Southern Anthropological Society

The Southern Anthropological Society deplores the intrusion of a particular religious doctrine into public school classrooms under the guise of socalled "scientific creationism."

These doctrines claim that a literalist reading of the account of the origins of the earth and life on it, as contained in the initial chapters of the book of Genesis, is supported by acceptable scientific evidence.

This interpretation treats a religious text as a scientific theory, which would seem to misrepresent both religion and science. The overwhelming evidence of the sciences — cosmology, geology, biology, anthropology, among others — indicates that the earth and all living forms on it have evolved from a simpler state, although, as in all ongoing science, theories as to how this took place continue to be revised in detail.

There is no necessary conflict between religious belief and inquiry into the natural world.

The institutionalization of creationist doctrine in the school curriculum will lead to the crippling of scientific inquiry as well as to the blurring of the important constitutional distinction between church and state.