Book: Evolution, religion are compatible

January 5, 2008

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has published a new book arguing that acceptance of the theory of evolution does not require giving up a belief in God.

The 70-page book, "Science, Evolution and Creationism," was published Thursday. It states, in part, that "attempts to pit science and religion against each other create controversy where none needs to exist," The New York Times reported.

The academy, the United States' pre-eminent scientific organization, previously published books on the subject in 1984 and 1999. Those books reported on evidence supporting evolution and argued against introducing creationism or other religious explanations for the origins of life in public school science classes, the newspaper said.

Barbara A. Schaal, a vice president of the academy who worked on the book, told the Times it was designed to be read by the lay public and tries to explain the differences between science and religion.

"We wanted to produce a report that would be valuable and accessible to school board members and teachers and clergy," said Schaal, who is also an evolutionary biologist at Washington University.

The panel was led by Francisco Ayala, a biologist at the University of California, Irvine, and a former member of the Roman Catholic Church's Dominican order of priests.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Science historians mark 150 years of 'the tree of life' in Nature article

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5 comments

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Fredsie
4 / 5 (5) Jan 06, 2008
We don't need a book to explain how evolution, or science, or anything, is compatible with religion, since religion's tenets are arbitrary and can be changed to fit in with any new conflicting or embarrassing facts. This has happened throughout the ages.
Wired
1.5 / 5 (2) Jan 06, 2008
Why do religious people keep trying to teach children that the earth was created by aliens from outer space? Do we really need to include this theory of alien creation in our science books?
BarbaraKlinePope
3 / 5 (2) Jan 10, 2008
Some people who are commenting on this blog may be doing so without having had the opportunity to read our book, "Science, Evolution, and Creationism." This conversation might be enhanced and clarified by reading the book online or downloading it in pdf for free at http://www.nap.edu/sec.
Fredsie
5 / 5 (1) Jan 12, 2008
Thanks. My original post was more of a comment on religion than on the book, which thanks to the previous post I have now had a chance to look at. (NB you need to remove the final period for this link to work). I can see the potential use for this well-written piece in certain skewed educational contexts, though I do find some of the content contentious. For example, I cannot accept the suggestion that "Science and religion address separate aspects of human experience". Science addresses ALL aspects of human experience, including the examination of "religious experiences" e.g. from a psychological or psychochemical perspective. But the bottom line is, as long as you tolerate "faith" as a way of gaining knowledge of anything, you are undermining the scientific approach you are trying to promote.
vlam67
5 / 5 (1) Jan 12, 2008
Christianity and Islam are the most lucrative corporate franchises on this planet to gain control power over the masses. No wonder the board directors and shareholders are most vocal (sometimes violently physical)in protecting their margins. Others will just shake their heads in quiet amusement and generally stay out of this pretty stupid and insane propaganda game. No surprise then that SETI searches keep coming up blank. Any sentience out there will say:"Currently there is no intelligent life on Earth, why bother responding to morons?"

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