Scientific opinion on creationism and intelligent design

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Darwin's 200th birthday was an opportunity to celebrate Charles Darwin's life and the contribution he made to increasing understanding of the world.

Darwin's work on The Origin of Species and his Theory of Evolution is supported by a diverse and robust body of physical evidence, from fossilised bones to radiometric measurement of the ages of the Earth's rocks. Clear evidence about the origins and evolution of the Earth and of life on this planet have been established by facts and data from the breadth of Science and its numerous disciplines.

This anniversary was an opportunity to affirm the importance of education about the fundamental elements of science.

scientific understanding of the world in which we live will enable us all to meet the future needs of the planet.

Creationism vs. evolution.

Creationism and intelligent design, arguments, evidence and theory.

There has been much debate about the teaching of creationism and intelligent design. Intelligent Design is a creationist belief that suggests that the biological complexity of human beings is evidence for presence of a God or an 'intelligent designer'. There are concerns that it is sometimes advanced as scientific theory but it has no underpinning scientific principles or explanations supporting it and it is not accepted by the international scientific community. Creationism and intelligent design are not part of the National Curriculum for science, but there is scope for schools to discuss creationism as part of Religious Education.

Below are links to statements and reports by a range of scientific bodies of national or international standing. Links to further reading can be found on the right hand side of this page.

UK Academies and learned societies

The Association for Science Education is the professional association for teachers of science. With a broad spread of membership, from primary and secondary teachers to technicians, to those involved in 'Initial Teacher Education' which has some 2.500 student members.

The Geological Society of London is a learned society with the aim of "investigating the mineral structure of the Earth". It is the oldest national geological society in the world and the largest in Europe with over 9000 Fellows.

International bodies

The InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP) is a global network of the world's science academies, including from the United Kingdom, the Royal Society. The panel was launched in 1993, its primary goal is to help member academies work together to advise citizens and public officials on the scientific aspects of critical global issues.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is an international non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing science around the world. Founded in 1848, AAAS serves some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. The AAAS response to the release of a film called 'Expelled' which it was felt inappropriately witted science against religion.

A joint-statement from AAAS NSTA, National Research Council - Kansas Education Standards The National Academies perform an unparalleled public service by bringing together committees of experts in all areas of scientific and technological endeavor. These experts serve pro bono to address critical national issues and give advice to the federal government and the public.

The American Institute of Biological Sciences is a nonprofit scientific association dedicated to advancing biological research and education for the welfare of society

The Geological Society of America is a global professional society with a membership of more than 21,000 individuals in over 85 countries.