Mandating the study of scientific creationism in the public schools of New York State, as embodied in New York State Assembly Bill 8569 and New York State Senate Bill 8473, by legislative mandate is viewed by the New York Academy of Sciences as an attempt to introduce, by fiat, religious dogma into an arena where verifiability is paramount to the subject matter. It would constitute a very serious breach of the concept of the separation of Church and State. Scientific Creationism is a religious concept masquerading as a scientific one.

Science attempts to explain the physical world through verifiable and repeatable data. Through its rigorous application of inductive and deductive logic, science asks how physical phenomena occur. It attempts to explain the processes that bring about the phenomena that exist now or have existed in the past.

The concept of evolution in biology is an attempt to ascertain how life may have originated, developed and diversified on the planet Earth. Concepts such as that of evolution are developed within the framework of natural laws. The methodology of science aims to ascertain these laws from experimental data. Science accepts the theories or hypotheses that best "fit" these data.

Science modifies established theories in the light of new experimental data. It is receptive to new theories, if they withstand the tests of scientific methodology.

The concept of evolution is incorporated within many scientific disciplines. Scientific data supplied from these many disciplines have contributed to a more thorough understanding of the mechanism of evolution. The theory itself does not rest on any single branch of science.

Because of inherently different methodologies of science and of religion, there is no overlapping area where the methods of science can be applied to religion or vice versa. There is no way for science to test the various accounts of creation held by the world's religions. These accounts depend upon the acceptance of supernatural phenomena and are not subject to scientific investigation. Their proponents demand that these accounts be accepted on faith, and are properly the province of religion. The methodologies of science cannot be used for their evaluation.

The subject known as "Scientific Creationism" is lacking in scientific substance; we reject it for inclusion in science curricula.

For these reasons, the New York Academy of Sciences strongly opposes the introduction of "Scientific Creationism" into any science curricula of the public schools of New York State.

Passed by the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences on 22 May 1980.

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