Science, Evolution, and Intelligent Design

UCS Statement on Science, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (html) (pdf)
Section 1: Science as a Way of Knowing
Section 2: Science and Society
Section 3: Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design
Section 4: Why Intelligent Design is not Science
Section 5: Science Education and Intelligent Design
Section 6: Fairness and Balance in the Classroom and Beyond

Section 1: Science as a Way of Knowing

Science is a powerful "way of knowing" based on experimentation and observations of the natural world. We depend on science for unbiased and verifiable information to make important decisions about our lives. Although there are other ways of knowing1 that may be important in our personal and cultural lives, they rely on opinion, belief, and other factors rather than on evidence and testing.

The scientific method2 utilizes a series of facts, hypotheses, laws, and theories to explain observations in the natural world. Everyday use of these terms is different than in the scientific context, leading to unintentional and intentional confusion3. Theory is one of the most important—yet most misunderstood—terms. While theory is commonly used to mean a "hunch" or "opinion," in science, a theory is an extremely strong statement that provides an explanation of a natural phenomenon based on a wealth of well-documented evidence. A theory must include the following criteria:

  • It must be tested by experimentation and observation of the natural world.
  • It must be falsifiable (i.e. experiments must exist that could prove it false).
  • It cannot be proven, only confirmed or disconfirmed.
  • It is subject to revision and change.