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.