NABT's Statement on Teaching Evolution
NABT’s Statement on Teaching Evolution
As stated in The American
Biology Teacher by the eminent scientist Theodosius Dobzhansky (1973),
“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” This
often-quoted declaration accurately reflects the central, unifying role of
evolution in biology. The theory of evolution provides a framework that explains
both the history of life and the ongoing adaptation of organisms to
environmental challenges and changes.
While modern biologists constantly study and deliberate the patterns,
mechanisms, and pace of evolution, they agree that all living things share
common ancestors. The fossil record and the diversity of extant organisms,
combined with modern techniques of molecular biology, taxonomy, and geology,
provide exhaustive examples of and powerful evidence for current evolutionary
theory. Genetic variation, natural
selection, speciation, and extinction are well-established components of modern
evolutionary theory. Explanations
are constantly modified and refined as warranted by new scientific evidence that
accumulates over time, which demonstrates the integrity and validity of the
Scientists have firmly established evolution as an important natural
process. Experimentation, logical analysis, and evidence-based revision are
procedures that clearly differentiate and separate science from other ways of
knowing. Explanations or ways of
knowing that invoke non-naturalistic or supernatural events or beings, whether
called “creation science,” “scientific creationism,” “intelligent
design theory,” “young earth theory,” or similar designations, are outside
the realm of science and not part of a valid science curriculum.
The selection of topics covered in a biology curriculum should accurately
reflect the principles of biological science.
Teaching biology in an effective and scientifically honest manner
requires that evolution be taught in a standards-based instructional framework
with effective classroom discussions and laboratory experiences.
Adopted by the NABT Board of Directors, 1995. Revised 1997,
2000, and May 2004. Endorsed by: The Society for the Study of Evolution, 1998;
The American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 1998.