April 22, 2008

Science, Evolution, and Creationism

Very objective and respectful. The way scientists should be :) i gave a talk on this and i hope you will all be enlightened as i have :)

For the purposes of this blog (hehe!) and my target audience, i have focused on why faith need not be in conflict with science and excerpted selectively. The actual book and details are as follows:

Science, Evolution, and Creationism
Latest edition released 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine (both US-based)

Download the free PDF book here: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11876
(Summary, Podcast, Book Orders, and so on also available on this site)

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for noncommercial, educational purposes, provided that this notice appears on the reproduced materials, the Web address of the online, full authoritative version is retained, and copies are not altered. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the National Academies Press.


Book Description [found in website]:

How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable.

In the book Science, Evolution, and Creationism, a group of experts assembled by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine explain the fundamental methods of science, document the overwhelming evidence in support of biological evolution, and evaluate the alternative perspectives offered by advocates of various kinds of creationism, including "intelligent design." The book explores the many fascinating inquiries being pursued that put the science of evolution to work in preventing and treating human disease, developing new agricultural products, and fostering industrial innovations. The book also presents the scientific and legal reasons for not teaching creationist ideas in public school science classes.

Mindful of school board battles and recent court decisions, Science, Evolution, and Creationism shows that science and religion should be viewed as different ways of understanding the world rather than as frameworks that are in conflict with each other and that the evidence for evolution can be fully compatible with religious faith. For educators, students, teachers, community leaders, legislators, policy makers, and parents who seek to understand the basis of evolutionary science, this publication will be an essential resource.


[Why only evolution in the classroom?]

Hypotheses must be restricted to testable natural explanations. [The beliefs of creationists] cannot be tested, modified, or rejected by scientific means and thus cannot be a part of the processes of science.

[Why (not) creationism?]

But science cannot test supernatural possibilities...

Such appeals to the supernatural are not testable using the rules and processes of scientific inquiry and cannot be a part of science.

[Why (not) intelligent design?]

"Intelligent design is not a scientific concept because it cannot be empirically tested."


1968 US Supreme Court ruling

"Government in our democracy, state and national, must be neutral in matters of religious theory, doctrine, and practice. It may not be hostile to any religion or to the advocacy of non-religion, and it may not aid, foster, or promote one religion or religious theory against another or even against the militant opposite."


Acceptance of the evidence for evolution can be compatible with religious faith.

Science and religion are separate and address aspects of human understanding in different ways.
In science, explanations must be based on evidence drawn from examining the natural world. Religious faith, in contrast, does not depend only on empirical evidence, is not necessarily modified in the face of conflicting evidence, and typically involves supernatural forces or entities. Because they are not a part of nature, supernatural entities cannot be investigated by science.

Attempts to pit science and religion against each other create controversy where none needs to exist.

[Excerpts of Statements by Religious Leaders Who See No Conflict Between Their Faith and Science] --- click here

[Excerpts of Statements by Scientists Who See No Conflict Between Their Faith and Science] --- click here


FAQ: Aren’t evolution and religion opposing ideas?

Newspaper and television stories sometimes make it seem as though evolution and religion are incompatible, but that is not true (see excerpts).

To be sure, disagreements do exist. Some people reject any science that contains the word “evolution”; others reject all forms of religion. The range of beliefs about science and about religion is very broad. Regrettably, those who occupy the extremes of this range often have set the tone of public discussions.

Evolution is science, however, and only science should be taught and learned in science classes.

FAQ: Does science disprove religion?

Science can neither prove nor disprove religion. Scientific advances have called some religious beliefs into question, but many religious beliefs involve entities or ideas that currently are not within the domain of science. Thus, it would be false to assume that all religious beliefs can be challenged by scientific findings.

Both science and religion are weakened by claims that something not yet explained scientifically must be attributed to a supernatural deity. It confuses the roles of science and religion by attributing explanations to one that belong in the domain of the other.

The study of science need not lessen or compromise faith.



Science and religion address separate aspects of human experience.
Needlessly placing science and religion in opposition reduces the potential of both to contribute to a better future.

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