APA opposes teaching "intelligent design" as science


According to a March 1, 2007, press release from the American Psychological Association, "the Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association has adopted a resolution opposing the teaching of intelligent design as scientific theory and stating that teaching intelligent design as science undermines the quality of both science education and science literacy." In adopting the resolution, the APA reaffirmed its 1982 resolution on creationism, which stated that "'creationism'" does not meet the criteria of science and should not be taught as part of the public school science curriculum."

The statement (PDF) observes that "[e]volutionary theory is a major unifying force in contemporary science ... [t]he bases of continuity and variation that follow from evolutionary theory inform, explicitly or implicitly, the work of many psychologists with humans and other animals ... [and] ID proponents dismiss contemporary evolutionary theory as scientifically invalid." Describing teaching "intelligent design" as "a threat to the quality of science education in the United States," the statement "applauds the consistent repudiation by federal courts of Creationism, Creation Science, and now ID as a part of science education."

The Council of Representatives added, "While we are respectful of religion and individuals' right to their own religious beliefs, we also recognize that science and religion are separate and distinct. For a theory to be taught as science it must be testable, supported by empirical evidence and subject to disconfirmation. Thus, intelligent design lacks a basis in science." In a Questions and Answers section, the press release similarly emphasizes, "The APA resolution speaks to the absence of scientific methods or evidence to support the teaching of intelligent design as science. It is not meant to question the legitimacy of intelligent design as a religious philosophy."