ACADEMY OF SCIENCE OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF CANADA (1985) The Academy of Science of the Roy

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ACADEMY OF SCIENCE OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF CANADA (1985) The Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada considers that "scientific creationism" has nothing to do with science or the scientific method. "Scientific creationism" does not belong in any discussion of scientific principles or theories, and therefore should have no place in a science curriculum. Science provides knowledge of the natural world in the form of evidence gathered by observation and experiment. Analysis of this evidence allows scientists to generate hypothesese that link and explain different phenomena. Scientific hypotheses must be capable of being tested by further research. If a hypothesis is found to explain many different facts, and even to allow accurate predictions of subsequent discoveries, greater confidence is placed in it, and it is called a theory. The theory of evolution by natural selection was first clearly formulated in 1859, and for over a century it has been tested and improved by the research of many thousands of scientists: not only by biologists and geologists, but also by chemists and physicists. From deductions based on abundant data, the theory has been developed to explain the changes that have taken place in living things over much of the Earth's history. In its modern form, it remains the only explanation for the diversity of life on this planet that is acceptable to the scientific community." Science itself evolves, since it must continuously modify existing explanations to incorporate new information. The theory of evolution continues to be refined as new evidence becomes available. Only one thing in science is not open to change: its demand that every explanation be based on observation or experiment, that these be in principle repeatable, and that new evidence be considered. Scientific creationists adopt an entirely different approach in their attempt to explain the natural world. They accept either biblical or some other authority as overriding other kinds of evidence. They reject much of the accumulated scientific knowledge, and commonly deny the validity of deductions based on directly observable phenomena such as radioactive decay. This is because their philosophy is rooted in a different aspect of human culture. If their claim, that the Earth and all its living things were created only several thousand years ago, was correct, many of the central concepts of modern science would have to be abandoned. The methodology and conclusions of scientists and "scientific creationists" are therefore incompatible, and the term "scientific creationism" is a contradiction in terms, since it has no basis in science. Delivered by Fellows of the Academy to each Provincial Minister of Education in Canada. Published in _Geotimes_, November 1985, p.21 =========================================================================== The above is reprinted with permission from the book, _Voices for Evolution_, edited by Betty McCollister, published by the National Center for Science Education, Inc. (NCSE). This book, a compendium of resolutions, statements, and position papers from many scientific, educational, and religious organizations, can be ordered for $10 from NCSE at P.O. Box 9477, Berkeley, CA 94709. Some of the other resolutions may also be available for download on the bulletin board from which you acquired this file, which was put together by David Bloomberg, Sysop of The Temples of Syrinx BBS, (217) 787-9101; FidoNet 1:2430/2112.


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