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Oklahoma Academy of Science adds its voice for evolution


At its November 2, 2007, annual meeting, the Oklahoma Academy of Science adopted a statement on "Science, Religion, and Teaching Evolution." According to the statement, "The Oklahoma Academy of Science strongly supports thorough teaching of evolution in biology classes. Evolution is one of the most important principles of science. A high school graduate who does not understand evolution is not prepared for college or for life in a technologically advanced world, in which the role of biology and biotechnology will continue to grow. ... There is no credible scientific evidence that the earth came into being recently or that evolution is not the best explanation of the origins of living organisms."

With reference to religious attitudes toward evolution, the Academy's statement reads, "'Creationism' and 'Intelligent Design' are not science because they do not conform to the testable and falsifiable criteria of science. It is not appropriate for science textbooks or science teachers to teach creation as science. Creation and other matters of faith are topics for religion, philosophy, and humanities courses. ... The Academy contends that the acceptance of the general theory of evolution and a belief in God are compatible. A wide diversity of religious faiths and belief systems are celebrated in the community of science, and the overwhelming majority of scientists accept the principles of evolutionary theory. Many do this without compromising their individual faiths in a Creator."

Founded in 1909, the Oklahoma Academy of Science seeks to stimulate scientific research; encourage fraternal relationship and the sharing of ideas among Oklahomans working in the sciences; foster through meetings and publications the dissemination of science-related ideas to all Oklahomans interested in the sciences; promote the scope and relevance of science to state citizens; investigate and publicize natural, educational, and other resources of the state; counsel government and educational agencies on the advancement of state science programs; and enlist industrial participation in scientific research and education. It issued statements in support of teaching evolution previously, in 1981 and 1999.