The growing strength of the movement to discredit evolution and promote the teaching of intelligent design and other non science-based views of biological diversity in public science classrooms is of great concern. Please see the UCS position statement on this alarming trend. UCS has not developed a comprehensive program or set of actions on this topic — there are already extensive and excellent resources available. Instead, these materials provide a primer on the scientific theory, evolution, and intelligent design, along with discussions of why intelligent design is not science, why it should not be part of the science curriculum, and the broader implications anti-evolution efforts can have on society.
Promoting a fundamental understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry is an incredibly effective way to prevent the misuse of science in the classroom and in all sectors of society. We encourage further exploration of the topic and of actions that can be taken by teachers, scientists, and the general public to promote understanding of science. Click on the topics above for summary text and links to resources. We hope you find these materials useful.
UCS Statement on Science, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (html) (pdf)
Section 1: Science as a Way of Knowing
Section 2: Science and Society
Section 3: Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design
Section 4: Why Intelligent Design is not Science
Section 5: Science Education and Intelligent Design
Section 6: Fairness and Balance in the Classroom and Beyond
Key Educational Web Sites and Organizations
- National Center for Science Education — Dedicated to defending the teaching of evolution in public schools. A great resource for information and articles.
- National Science Teachers Association — A great site with up-to-date information on evolution-related topics.
- Talk Origins — An informative and well-organized Web site for dialogue on evolution and Creationism. Talk Origins Archive is a “collection of articles and essays that explore the creationism/evolution controversy from a mainstream scientific perspective.” It has been recommended by AAAS, NAA, and Scientific America among others. It supports evolution but encourages discussion and critical thinking and also has links to pro- and anti-evolution Web sites.
- The Panda’s Thumb — A Web publication of the University of Ediacara. “The patrons gather to discuss evolutionary theory, critique the claims of the antievolution movement, defend the integrity of both science and science education, and share good conversation.”
Polls on Public Perceptions of Science and Religion
- 2001 Gallup Poll regarding U.S. public’s view on the theory of evolution — Focuses on public beliefs on evolution and teaching of evolution and creationism in school, but also includes data on political affiliations, religion and politics, and mideast views among other issues.
- Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life — Survey of religion and several social issues including evolution and science education, religion in politics, and views on the mideast conflict.
- A poll of 460 college and university professors asked about their opinions on “intelligent design.” Conducted by the Department of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati.
- Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition
- Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction. Eugenie C. Scott. 2005. University of California Press. A very well written book by the founder and director of the National Center for Science Education. Pro-evolution but very thorough and not dogmatic.
- Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. Michael J. Behe, 1997. Simon and Schuster. One of the most popular publications arguing against Darwin’s theory of evolution.
- Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins. Percival Davis and Dean H. Kenyon. 1989 (2nd edition 1993). A school-level textbook espousing the idea of intelligent design. Is considered to provide the foundation for intelligent design and is commonly referred to a resource by the intelligent design movement.