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Present Scientific Status of the Theory of Evolution
Inasmuch as the attempt has been made in several States to prohibit in tax-supported institutions the teaching of evolution as applied to man, and
Since it has been asserted that there is not a fact in the universe in support of this theory, that it is a "mere guess" which leading scientists are now abandoning, and that even the American Association for the Advancement of Science at its last meeting in Toronto, Canada, approved this revolt against evolution, and
Inasmuch as such statements have been given wide publicity through the press and are misleading public opinion on this subject, therefore,
The Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science has thought it advisable to take formal steps upon this matter, in order that there may be no ground for misunderstanding of the attitude of this Association, which is one of the largest scientific bodies in the world, with a membership of more than 11,000 persons, including the American authorities in all branches of science. The following statements represent the position of the Council with regard to the theory of evolution.
- The Council of the Association affirms that, so far as the scientific evidences of evolution of plants and animals and man are concerned, there is no ground whatever for the assertion that these evidences constitute a "mere guess." No scientific generalization is more strongly supported by thoroughly tested evidences than is that of organic evolution.
- The Council of the Association affirms that the evidence in favor of the evolution of man are sufficient to convince every scientist of note in the world, and that these evidences are increasing in number and importance every year.
- The Council of the Association also affirms that the theory of evolution is one of the most potent of the great influences for good that have thus far entered into human experience; it has promoted the progress of knowledge, it has fostered unprejudiced inquiry, and it has served as an invaluable aid in humanity’s search for truth in many fields.
- The Council of the Association is convinced that any legislation attempting to limit the teaching of any scientific doctrine so well established and so widely accepted by specialists as is the doctrine of evolution, would be a profound mistake, which could not fail to injure and retard the advancement of knowledge and of human welfare, by denying the freedom of teaching and inquiry which is essential to all progress.
[Adopted by the AAAS Council, December 26, 1922. AAAS Executive Committee readopts this resolution on April 21, 1929.]