Statement in Support of the Teaching of Evolution

The National Education Association (NEA) was founded in 1857, two years before Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species. Although these two events remain unrelated, Darwinism and evolution came to play prominent roles over the next fifty years in the science curricula in our nation's public schools.

But like so many scientific theories that challenge established orthodoxy, evolution is still being contested. The issue of evolution versus creationism, unresolved by the weight of case law, is still the subject of debate.

NEA's position in this debate has been firm. Most recently, our 1982 Representative Assembly made clear that NEA opposes all efforts to alter the science curricula in any way that would place the teaching of scientific creationism on an equal footing with the teaching of evolution.

While the National Education Association believes that educational materials should accurately portray the influence of religion in our nation and throughout the world, we also believe that for American education to flourish, religious dogma must neither guide nor hamper the pursuit of knowledge by students and teachers in our public schools.


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