The Oklahoma Evolution Textbook Disclaimer ?

This disclaimer on evolution has no scientific merit whatsoever and its only purpose is political. The anonymous author of this disclaimer has produced a document containing major falsehoods about evolution. A point-by-point analysis of the disclaimer follows:

  1. There is no controversy about evolution in the scientific community. Most major professional scientific societies have issued official statement explicitly supporting the teaching of evolution.

  1. The final fruits of any branch of science, including physics and chemistry, are explanatory hypotheses called theories that always include unobservable elements. Thus theories are well-established explanations supported by a wealth of corroborating empirical evidence. Scientific statements about past events have been tested and just as authoritative as the similar statements made by forensic scientists reconstructing crimes that often lead to persons being jailed and/or executed.

  1. The definition of macroevolution used in this disclaimer is a creationist one, not the evolutionist one. If the evolutionists’ definition (evolution above the species level) were used, creationists would discover that they believe in large chunks of macroevolution since they allow that “created kinds” can diversify into different taxonomic genera and even families.

  1. The statement “Evolution also refers to the unproven belief … “ is also a creationist definition that all evolutionists reject. The real theory of evolution states that changes are not random and undirected but GUIDED by natural selection.

  1. The three questions about major groups are false questions: Only a small fraction of the major living groups actually first appear in the Cambrian strata (12 of the 36 animal phyla, none of the plant divisions.)

  1. Major groups of living forms appear throughout the geologic column, from billions of years before the Cambrian to millions of years after it.

  1. All the major groups that actually have extensive fossil records have well-documented transition forms.

  1. The scientific answer to the last question about “How did you and all living things…“ is evolution, an answer supported by a wealth of data from comparative anatomy, the fossil record, embryology, genetics, developmental genetics, and molecular biology.

Contrary to the claims of this disclaimer the theory of evolution is logically similar to and no different from other theories of science and does not warrant being singled out for special criticism. The proposed disclaimer should be rejected for the sake of science education in Oklahoma Public Schools.


Oklahomans For Excellence in Science Education. © OESE, 2004

[ This sheet may be duplicated and freely distributed as long as no changes are made. ]