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Mar7-04, 02:06 PM
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Form the website of the Society for Neuroscience (

SfN Statement on Evolution and Intelligent Design

Recognizing that the theory of Evolution is the fundamental scientific theory or cornerstone that helps us to understand and study the origins and diversity of living organisms, the Society for Neuroscience supports teaching evolution in science classrooms, and opposes the assertion that Intelligent Design Theory (ID) is a valid scientific alternative.

The debate in America surrounding the teaching of Evolution in science classrooms began with the Creationist claim that the Darwinian concept of natural selection was incorrect, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence in support of it. Creationism, a theory attempting to explain origins of life through supernatural causes, as opposed to scientific ones, failed. Intelligent Design, a revised Creationist effort to claim scientific legitimacy, purports to present a highly disputed philosophical theory as valid scientific theory. Differing from Creationism, ID is not directly supernaturally based. Intelligent design cites, as one of its core principles, “intelligent causes” as the explanation of the complexity of biological structures. Attempting to become credible in the face of Creationism’s failure, ID is devoid of potential to create sound scientific results and explanations. Therefore, it would, as its proponents intend, subserve the goals of the Creationist effort.

The theory of Evolution serves as the basis for the biological sciences’ understanding of the origins and diversity of all living organisms and is accepted with remarkable consensus in the scientific community. It explains and supports findings in scientific areas ranging from botany to zoology and embryology to neuroscience. Additional support is found within independent scientific sources such as archaeology and molecular biology. Though scientists can differ regarding certain aspects of Evolution, the differences constitute testable hypotheses. Thus, SfN believes that teaching Evolution is an essential component of modern science education. K-12 science education based on anything other than tested and accepted scientific theory is counterproductive to the education of America’s youth.

For these reasons, the Society for Neuroscience categorically opposes the teaching of ID in science classrooms. Further, the Society for Neuroscience emphatically supports the teaching of Evolutionary theory, as it is necessary for a valuable scientific education and for understanding of the diversity and origin of all living organisms.
The Society was formed in 1970. It has more than 34,000 members and is the world's largest organization of scientists devoted to the study of the brain. It publishes the scholarly journal The Journal of Neuroscience, and a variety of other publications.