The Council of the American Association of Physics Teachers opposes proposals to require "equal time" for presentation in public school science classes of the religious accounts of creation and the scientific theory of evolution. The issues raised by such proposals, while mainly focusing on evolution, have important implications for the entire spectrum of scientific inquiry, including geology, physics, and astronomy. In contrast to "Creationism," the systematic application of scientific principles has led to a current picture of life, of the nature of our planet, and of the universe which, while incomplete, is constantly being tested and refined by observation and analysis. This ability to construct critical experiments which can result in the rejection or modification of a theory is fundamental to the scientific method. While our association does not support the teaching of oversimplified or dogmatic descriptions of science, we also reject attempts to interfere with the teaching of properly developed scientific principles or to introduce into the science classroom religious or mystical concepts that have no logical connection with observed facts or with widely accepted scientific theories. We therefore strongly oppose any requirement for parallel treatment of scientific and non­scientific discussions in science classes. Scientific inquiry and religious beliefs are two distinct elements of the human experience. Attempts to present them in the same context can only lead to misunderstandings of both.

Approved by the Council of the American Association of Physics Teachers on 26 January 1982. Identical to the text of the statement of 15 December 1981 by the American Physical Society.

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