APS News

November 1999 (Volume 8, Number 10)

APS Statement on Creationism

Editor's note: This position, which is still in effect, was adopted by APS Council on 22 November l98l in response to initiatives in several states to require 'equal' time for the instruction of creation and evolution in public schools.

The Council of the American Physical Society opposes proposals to require "equal time" for presentation in public school science classes of the biblical story of creation and the scientific theory of evolution. The issues raised by such proposals, while mainly focused on evolution, have important implications for the entire spectrum of scientific inquiry, including geology, physics, and astronomy. In contrast to "Creationism", the systematic application of scientific principles has led to a current picture of life, of the nature of our planet, and of the universe which, while incomplete, is constantly being tested and refined by observation and analysis. This ability to construct critical experiments, whose results can require rejection of a theory, is fundamental to the scientific method. While our society must constantly guard against oversimplified or dogmatic descriptions of science in the education process, we must also resist attempts to interfere with the presentation of properly developed scientific principles in established guidelines for classroom instruction or in the development of scientific textbooks. We therefore strongly oppose any requirement for parallel treatment of scientific and non-scientific discussions in science classes. Scientific inquiry and religious beliefs are two distinct elements of the human experience. Attempts to present them in the same context can only lead to misunderstandings of both.

APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.

Editor: Barrett H. Ripin
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette

November 1999 (Volume 8, Number 10)

Table of Contents

APS News Archives

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Articles in this Issue
New Education Officer Joins APS
Ripin to Leave the APS
Largest Industrial Employers of PhD Physicists
APS Journals Divide and Multiply
Festival Profile
APS Creates Physicist Networking Database
High School Physics Enrollments Hit Post-War High
Mr. Smith Goes to College
Schawlow Honored in Special Memorial Session at ILS-XV
Tiny 'Bow-Tie' Microlasers Make it Big
In Brief
Physics Works!
Physicists To Be Honored at November Unit Meetings
APS Statement on Creationism
The Back Page
Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science