Georgia Academy of Science (1982)

The great majority of scientists and teachers of science in the primary schools, high schools, colleges, and universities of Georgia are both evolutionists and Christians, or Jews, or adherents to some other religious preference. A few may adhere to no religion. In a pluralistic society students represent a comparable religious spectrum.

Based upon overwhelming scientifically verifiable evidence to date, most scientists, regardless of religious preference, think that the earth and all forms of life evolved over a period of several billion years. Evolution can be viewed as a creative process continuing over long periods of time. The extensive evidence of evolution is not in opposition to the variety of religious concepts or creation by a supreme being. The causative beginning of primeval appearance of matter or life in our universe is not at issue. The evidence of evolution does not claim to reveal the primal source of energy, matter, or life. The latter is a question which is addressed by the various religions outside the walls of our publicly funded educational institutions.

On January 5, 1982, U.S. Circuit Court Judge William R. Overton ruled Arkansas' "Balanced Treatment for CreationScience and EvolutionScience" Act to be a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state. The Act had the advancement of religion as its primary goal, in his opinion. A month later, the attorney general of Arkansas announced his decision not to appeal Overton's opinion because the state had little chance of winning in higher federal court. The plaintiffs in this landmark case included components of the Southern Baptist, Presbyterian, United Methodist, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic churches, in addition to the American Jewish Congress, and the Union of Hebrew Congregations. Other plaintiffs included the Arkansas Education Association, the National Association of Biology Teachers, and the National Coalition for Public Education and Religious Liberty.

The Georgia Academy of Science concurs with the following resolution adopted in January of 1982 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) pertaining to the Forced Teaching of Creationist Beliefs in Public School Science Education: AAAS 1982 Statement.

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