September 8, 2008
National Association of Biology Teachers (1980)
Science deals with material things and the consequences of their application. As such, it is not in conflict with other means of knowing about the universe. There are those who see the facts and theories of science as a threat either to their belief systems or to their interpretations which may be at variance with scientific data. While science is moot on these issues, attempts are made to intercalate into the scientific enterprise conclusions neither based on scientific data nor verified by the scientific process. These conclusions, arising outside the field of science and resulting from ignoring or misinterpreting scientific data, have no place in the science classroom as a part of the body of scientific knowledge.
The NABT, through its obligation to biological education, will make every effort to educate the public as to the unscientific nature of efforts to equate non-science with the scientific enterprise. NABT will resist attempts to place non-scientific dogma into the classroom as science. Wherever such efforts are attempted, NABT should correct the record and provide adequate scientific evidence designed to allow decision-makers full access to the facts by means of which to judge the efforts to intercalate non-scientific material into science classrooms or to remove or change the data of science to accommodate a given set of conclusions derived from outside the scientific enterprise.
The credibility and usability of science depends on maintenance of the integrity of science as a discipline. While no feature in this policy is to be construed as preventing the full range of applications of science and the elucidation of its social and humanistic implications, there is an obligation to insure that the scientific data thus used is both accurate and derived within the accepted procedures of the discipline. Without the maintenance of the integrity of the initial data with which one works, any subsequent applications or derivations may be ill-conceived and of little service to the human enterprise.
NABT has an obligation to maintain the integrity of biology as a scientific discipline. To this end it must act to resist efforts to include in the science classroom materials derived outside the scientific process. It must insist that the data and concepts of science as presented to students meet the accepted standards of the discipline, and data which can best be described as para-scientific (creationism, astrology, anti-germ theory, etc.) cannot be condoned as science within classrooms.