Scott and Matzke in PNAS


NCSE's Eugenie C. Scott and Nicholas J. Matzke's article "Biological design in science classrooms" (available in HTML and PDF formats) was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, one of the world's most-cited multidisciplinary scientific serials (vol. 104, suppl. 1; May 15, 2007). The abstract reads:

Although evolutionary biology is replete with explanations for complex biological structures, scientists concerned about evolution education have been forced to confront "intelligent design" (ID), which rejects a natural origin for biological complexity. The content of ID is a subset of the claims made by the older "creation science" movement. Both creationist views contend that highly complex biological adaptations and even organisms categorically cannot result from natural causes but require a supernatural creative agent. Historically, ID arose from efforts to produce a form of creationism that would be less vulnerable to legal challenges and that would not overtly rely upon biblical literalism. Scientists do not use ID to explain nature, but because it has support from outside the scientific community, ID is nonetheless contributing substantially to a long-standing assault on the integrity of science education.

The article is the result of a talk that Scott gave at the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium of the National Academy of Sciences, "In the Light of Evolution I: Adaptation and Complex Design," held December 1-2, 2006, at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering in Irvine, California.

Figures 1 and 2 from the article, showing a comparison of phrasing in the prepublication manuscripts of the "intelligent design" textbook Of Pandas and People and the famous "cdesign proponentsists" passage (the missing link between "creation science" and "intelligent design") respectively, may be used without permission for noncommercial and educational use, pursuant to the NAS's policy on rights and permissions, provided that the original source and copyright notice are cited.