Continue tradition of scientific inquiry
February 1, 2002
Kudos for the excellent GSA Statement on Evolution and Creationism (GSA Today, Oct. 2001) must be tempered with the realization that some GSA members feel otherwise (GSA Today, Jan. 2002) [Bennett] [Hostetter].
The connection of intelligent design (ID) to "creation science" is a moot point. The presumption of a supernatural force/power/deity places ID beyond the realm of science, in which only natural phenomena are studied. As a teleological argument, in which the ends justify the means, ID is not a scientific theory, as it cannot be subjected to scientific inquiry. The GSA Statement on ID is therefore correct.
Spectacular fossil discoveries worldwide and the development of refined scientific techniques have improved and expanded our understanding of evolution since Darwin's time. Molecular systematics, advances in computer technology, DNA sequencing, and cladistics, to name but a few, have supported the idea of the common ancestry of all life, including humans. However, the many readily available modern sources of information about evolution will not convince those whose minds are already made up.
It is especially worrisome to see the denigration of "misled" scientists who "worship" Darwin and evolution and will not submit to the "created order of the universe and Creator God." To associate "professional credibility and reason for scientific study and free teaching" with the denial of the "role of the Creator God in the process" harkens to the Inquisition and trials for heresy. Free scientific inquiry is incompatible with religious orthodoxy.
In a democratic society, scientific inquiry must be free and open. In addition to the deeper understandings and appreciation for the evolution of life, science-based inquiry allows us to successfully compete in a global world, where decisions based on truth and reason are valued. The GSA Statement on Evolution and Creationism reminds us to continue in the tradition of scientific inquiry, supportive of the science-based theory of evolution, and not supportive of faith-based creationism.