AAAS denounces anti-evolution laws as hundreds of K-12 teachers convene for 'Front Line' event

ST. LOUIS, MO.--The Board of Directors of the world's largest general scientific organization, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), today strongly denounced legislation and policies that would undermine the teaching of evolution and "deprive students of the education they need to be informed and productive citizens in an increasingly technological, global community."

Across the United States, at least 14 pending laws -- including Missouri HB 1266 -- differ in language and strategy, but "all would weaken science education," said AAAS President Gilbert S. Omenn, professor of medicine, genetics and public health at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. "The AAAS Board of Directors opposes these attacks on the integrity of science and science education," he added. "They threaten not just the teaching of evolution, but students' understanding of the biological, physical, and geological sciences."

Pending U.S. anti-evolution legislation currently includes: Alabama HB 016/ SB 45, Michigan HB 5251, Michigan HB 5606, Missouri HB 1266, Mississippi SB 2427, Mississippi HB 953, New York A 8036, Oklahoma SB 1959, Oklahoma HB 2107, Oklahoma HCR 1043, South Carolina S 909 and Utah SB 96

Some of these bills would seek to discredit evolution by emphasizing "flaws" in the theory of evolution, or "disagreements" within the scientific community, the AAAS Board noted. Other bills would encourage teachers and students to explore the concept of intelligent design or other non-scientific "alternatives" to evolution, or to "critically analyze" evolution and "the controversy". But, AAAS emphasized, "There is no significant controversy within the scientific community about the validity of evolution."

Moreover, "Evolution is one of the most robust and widely accepted principles of modern science," the AAAS Board concluded, reconfirming its October 18, 2002 statement,


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