Astronomers pass judgment on ID

Contributed by
Sep 20, 2005

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is the largest group of professional astronomers in America (I'm a member). They will occasionally put out a statement about important issues, and they just released one about Intelligent Design. AAS President Robert Kirshner said (and I love this quotation),

Science teachers have their hands full teaching the things that we actually know about the world we live in. They shouldn't be burdened with content-free dogma like Intelligent Design.

Woohoo! That was pretty succinct.

The full AAS statement is on their website, but I like this part:

Evolution is a valid scientific theory for the origin of species that has been repeatedly tested and verified through observation, formulation of testable statements to explain those observations, and controlled experiments or additional observations to find out whether these ideas are right or wrong. A scientific theory is not speculation or a guess -- scientific theories are unifying concepts that explain the physical universe.

They get in lots of jabs there-- evolution is rock-solid, backed by evidence and experimentation. They also get in one on the idea that the word "theory" somehow makes evolution flimsy, when that's not the case at all.

And they make their feelings about ID clear:

...“Intelligent Design�? fails to meet the basic definition of a scientific idea: its proponents do not present testable hypotheses and do not provide evidence for their views that can be verified or duplicated by subsequent researchers.

Since “Intelligent Design�? is not science, it does not belong in the science curriculum of the nation’s primary and secondary schools.

Hear hear.

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