Friday, September 30, 2005


Clergy, Scientists, Nobel Laureates Oppose Creationism, Intelligent Design

The Campaign To Defend the Constitution, an online grassroots movement combating the growing power of the religious right, which fights to uphold the First Amendment's guarantee of separation of church and state released a letter yesterday to the goverors of all 50 states expressing concern about efforts to replace science with creationism and intelligent design.

The letter was signed by over 100 clergy, led by Rev. James Forbes of the Riverside Church in New York and Rev. Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance. Nearly 100 scientists joined them, including a half- dozen Nobel laureates -- Peter Agre, M.D., Paul Berg, Mike Bishop, M.D., Gunter Blobel, M.D., J. Robert Horvitz, and Harold Varmus, M.D.

Here's the letter:

To All Fifty State Governors:

As scientists and clergy, we write to express our deep concern about the education of our children. Specifically, we are concerned about efforts to supplement or replace the teaching of evolution in our public schools with religious dogma or unscientific speculation. Science classes should help provide our children with the tools and scientific literacy they need to succeed in a 21st century economy.

We are well aware of studies showing American children falling behind those of other nations in their knowledge and understanding of science. We certainly will not be able to close this gap if we substitute ideology for fact in our science classrooms – limiting students' understanding of a scientific concept as critical as evolution for ideological reasons.

We do not oppose exposing our children to philosophical and spiritual discussion around the origin and meaning of life. There are appropriate venues for such discussion – but not in the context of teaching science in a public school science classroom.

We have come together – people of science and people of faith – for the sake of our children and the competitiveness of our country, to urge you to ensure that:


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