Letter from Frank Press, National Academy of Sciences to Marshall W. Nirenberg
In this form letter, President of the National Academy of Sciences Frank Press informs readers that the NAS is redistributing
"Science and Creationism: A view from the National Academy of Sciences," a discussion reaffirming the position that
creationism is not science, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision on a Louisiana law that calls for "balanced
treatment." The letter ends with the statements: "Classroom science teachers do not teach the geography of a flat
earth. Neither should they teach creationism."
Number of Image Pages:
1 (64,064 Bytes)
1987-06 (June 1987)
National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
Nirenberg, Marshall W.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics
Reproduced with permission of Frank Press.
Beyond the Laboratory: Professional, Personal, and Political Life, 1967-2002
In 1984, when the National Academy of Sciences first distributed Science And Creationism: A View From The National Academy
Of Sciences, my letter to the reader mentioned the seemingly unending question of whether science, creationism, or both should
be taught in the science classroom. Three years later, the question has reached the level of a United States Supreme Court
decision on a Louisiana law that calls for "balanced treatment."
In the face of this legal decision, the National Academy of Sciences is redistributing Science And Creationism to reaffirm
its position that creationism is not science. To teach creationism and science as equally sound and valid alternative scientific
theories is both misleading and inaccurate.
Our booklet describes the nature of scientific inquiry and its application to understanding the evolution of the universe
and life on earth. We ask that you examine the findings, study the facts supporting the ideas, question the verifiability,
and examine the predictive powers -- all criteria at the heart of science. That is the ethos of science and scientists:
questioning existing information; testing facts; discarding ideas that cannot be supported by what has been learned; and building
on ideas that are supported.
Classroom science teachers do not teach the geography of a flat earth. Neither should they teach creationism.