ASA raises its voice for evolution


In a statement (PDF) issued on October 18, 2006, the American Sociological Association took a strong stand for the integrity of science education, describing evolution as "a central organizing principle of the biological sciences that is based upon overwhelming empirical evidence from various scientific disciplines." The statement observes, "Efforts to qualify, limit, or exclude the teaching of biological evolution in U.S. public science curricula would adversely affect national science literacy, academic achievement, and technological and scientific advancement. Such efforts would deprive U.S. public school students of their right to genuine and coherent science education, which they need in a world where science and technology are socially and economically vital areas of knowledge."

The statement also expresses the ASA's opposition to "proposals that promote, support, or advocate religious doctrines or ideologies in science education curricula," such as creationism (including "intelligent design"). Emphasizing that the "ASA respects the right of people to hold diverse religious beliefs, including those that reject evolution and related principles of science, as a matter of faith," the statement adds, "Such beliefs, however, should not be promulgated by science educators in the classroom because it would be a disservice to students to present such views as having a basis in science." The statement acknowledges, however, that creationism "as a social movement and pseudoscientific cognitive process" is a legitimate topic for classes in the social sciences.

Founded in 1905, the American Sociological Association is a non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing sociology as a scientific discipline and profession serving the public good, with over 14,000 members.