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University of California Academic Council of the Academic Senate

It is our understanding that within the next few months the California State Board of Education will be approving many science textbooks for use in California public schools, grades K through 8. The text of the Science Framework for California Schools, prepared in 1969, suggests that one criterion for the board's approval of a text may be the extent to which, in the discussion of the origins of life, a "special theory of creation" is treated as a scientific theory in a manner parallel to an account of evolution. We believe that a description of special creation as a scientific theory is a gross misunderstanding of the nature of scientific inquiry.

To provide the basis of a scientific theory, an hypothesis must make testable predictions. Our ideas of biological evolution are continually being tested in the process of an enormous amount of investigation by thousands of professional biological scientists throughout the world. As in all sciences, there are many facets of the evolution picture that are not yet thoroughly understood, and researchers at the frontier of knowledge, often in disagreement with each other concerning details, continually revise their thinking. Thus, evolutionary theory itself has evolved considerably since the time of Darwin. But virtually all biological scientists are agreed on the broad features of the theory of evolution of life forms, the evidence for which is completely overwhelming.