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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Whew! National Academy of Science Says Science Should Be Taught in Science Class

First published in 1984, this new edition of Science, Evolution, and
Creationism has more pictures and is longer. And creationism is still not
science. From the NCSE website:

The National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine recently
released Science, Evolution, and Creationism, a book designed to give the
public a comprehensive and up-to-date picture of the current scientific
understanding of evolution and its importance in the science classroom. In a
January 4, 2008, press release, National Academy of Sciences President Ralph
Cicerone was quoted as saying, "Science, Evolution, and Creationism provides
the public with coherent explanations and concrete examples of the science
of evolution. The study of evolution remains one of the most active, robust,
and useful fields in science."

As its title suggests, the book also addresses creationism in its various
forms, including young-earth, old-earth, and "intelligent design"
creationism, and concludes, "No scientific evidence supports these
viewpoints." Observing that "[c]reationism in its various forms is not the
same thing as belief in God because ... many believers as well as many
mainstream religious groups accept the findings of science, including
evolution," Science, Evolution, and Creationism also quotes both leading
scientists of faith (including Francis Collins and NCSE Supporter Kenneth R.
Miller) and religious leaders and groups (including the late Pope John Paul
II and the over 10,000 signatories of the Clergy Letter Project), who see no
conflict between their faith and science.

Science, Evolution, and Creationism takes a decidedly firm line on the
necessity of including evolution in science education, warning, "Many
teachers are under considerable pressure from policy makers, school
administrators, parents, and students to downplay or eliminate the teaching
of evolution. As a result, many U.S. students lack access to information and
ideas that are both integral to modern science and essential for making
informed, evidence-based decisions about their own lives and our collective
future. ... Given the importance of science in all aspects of modern life,
the science curriculum should not be undermined with nonscientific

The third edition of a publication first issued in 1984 (as Science and
Creationism), Science, Evolution, and Creationism is twice as long as the
second edition, issued in 1999. The current book was written by a committee
including a number of NCSE Supporters and members and chaired by NCSE
Supporter Francisco Ayala, the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences
at the University of California, Irvine, and the author most recently of
Darwin's Gift (Joseph Henry Press, 2007). Copies of Science, Evolution, and
Creationism are available from the National Academies Press (call
202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242; or visit the National Academies Press's
website), for $12.95; a PDF version is also available for free download at
the National Academies Press's website.

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