Wednesday, August 03, 2005

More on Bush and Intelligent Design

Statement from the American Geophysical Union:

American Geophysical Union
2 August 2005
AGU Release No. 05-28
For Immediate Release

AGU: President Confuses Science and Belief, Puts Schoolchildren at Risk

Contact: Harvey Leifert
+1 (202) 777-7507

WASHINGTON - "President Bush, in advocating that the concept
of ‛intelligent design' be taught alongside the theory of evolution, puts
America's schoolchildren at risk," says Fred Spilhaus, Executive Director
of the American Geophysical Union. "Americans will need basic understanding
of science in order to participate effectively in the 21st century world. It is
essential that students on every level learn what science is and how scientific
knowledge progresses."

In comments to journalists on August 1, the President said that "both sides
ought to be properly taught." "If he meant that intelligent design
should be given equal standing with the theory of evolution in the nation's
science classrooms, then he is undermining efforts to increase the understanding
of science," Spilhaus said in a statement. "‛Intelligent
design' is not a scientific theory." Advocates of intelligent design
believe that life on Earth is too complex to have evolved on its own and must
therefore be the work of a designer. That is an untestable belief and,
therefore, cannot qualify as a scientific theory."

"Scientific theories, like evolution, relativity and plate tectonics, are
based on hypotheses that have survived extensive testing and repeated
verification," Spilhaus says. "The President has unfortunately
confused the difference between science and belief. It is essential that
students understand that a scientific theory is not a belief, hunch, or untested

"Ideas that are based on faith, including ‛intelligent design,'
operate in a different sphere and should not be confused with science. Outside
the sphere of their laboratories and science classrooms, scientists and students
alike may believe what they choose about the origins of life, but inside that
sphere, they are bound by the scientific method," Spilhaus said.

AGU is a scientific society, comprising 43,000 Earth and space scientists. It
publishes a dozen peer reviewed journal series and holds meetings at which
current research is presented to the scientific community and the public.

Note for Journalists

Contact information for Fred Spilhaus:
or +1 (202) 777-7510.

Statement From National Science Teachers Association:

National Science Teachers Association
703-312-9248 (office)
703-798-8744 (mobile)

National Science Teachers Association Disappointed About Intelligent Design
Comments Made by President Bush

AUGUST 3, 2005, ARLINGTON, VA--The National Science Teachers Association
(NSTA), the world’s largest organization of science educators, is stunned

and disappointed that President Bush is endorsing the teaching of
intelligent design-effectively opening the door for non-scientific ideas to
be taught in the nation's K-12 science classrooms.

"We stand with the nation's leading scientific organizations and
scientists, including Dr. John Marburger the president’s top science
advisor, in stating that intelligent design is not science. Intelligent
design has no place in the science classroom,” said Gerry Wheeler, NSTA
Executive Director.

Monday, Knight Ridder news service reported that the President favors the
teaching of intelligent design so “so people can understand what the
debate is about.”
“It is simply not fair to present pseudoscience to students in the
science classroom,” said NSTA President Mike Padilla.
viewpoints have little value in increasing students’ knowledge of the
natural world.”
NSTA strongly supports the premise that evolution is a major unifying
concept in science and should be included in the K-12 education frameworks
and curricula. This position is consistent with that of the National
Academies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and
many other scientific and educational organizations.

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association is the
largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and
innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current
membership includes more than 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors,
administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and
others involved in science education.