Utah Science Teachers Association

Whereas, the science teachers of the State of Utah are being subjected to increasing pressure to teach non-science material in their science classrooms, and,

Whereas, the Utah Science Teachers Association supports the wisdom and constitutionality of the separation of church and state,

The Utah Science Teachers Association hereby affirms that the science teachers of the State of Utah should*
  1. 1. Teach science and related disciplines (technology, societal implications of science and technology, etc.) in their science classrooms, and not teach religion as science.
  2. Teach students that science is a dynamic, self-correcting discipline based on empirical data and reasonable analyses thereof.
  3. Teach the theory of evolution as the major organizing theory in the discipline of the biological and geological sciences.
  4. Teach the students to distinguish between various types of evidence; to distinguish "fact," "theory," "hypothesis," "inference," etc.; and to recognize that in its strict sense, "theory" (as a generalization organizing massive amounts of diverse and repeatedly-tested data), is the most useful statement that life science can make.
  5. Help students understand that accepting the theory of evolution by natural selection, and other biological phenomena, is not equating science with atheism and that the theory of evolution by natural selection does not rule out the possibility of the involvement of a divine Creator.
  6. Help students understand that accepting the theory of evolution by natural selection need not compromise their religious beliefs, whatever their religion may be, since science and religion are based on separate premises and use different methodologies.
  7. Help students understand that creationism, as taught by prominent creationist organizations of the day, is pseudoscience and not science.
  8. Help students understand that religion is a belief system based on faith and religious experience, and that religious principles can still be followed without conflict while accepting the premises and methodology of science.
  9. Help students understand that both science and religion, as two among several human endeavors, have strengths and limits in pursuing human knowledge and action; that neither alone is a sufficient guide for either individual or group conduct. It has never been an endeavor of science, nor is it appropriate for individual scientists, to falsely apply the methodology of science to undermine matters of religious faith.
*Statements 1 through 4 refer to actual classroom teaching recommendations. Statements 5 though 9 refer to suggestions teachers may want to consider in helping students outside of class.