet is the latest in a series on biological evolution and creationism that NAS has published since 1984. Designed to be accessible to the public, it notes that evidence from many scientific fields has confirmed evolution by natural selection. It argues against teaching creationism and its latest variation, intelligent design, in public schools. Intelligent design claims that living things are too complex to have evolved naturally and instead were created by some form of intelligent being.
"Intelligent design creationism is not supported by scientific evidence," according to the booklet.
The booklet was unveiled at a Jan. 4 press conference in Washington, D.C. It was written by an NAS committee chaired by evolutionary biologist Francisco J. Ayala of the University of California, Irvine. The booklet makes two main points, Ayala said: "There is no contradiction between evolution and religious faith, [and] the science of evolution is a very advanced discipline supported by an enormous amount of evidence."
"Science, Evolution, and Creationism" is available for purchase or free download at nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11876.
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