Monday, April 7, 2008

Support for Science

A BBC report shows 68 academic societies from around the world expressing their support of teaching evolution. Excerpt:

"We, the undersigned Academies of Sciences, have learned 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. We 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. Knowledge of the natural world in which they live empowers people to meet human needs and protect the planet.

We agree that the following evidence-based facts about the origins and evolution of the Earth and of life on this planet have been established by numerous observations and independently derived experimental results from a multitude of scientific disciplines. Even if there are still many open questions about the precise details of evolutionary change, scientific evidence has never contradicted these results:"

In summary...

1. Our universe has evolved for some 11 to 15 billion years and our Earth was formed approximately 4.5 billion years ago.

2. The Earth has changed as a result of numerous physical and chemical forces, and continues to do so.

3. Life appeared on Earth atleast 2.5 billion years ago and has evolved into its present state.

"Human understanding of value and purpose are outside of natural science’s scope. However, a number of components – scientific, social, philosophical, religious, cultural and political – contribute to it. These different fields owe each other mutual consideration, while being fully aware of their own areas of action and their limitations.
While acknowledging current limitations, science is open ended, and subject to correction and expansion as new theoretical and empirical understanding emerges."

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