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
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