(CSICOP) Position Statement on The Teaching of Evolution and the "Scientific" Creationist Challenge (1994)

Evolution is the organizing principle of modern biology and is as well established in science as are the principle of gravity and the fact that the earth orbits the sun. Contemporary scientists around the world agree, whatever their national, religious, or cultural affiliations.

Although scientists disagree about such things as the rates, dates, and mechanisms of evolution, virtually no active scientist challenges the fact that evolution has occurred. Furthermore, the fact that scientists debate aspects of evolution is a strong sign that evolution is a healthy science that has not lain dormant in the century since Darwin's death.

The anti-evolutionist "scientific" creationists promote a social and political movement, not a scientific one. They are attempting to impose a sectarian religious view, the literal interpretation of Genesis, upon the public schools. But this is not all: they are claiming to be able to scientifically demonstrate that the world was created suddenly, all at once, a relatively short time ago. Competent scientists, including many Fellows and Scientific Consultants of CSICOP, who have examined the claims of "scientific" creationism have found them baseless. There is no scientific evidence supporting the instantaneous creation of the earth and all the creatures on it but there is much evidence from many scientific fields that the universe has changed extensively through time.

The gains of the "scientific" creationists have been made through political pressure rather than through the scientific acceptability of their ideas. Science and science literacy suffer greatly when science is subordinated to political pressure. For scientific literacy to increase among Americans, science rather than pseudoscience must be taught to children.

CSICOP urges the public and the mass media to recognize "scientific" creationism as a narrow, religiously based lobby, not a science, and to seek out expert opinion outside the creationist camp when confronted by creationist pseudoscientific claims.


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