Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists
The Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists, representing more than 500 practicing geologists in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, opposes educational proposals and/or actions which would dilute the quality and quantity of science education by incorporating non-scientific concepts or methods into public school biology curricula as alternative explanations to biological evolution. In particular, PCPG opposes the introduction or instruction of the concept of "intelligent design" as an alternative to biological evolution, but is equally opposed to the inclusion of any positions or philosophies in science curricula which are not based on scientific methods and accepted by the scientific community.
PCPG is an advocacy organization which actively promotes science education in Pennsylvania. As such, and in light of its mission to increase the protection of public welfare through continued improvements in the awareness and application of science within the Commonwealth, PCPG supports the Pennsylvania Department of Education standards on science education which specify a curriculum including biological evolution as the accepted scientific explanation of the diversity of life on Earth.
Biological evolution is a fact. Evolution is change to populations over time and the constituent species of life on Earth have undeniably changed over geologic time. The theory of biological evolution, the lengthy explanation of the accepted fact of evolution, is supported by a myriad of scientific facts. Establishing many of those facts has been, and remains the purview of geologists. PCPG does not imply that the scientific community is in complete accord regarding the rate of evolutionary change, or which of the several mechanisms provides the greatest contribution to change under different circumstances. PCPG does hold that the theory of evolution, in its totality, is the only scientifically accepted explanation of the diversity of life on earth.
The Scientific Method places no bounds or limits on the scope or direction of scientific inquiry into the natural world. Inquiry within the construct of intelligent design, however, is bounded and limited. Intelligent design, therefore, can never be considered a science and its conclusions are, as a result, unscientific. Consequently, intelligent design and/or other non-scientific alternatives to any scientifically derived and supported theory have no established place in science curricula.
The claim that intelligent design should be taught, or even mentioned, as part of science curricula in schools because there is "scientific controversy regarding the theory of evolution" is not supported by facts. Controversies surrounding biological evolution and/or its inclusion in educational curricula are not based on scientifically derived facts or on competing scientific theories of which there are none.
As the premier organization which promotes the education and professional application of Earth Sciences in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PCPG encourages and fosters science education and specifically opposes any educational proposals or reforms which would dilute the quality and quantity of scientific tutelage by the mandatory introduction of non-scientific concepts. Likewise, PCPG opposes the adoption and use of educational disclaimers, written or stated, which:
- infer that biological evolution is "only a theory" and not, therefore, a fact;
- and/or which
- state or imply that there is controversy within the scientific community in general, and the community of researching and published biologists and geologists in particular, regarding the naturalistic explanation of the diversity of life provided by the comprehensive theory of evolution.