February 24, 2004: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

STATEMENT ON INTELLIGENT DESIGN BY THE SOCIETY FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF REAL SCIENCE

 

This statement was prepared in consultation with

the National Center for Selling Evolution and

the American Council for Litigation and Usurpation

 

Intelligent Design is the latest attempt by creationists to force God into science and destroy evolution. It is the most dangerous form of creationism to date because it self-consciously avoids reference to God. Nevertheless, its creationist agenda bleeds through its empty rhetoric at every turn. It is in fact a politico-religious movement that masquerades as science and attempts to force a wedge between the scientific community and the wider culture. Its ultimate goal is to establish a theocracy in which the Bible becomes federal law and Genesis is taught as fact.

Although some details about evolution remain to be worked out, there is no debate among real scientists about the fundamental facts of evolution. Evolution is as well established as the Earth being spherical or going around the Sun. The evidence for evolution is overwhelming, and to reject or challenge it is not just to abjure science but to place society at grave risk. Many diseases are the result of natural selection in action, and those who minimize or question evolution are endangering public health and, in all likelihood, are already complicit in the deaths of countless people.

The Society for the Advancement of Real Science therefore urges all genuine scientists to use all legal means to oppose and overthrow this creationist pseudoscience. Although some Intelligent Design practitioners have advanced degrees in the sciences, in every known case they obtained those degrees for the express purpose of inveigling themselves into the academic and scientific communities to subvert science.

Proponents of Intelligent Design have only one interest: substituting supernatural causes for natural causes and thereby destroying science and taking over society. They should not be considered genuine scientists in any sense of the word. Nor should their work be interpreted as facilitating the proper understanding of science. Their transparent agenda is a frontal attack on the methods and outcomes of science over the last several hundred years. Their work, their personal demeanor, their very presence among real scientists are so offensive and disturbing to the progress of science that only one solution remains: SCIENTIFIC CLEANSING.

Science must be cleansed from the cancer of Intelligent Design. Only radical surgery will do. The Society for the Advancement of Real Science therefore calls on the scientific, academic, and professional communities to institute the following policies.

(1) RE-EDUCATION: Any scientists caught sympathizing with Intelligent Design need to take part in intensive re-education workshops on the nature of science and the evidence for evolution. Successfully re-educated scientists may with proper supervision be re-integrated into the scientific community. If re-education is unsuccessful or is refused outright, the only recourse is ...

(2) EXCOMMUNICATION: Scientists who remain recalcitrant and refuse to be re-integrated into the community of real scientists must by all legal means be removed from that community. Untenured professors must not be granted tenure. Tenured professors must be encouraged to seek employment elsewhere (e.g., at a Bible college). Funding institutions (e.g., the NSF and NIH) must as a matter of policy refuse to fund the research of Intelligent Design sympathizers.

(3) ACCREDITATION: Academic institutions that employ Intelligent Design sympathizers and that in any way give Intelligent Design legitimacy (e.g., present it in a favorable light in the science curriculum or even go so far as to set up committees, think-tanks, centers, or institutes to weight its "merits") must have their accreditation revoked. Accrediting bodies need to ensure that only real science is taught at accredited institutions.

(4) VETTING: Persons with degrees in the sciences and seeking employment need to be carefully vetted. A thorough search of all their past writings must be made. Any associations with Intelligent Design practitioners need to be scrutinized. Which Intelligent Design supporters do they know personally? Do they have any friends that support Intelligent Design? What books and articles have they read about Intelligent Design?

(5) DEFERENCE: The mark of real science is to respect the principles without which science would be impossible. Evolution has now become the universal governing principle of science. As Theodosius Dobzhansky remarked, "Nothing in biology makes sense apart from evolution." If one includes here cosmic evolution as well, then nothing in science makes sense apart from evolution. Scientists need to be scrupulous about giving evolution proper credit. Scientists whose writings betray less than full enthusiasm for evolution need to be reprimanded and, if that fails, re-educated.

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