Evolution education is a ‘must’ says coalition of science group

A coalition of 17 organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Institute of Physics, and the National Science Teachers Association, is calling on the scientific community to become more involved in the promotion of science education, including evolution. According to an article appearing in the January 2008 issue of The FASEB Journal, the introduction of “non-science,” such as creationism and intelligent design, into science education will undermine the fundamentals of science education. Some of these fundamentals include using the scientific method, understanding how to reach scientific consensus, and distinguishing between scientific and nonscientific explanations of natural phenomena.

“In an age when people have benefited so greatly from science and reason, it is ironic that some still reject the tools that have afforded them the privilege to reject them,” says Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal.

The article is based on a national survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters. Survey respondents were queried on their attitudes toward science and scientists, their views on evolutionary science in the context of education, and their opinions regarding the means through which the scientific community can effectively bolster support for teaching evolution and related subjects. The survey revealed that respondents favored teaching evolution over creationism or intelligent design. The survey also revealed that respondents were more interested in hearing about evolution from scientists, science teachers, and clergy than Supreme Court Justices, celebrities, or school board members. The survey also found that there is a relationship between people’s understanding of science and their support for teaching evolution. Respondents were asked three questions: one related to plate tectonics, one related to the proper use of antibiotics, and one related to prehistory. Those who accurately answered questions on these subjects were far more likely to support the teaching of evolution in schools.

“The bottom line is that the world is round, humans evolved from an extinct species, and Elvis is dead,” Weissmann added. “This survey is a wake-up call for anyone who supports teaching information based on evidence rather than speculation or hope; people want to hear the truth, and they want to hear it from scientists.”

http://www.faseb.org

13 COMMENTS

  1. From the Telegraph, a news item on some truly wild fantasies on Quantum Creationism — now, what were we saying about science, fact and theories? Man, and I thought the Mystics were abusing quantum physics!

    But it does raise a really good point: Evolution or not, I don’t know, probably, somewhat, maybe, here and there, more than we know, but there is still this very sticky problem that has plagued the Evolutionists since the start, and that is their failure to demonstrate how dead matter becomes living matter (and vice versa) a question for which, as cited above, the answer is anyone’s guess.

  2. Ok, so when scientists are able to demonstration the creation of some completely new and novel form of life in the laboratory, then what objections will be raised?

    By the way, the origins of life puzzle is an interesting problem that lots of people are working on, but I strongly doubt that the question “plagues” evolutionists. Rather, it is likely that anti-evolutions are simply using the issue of our currently limited understanding to argue their points. Much like children saying “ha ha ha, you can’t explain that!” To which the adult answer, “well not yet….”

    The evolution of whales was for a very long time considered to be the smoking-gun against evolution. Anti-evolutionists were delighted by our inability to find any evidence of whale evolution — they just seemed to appear out of no where. But, low and behold, whale evolution took place on the north shores of then-continent India. When India collided with Asia, the Himalayan mountains were formed. This pushed the sea floor up into the mountains of what is now Pakistan where proto-whale fossils were eventually discovered to the delight of many who were asking: “Now what are they going complain about?” A recent discovery of Indohyus, a land dwelling deer-like creature, no longer even sparks an anti-evolution controversy.

    And when artificial life is created in the lab, then what? That of course won’t prove that life originally happened that way, but a few generations of people used to living with artificial life forms wandering around them and the whole issue will simply fade away. And then what will the anti-evolutionists complain about?

  3. Why is it that people want creationism to be view as a scientific theory? I just don’t get it. It clearly doesn’t meet any criteria past a “hypothesis” and even then, it fails a logic check based on what we DO know about things spontaneously appearing out of nothing.

    The typical justification usually follows this line:
    Evolution is a theory and not a proven fact and can’t be trusted – therefore this NEW theory has the same validity as Evolution.

    It is hogwash and just because broken logic is used to justify it does not make it true. “Origin Of The Species” was a ground-breaking work that has only gotten stronger over the close to 150 years it has been around. Can you believe it? 200 years ago people didn’t know for sure where we came from – now we know and people want to turn back the clock.

    Teach truth and don’t use the “ultimate truth” as a background to sanction it – insight and question only comes from reflection of oneself, not through many confusing interpretations of reality.

    Eric

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