O4SR Position Statement on Evolution and Intelligent Design

Oregonians for Science and Reason supports the teaching of evolution and opposes attempts to present “Intelligent Design” (ID) as a legitimate part of scientific knowledge:

Why Evolution Should Be Taught

Geneticist Theodosis Dobzhansky observed: Nothing in biology makes any sense except in the light of evolution. Biological evolution ties all biological observations into a unified scientific whole. Teaching biology without reference to evolutionary underpinnings changes it from a science to mere cataloging.

Different forms of life came to be through evolution. This has been the accepted scientific explanation since the publication of Charles Darwin’s book The Origin of Species. Darwin’s basic insight into the evolutionary process, though augmented by modern experimental methods, has never been disproved.

Why “Intelligent Design” Should Not Be Taught

ID does not deserve to be called “science” for three important reasons:

  1. ID IS NOT BASED ON SCIENTIFIC OBSERVATIONSID is not needed to explain complex biological structures. While it claims that some biological structures are too complex to have evolved be means of natural selection, this claim assumes we know how much complexity can arise by natural processes. ID proponents claim they have calculated this limit; however, their calculations are highly influenced by the assumptions they make. Scientists have found no reason why natural selection cannot account for the complexity of biological structures.
  2. ID PRESELECTS ONLY OBSERVATIONS THAT SUPPORT ITS CONCLUSIONS. Science uses observations to construct hypotheses that make testable predictions. ID starts from its conclusions and selects only observations that support them, ignoring those that conflict.
  3. ID CANNOT BE TESTED. Science deals only with explanations that can be tested against the predictions they make. ID makes no predictions that can be tested by real world observations.