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Kudos for Science, Evolution, and Creationism


Science, Evolution, and Creationism, the new book from the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine designed to give the public a comprehensive and up-to-date picture of the current scientific understanding of evolution and its importance in the science classroom, is receiving wide attention -- and, what's more, praise both from the scientific community and newspapers across the country for its uncompromising endorsement of the necessity of including evolution in science education.

Stories about Science, Evolution, and Creationism appeared in such major media outlets as The New York Times (January 4, 2008), Reuters (January 3, 2008), [Link broken] ScienceNOW (January 4, 2008), United Press International (January 4, 2008), and the Associated Press (January 3, 2008) [Link broken], which noted, "Josh Rosenau, a spokesman for the California-based National Center for Science Education, which supports the teaching of evolution, said the new report is important because the debate over evolution in school is not going away."

And both NBC and ABC ran segments about the book on their nightly newscasts on January 3, 2008. Robert "Mac" West, a paleontologist and museum consultant who serves on NCSE's board of directors, told ABC's Dan Harris, "We don't want to be in the position of misleading our youngsters about what science is and what it can tell us about how the world works." NCSE's deputy director Glenn Branch told NBC's Pete Williams, "This is a definitive statement from a leading scientific authority about the scientific bankruptcy of intelligent design creationism."

The journal Nature offered three cheers on the publication of Science, Evolution, and Creationism in its January 10, 2008, editorial, remarking, "The document succinctly summarizes what is and isn't science, provides an overview of evidence for evolution by natural selection, and highlights how, time and again, leading religious figures have upheld evolution as consistent with their view of the world," and also citing Kevin Padian's testimony in Kitzmiller v. Dover as "a more specific and also entertaining account of evolutionary knowledge."

In its January 12, 2008, editorial, New Scientist also praised the book, focusing (subscription required) on its avoidance of portraying science as opposed to religion ("The US is a religious country and, as Glenn Branch of the advocacy group National Center for Science Education points out, if the issue was 'God versus science' many Americans would choose God.") and its emphasis on the practical applications of evolutionary theory ("understanding evolution is critical to agriculture, medicine and specifically to tackling viruses such as SARS and HIV").

Newspapers across the country took the opportunity presented by the publication of Science, Evolution, and Creationism to reaffirm their editorial commitment to the integrity of science education, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (January 6, 2008), the Tuscaloosa News (January 6, 2008), the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (January 7, 2008) [Link broken], and the Toledo Blade (January 9, 2008), which wrote, "Regrettably for American students caught in the middle, education on evolution could be watered down unless the National Academy of Sciences and others without a religious ax to grind get the last word."