National Association of Biology Teachers (1995)

This position statement on evolution was from 1995 and has been updated. For the most recent version, see the 2011 position statement.

The ongoing procedures and processes of science are well defined within each scientific discipline, including biology. The principles and theories of science have been established through repeated experimentation and observation and have been refereed through peer review before general acceptance by the scientific community. Acceptance does not imply rigidity or constraint, or denote dogma. Instead, as new data become available, scientific explanations are revised and improved, or rejected and replaced. Materials, methods, and explanations that fail to meet these ongoing tests of science are not legitimate components of the discipline and must not be part of a science curriculum.

Science may appear to conflict with other ways of knowing about the universe, unfortunately leading some groups to see selected theories of science as a threat to their belief systems. This is not the case; science does not, in fact cannot, study, explain, or judge, non-scientific issues or supernatural belief systems.

Science is but one way of making sense of the world, with internally-consistent methods and principles that are well described. Among these principles is the notion that proposed causes and explanations must be naturalistic. Any attempt to mix or contrast supernatural beliefs and naturalistic theories within science misrepresents the scientific enterprise and debases other, non-scientific, ways of knowing. These attempts, which commonly result from a misunderstanding of the nature of science itself, have no place in science, or in the science classroom or laboratory.

The credibility and utility of science, and therefore biology, depend on maintaining its integrity. NABT has a special obligation, to promote this integrity in life science education. The data, concepts, and theories of science presented to students must meet the accepted standards of the discipline. To this end, NABT will not support efforts to include in the science classroom materials or theories derived outside of the scientific processes. Nonscientific notions such as geocentricism, flat earth, creationism, young earth, astrology, psychic healing and vitalistic theory, therefore, cannot legitimately be taught, promoted, or condoned as science in the classroom.

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