O4SR Position Statement on Evolution and Intelligent Design
Oregonians for Science and Reason supports the teaching of evolution and opposes attempts to present "Intelligent Design" (ID) as a legitimate
part of scientific knowledge:
Why Evolution Should Be Taught
Geneticist Theodosis Dobzhansky observed: Nothing in biology makes any sense except in the light of evolution. Biological evolution
ties all biological observations into a unified scientific whole. Teaching biology without reference to evolutionary underpinnings changes
it from a science to mere cataloging.
Different forms of life came to be through evolution. This has been the accepted scientific explanation since the publication of Charles Darwin's
book The Origin of Species. Darwin's basic insight into the evolutionary process, though augmented by modern experimental methods, has
never been disproved.
Why "Intelligent Design" Should Not Be Taught
ID does not deserve to be called "science" for three important reasons:
1. ID IS NOT BASED ON SCIENTIFIC OBSERVATIONS
2. ID PRESELECTS ONLY OBSERVATIONS THAT SUPPORT ITS CONCLUSIONS.
ID is not needed to explain complex biological structures. While it claims that some biological structures are too complex to have evolved
be means of natural selection, this claim assumes we know how much complexity can arise by natural processes. ID proponents claim
they have calculated this limit; however, their calculations are highly influenced by the assumptions they make. Scientists have found no
reason why natural selection cannot account for the complexity of biological structures.
3. ID CANNOT BE TESTED.
Science uses observations to construct hypotheses that make testable predictions. ID starts from its conclusions and selects only
observations that support them, ignoring those that conflict.
Science deals only with explanations that can be tested against the predictions they make. ID makes no predictions that can be tested by
real world observations.