August 4, 2005
Physics Society President Says Intelligent Design Should Not be Taught as Science
College Park, MD – Marvin Cohen, president of the American Physical Society (APS), has stated that only scientifically validated theories, such as evolution, should be taught in the nation’s science classes. He made this statement in response to recently reported remarks of President Bush about intelligent design, which is a type of creationism.
"We are happy that the President's recent comments on the theory of intelligent design have been clarified,” says Cohen. “As Presidential Science Advisor John Marburger has explained, President Bush does not regard intelligent design as science. If such things are to be taught in the public schools, they belong in a course on comparative religion, which is a particularly appropriate subject for our children given the present state of the world."
In comments to journalists in Texas on Monday, President Bush said that intelligent design should be taught side by side with scientific theories of evolution in the classroom.
Presidential science advisor John Marburger followed up on the President’s comments in an interview on Tuesday, stating that “evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology” and ''intelligent design is not a scientific concept.'' Marburger also said it would be over-interpreting President Bush’s remarks to conclude that Bush meant that intelligent design should be placed on an equal footing with evolution.
The APS governing Council has long expressed its opposition to the inclusion of religious concepts such as intelligent design and related forms of creationism in science classes. Two statements, passed by the Council in 1981 and 1999, can be found on the web at Statement on Creationism and Statement on the Kansas State Board of Education Decision respectively.
The American Physical Society is the world’s largest professional body of physicists, representing over 43,000 physicists in academia and industry in the US and internationally. Its President, Marvin L. Cohen, is University Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and received the National Medal of Science from President Bush in 2002.
The American Physical Society is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 53,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C.