National academies of science around the world support evolution education


Sixty-seven national academies of science, representing countries from Albania to Zimbabwe, have endorsed the Interacademy Panel's new statement (PDF) on the teaching of evolution. Among the signatories are the United States National Academy of Sciences, the United Kingdom's Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Canada, the Australian Academy of Science, and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry and the Crafoord Prize.

Concerned that "in various parts of the world, within science courses taught in certain public systems of education, scientific evidence, data, and testable theories about the origins and evolution of life on Earth are being concealed, denied, or confused with theories not testable by science," the signatories "urge decision makers, teachers, and parents to educate all children about the methods and discoveries of science and to foster an understanding of the science of nature."

IAP's co-chair Yves Quere told the BBC (June 21, 2006) that the scientific community is increasingly concerned that children are not being taught the basic facts of evolution and the nature of scientific inquiry. The statement accordingly lists a number of key facts that "have been established by numerous observations and independently derived experimental results from a multitude of scientific disciplines," including the age of the universe and of the earth, the change of the earth over time, and the common ancestry of life on earth.

The statement also acknowledges that "human understanding of value and purpose are outside of natural science's scope" and that "a number of components -- scientific, social, philosophical, religious, cultural and political -- contribute to it," adding, "These different fields owe each other mutual consideration, while being fully aware of their own areas of action and their limitations."

A press release (PDF) from the IAP about the statement is available here.