Thursday, June 22, 2006

Concealed, denied or confused

The national academies of science of 67 countries have issued a joint statement on the teaching of evolution. It opens with:
We, the undersigned Academies of Sciences, have learned that in various parts of the world, within science courses taught in certain public systems of education, scientific evidence, data, and testable theories about the origins and evolution of life on Earth are being concealed, denied, or confused with theories not testable by science. We urge decision makers, teachers, and parents to educate all children about the methods and discoveries of science and to foster an understanding of the science of nature. Knowledge of the natural world in which they live empowers people to meet human needs and protect the planet.
It goes on to list some basic "evidence-based facts" on cosmology, geology and evolution which we can all agree on. It concludes with a statement on the nature of science. It's not beautiful, but it's pretty good. Hopefully it will have some impact.

There was one disappointing element, though. Going down the list we find:
Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, ..., Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Senegal, ...
Wait a minute! Where on earth is the Portuguese Academy of Sciences? One wonders what the hell they do all day over there. They should be ashamed of themselves! I'm off to write them an email. I wonder what the excuse will be: concealment, denial or confusion?

[Via Afarensis]