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Friday, January 4, 2008

Evolution of a Book

The National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine released the third version of the book Science, Evolution, and Creationism yesterday, and for the first time, the book takes great pains to assert that the theory of evolution is completely compatible with belief in God. "Science and religion are different ways of understanding the world. Needlessly placing them in opposition reduces the potential of each to contribute to a better future," says the book, which also states that "attempts to pit science and religion against each other create controversy where none needs to exist." Updated by a panel led by Francisco Ayala, a biologist at the University of California, Irvine, the book strongly endorses evolution as the foundation of modern biology and discredits creationism and "intelligent design," which it maintains are unscientific ideas that should not be taught in public school science classrooms. —Heather Wax