Friday, March 14, 2008

The Scientific Rejection of Supernaturalism:

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01. Schools:
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02. National org.s:
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the American Anthropological Association states:
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[in "Statement on Evolution and Creationism -- American Anthropological Association"(2000)]
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"[as regards matters of theology or faith] such beliefs should not be presented as science [...] science describes and explains the natural world: is does not prove or disprove beliefs about the supernatural [...as regards science] good scientific knowledge possesses these features: it explains natural phenomena in terms of natural laws and processes, without reference to overt or covert supernatural causation; it is empirically grounded in evidence from observations and experiments; and it is subject to change as new empirical evidence arises";
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(click here,
(archived here,
(for the archive.org history of this page, click here,
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the American Association For the Advancement of Science [AAAS] states:
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[in "A Study Guide For The Evolution Dialogues"(2007)]
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"what science is and is not. The scientific method uses observation and logic to develop testable hypotheses. Scientific theories encompass many tested hypotheses and are continually refined as new data is discovered. [But,] no aspect of science can address supernatural questions [p.020...e.g.] creationism and 'intelligent design' deal with supernatural questions that [truly] cannot be addressed through the scientific method. Science and religion ask and answer different questions [p.031...] supernatural entities by definition operate outside of natural laws and so [truly] cannot be investigated using methods of experimentation [...] one reason that modern science has flourished since the seventeenth century is that it has limited itself to natural explanations alone [p.032]";
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(click here,
(archived here,
(for an archive.org history of this page, click here,
[defunct](for a youtube.com slideshow of this, click here {00.00.09-00.01.32},
(for a digg.com social bookmark of this slideshow, click here,
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[in "Advances"(AAAS Monthly Newsletter; 2005)]
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"message to members [signed Leshner, A.I. (? ?) CEO, AAAS...] AAAS has become a leading voice in the public debate about the teaching of intelligent design along with evolution in U.S. public school science classrooms [...] speaking out against attempts to blur distinctions between scientific evidence and other ways of knowing, including those concerned with the supernatural [...and] defending strong, high quality science education [...e.g.] when the Kansas State Board of Education voted 6-4 to redefine science and introduce intelligent design, we backed two highly respected science organizations that denied permission for continued use of their copyrighted materials [...and] when the Dover , Pennsylvania, school board that was the first in the U.S. to order the introduction of intelligent design was voted out of office, we applauded the members of the new board [...also] AAAS is sponsoring banner messages on the New York Times and Washington Post websites' science pages saying 'teach only science in science classrooms' [...] thank you for supporting the effort to defend the integrity of science education";
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(click here,
(archived here,
(for the archive.org history of this page, click here,
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the American Astronomical Society states:
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i.
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[in "AAS Statement on the Teaching of the History of the Universe"(2000)]
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"the following open letter [dated January 11, 2000; signed by AAS president Gehrz, R.D. (? ?)] has been prepared and approved by the AAS Council [...] the American Astronomical Society (AAS) is the largest organization of professional astronomers in the United States [...] the scientific evidence clearly indicates that the Universe is 10 to 15 billion years old, and began in a hot, dense state we call the Big Bang [...] it is important for the nation’s school children to learn about the great age of, and changes in, astronomical systems, as well as their present properties [...] we believe that it is important to teach students the nature of the scientific method. Scientific inquiry involves the development and testing of hypotheses based on a systematic collection and analysis of data acquired through observations, experiments, and computer simulations. Science is not a collection of facts but an ongoing process, with continual revisions and refinements of concepts necessary in order to arrive at the best current views of the Universe. Science is unified; it is not possible to make use of scientific laws in one context, and then deny them in another. the same laws of science that govern – or empower – our advanced technology also underlie changes in time of astronomical systems. Science is not based on faith, nor does it preclude faith [...] the teaching of important scientific concepts, such as the formation and aging of planets, stars, galaxies and the Universe, should not be altered or constrained in response to demands external to the scientific disciplines [...] children whose education is denied the benefits of this expansion of our understanding of the world around us are being deprived of part of their intellectual heritage. They may also be at a competitive disadvantage in a world where scientific and technological literacy is becoming more and more important economically and culturally";
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(click here,
(archived here,
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(for the archive.org history of this page, click here,
[defunct](for a youtube.com slideshow of this {entire}, click here,
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["On The Teaching Of The History Of The Universe"(2000)]
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"science is not based on faith [...] the teaching of important scientific concepts [...] should not be altered or constrained in response to demands external to the scientific disciplines [...] the AAS also supports the National Science Education Standards: they emphasize the importance of scientific methods as well as articulating well-established scientific theories [...and as an example] 'intelligent design' fails to meet the basic definition of a scientific idea: its proponents do not present testable hypotheses and do not provide evidence for their views that can be verified or duplicated by subsequent researchers. Since 'intelligent design' is not science, it does not belong in the science curriculum of the nation’s primary and secondary schools [...and speaks of] the unscientific procedure of starting from a dogmatically held conclusion and looking only for evidence to support that conclusion";
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(click here,
(archived here,
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the American Chemical Society states:
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[in the ACLU article "What the Scientific Community Says about Evolution and Intelligent Design"]
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"the inclusion of non-scientific explanations in science curricula misrepresents the nature and processes of science and compromises a central purpose of public education - the preparation of a scientifically literate workforce";
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(click here,
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the National Academy of Sciences states:
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i.
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[in "Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science [...] Chapter 3"(1998)]
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"[per Mayr, E. (PhD{biology} UB), 'This Is Biology: The Science of the Living World' (1997)] How Science Differs from Theology. The demarcation between science and theology is perhaps easiest, because scientists do not invoke the supernatural to explain how the natural world works, and they do not rely on divine revelation to understand it. When early humans tried to give explanations for natural phenomena, particularly for disasters, invariably they invoked supernatural beings and forces, and even today divine revelation is as legitimate a source of truth for many pious Christians as is science. Virtually all scientists known to me personally have religion in the best sense of this word, but scientists do not invoke supernatural causation or divine revelation [...] theologians may also be interested in the physical world, but in addition they usually believe in a metaphysical or supernatural realm inhabited by souls, spirits, angels, or gods, and this heaven or nirvana is often believed to be the future resting place of all believers after death. Such supernatural constructions are beyond the scope of science";
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(ISBN 0309063647)
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(click here,
(archived here,
(for the archive.org history of this page, click here,
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[in "Science and Creationism"(1999)]
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"creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science. These claims subordinate observed data to statements based on authority, revelation, or religious belief";
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(ISBN 0309064066)
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(click here,
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the National Science Teacher's Association states:
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[in "Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science [...] Appendix C: Three Statements in Support of Teaching Evolution from Science and Science Education Organizations"(1998)]
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"[#1] NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) Position Statement on the Teaching of Evolution [...] NSTA recommends that [...] science teachers should not advocate any religious view [...] because science is limited to explaining the natural world by means of natural processes, it cannot use supernatural causation in its explanations. Similarly, science is precluded from making statements about supernatural forces because these are outside its provenance. Science has increased our knowledge because of this insistence on the search for natural causes [...] as noted in the National Science Education Standards, 'explanations on how the natural world changed based on myths, personal beliefs, religious values, mystical inspiration, superstition, or authority may be personally useful and socially relevant, but they are not scientific.' Because science can only use natural explanations and not supernatural ones, science teachers should not advocate any religious view about creation, nor advocate the converse: that there is no possibility of supernatural influence in bringing about the universe as we know it [...#2] National Association of Biology Teachers Statement on Teaching Evolution [...states] explanations employing nonnaturalistic or supernatural events, whether or not explicit reference is made to a supernatural being, are outside the realm of science and not part of a valid science curriculum. Evolutionary theory, indeed all of science, is necessarily silent on religion and neither refutes nor supports the existence of a deity or deities";
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(ISBN 0309063647)
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(click here,
(archived here,
(for the archive.org history of this page, click here,
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the Paleontological Society states:
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[via ACLU, in "What the Scientific Community Says about Evolution and Intelligent Design" (2005-11-23)]
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“because science involves testing hypotheses, scientific explanations are restricted to natural causes [...] creationism [and the like] is religion [...] because it invokes supernatural explanations that cannot be tested”;
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(click here,
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03. State org.s:
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the New York Academy of Sciences states:
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[in "The Nature of Science and the Evidence for Evolution"(2006)]
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"misunderstanding the concept of what a scientific theory is gets to the heart of the problem that has enabled intelligent design (ID) and creationism to infiltrate schools [...] ID fails to qualify as science, because it appeals to the supernatural, which can neither be proved nor disproved [...] ID fails the test of science [...it] fails these standards dismally, for it cannot be proved or disproved [...regarding Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District] Judge Jones, a conservative Pennsylvania judge who ruled against the teaching of ID in public schools in Dover County, Pennsylvania, saw through this chicanery. None of the ID experts called to trial could support their claim that ID was not a religious proposition, and Jones ruled that an appeal to the supernatural does not have scientific explanatory power";
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(click here,
(archived here,
(for the archive.org history of this page, click here,
[defunct](for a youtube.com slideshow of this, click here {entire},
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04. Journals:
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05. Practitioners:
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06. Academics and Authors:
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Alston, J.P. (? ?) states:
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[in "The Scientific Case Against Scientific Creationism"(2003)]
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"scientific creationism is a religious wolf wearing a pseudo-scientific fleece [...] scientific creationism, with its supernatural elements, cannot replace empirical science without damaging the educational process [p.001...] scientific creationism is a pseudo-science based on religious rather than empirical foundations [p.002...in science] there is no need to include the supernatural to explain the diversity of life [p.003...] scientific creationism, with its reliance on the supernatural and on interpretations based on their unique religious views, violates the scientific axiom that scientists seek natural causes and explanations apart from all religious frameworks [p.006...] science is not and cannot include the supernatural in its deliberations. By contrast, scientific creationists include the supernatural in their discussions and their causal models [...] evolutionists reject the supernatural element as a part of science [...] the naturalistic scientific approach searches to understand the world 'without miracles' and has no interest in attacking religious statements unless they are empirical in character [p.010...] creationism includes a variety of theologies. All have in common the belief a supernatural force has intervened in history to create life and to give it direction [p.0011...] creationists do not opposed modern, practical science [...] they attack evolution as a secular philosophy that rejects three of their most strongly-held beliefs [...] humans were created through supernatural intervention [...] creationists strongly oppose evolution's fundamental belief that humans, as well as animals, developed through natural processes independent of supernatural [p.013] agencies [p.014...] scientific creationists make the serious error of believing a scientific discipline that does not include a theistic element must by definition [p.017] be atheistic and anti-creationist. They ignore the fact that science is neutral in terms of the supernatural [p.018...] Lyell insisted geological changes occurred through natural laws without divine intervention [...] Lyell's work influenced Darwin's thinking [...] both saw change in their respective fields as taking place in slow steps over a great length of time through the operation of natural rather than supernatural causes [p.026...] Darwin took the notion of a supernatural designer out of biology and replaced it with the concept of natural selection [p.030...] the specific danger of introducing the intelligent design approach in science curricula is that it would encourage students to accept the view some topics cannot be studied because their complexity indicates supernatural intervention [p.030...] all creationists [...] believe a supernatural agency intervened in history to create the universe and life. The major voice today among creationists is the scientific creationist approach [...it is] the most problematic form of creationism because scientific creationists demand the introduction of their religious views into science programs in public schools [...which] offeres great harm to both the educational and scientific endeavors [p.034...] a major criticism made by scientific creationists is that Darwinism is a materialistic worldview that does not allow for a supernatural force to account for the creation, variety, and development of life [p.048...] another pseudo-scientific defense presented by scientific creationists is the use of [...] Pasteur's [...] experiments to show a creator is necessary for the establishment of life. Pasteur made his most important discoveries in the field of bacteriology by showing diseases were the result of bacterial infection rather than supernatural or other non-material causes [p.075...] scientific creationists [...] use Pasteur's demonstrations to 'prove' life is impossible without supernatural intervention, though that was not Pasteur's conclusion [p.076...] although scientific creationists attempt to explain their beliefs using a naturalistic framework, the 'science' in their title quickly breaks down and the need for explanations using a supernatural agent quickly emerges [p.103...] what is intelligent design? [...] IDers claim that organisms are too complex to have evolved according to evolutionary principles. The presence of such complexity can be fully explained only by acknowledging a supernatural agent must have created life. Second, IDers attack orthodox science as limited to naturalistic explanations. They claim, as do philosophers in general, that orthodox science (called methodological naturalism) eliminates the inclusion of the supernatural [...that] orthodox scientists wrongly limit their studies to natural phenomena without considering any other alternatives such as the supernatural [...that] any naturalistic model of life, such as evolution, is de facto incomplete and inadequate unless it includes a supernatural element [p.115...] the history of science offers numerous examples of advances in knowledge and no one should assume what is presently unexplained should be explained by a supernatural agency [p.127...] careful analysis of the statements made by scientific creationists indicates creation science in all its forms is pseudo-science and cannot be accepted as intellectually equal to orthodox sciences using a naturalistic model [p.139]";
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(ISBN 0595291082)
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Alters, B.J. (? ?), Alters, S. (? ?) state:
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i.
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[in "Defending Evolution in the Classroom [...]"(2001)]
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"modern science, being limited to investigating natural phenomena and searching for natural causes, cannot speak to whether supernatural beings exist [p.085...Gingerich feels] invoking supernatural explanations for [...] anomalies [...that] exist in science [...] is inappropriate and scientifically profitless [...because] they provide causal relationships [..] that science cannot examine. One cannot test for supernatural relationships with naturalistic equipment and methods [...] supernatural models of explanations cannot be tested [p.124]";
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(ISBN 0763711187)
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ii.
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[in "Biology: Understanding Life"(2005)]
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"scientists study the natural world [...] science does not explore supernatural explanations to understand how the natural world works [...e.g.] scientists would not hypothesize that supernatural beings melted ice at the North Pole[p.019]";
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(ISBN 0471433659)
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Cano, R.J. (? ?), Colome, J.S. (? ?), Stansfield, W.D. (? ?) states:
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[in "Schaum's Outlines: Outline of Molecular and Cell Biology"(1996)]
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"the belief that life was created by a supernatural force is impossible to support or refute with factual evidence and hence is outside the realm of science [p.245...] creation involves supernatural force outside the scope of science [p.371]";
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(ISBN 0070608989)
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ii.
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[in "Schaum's Easy Outline Molecular and Cell Biology"(2003)]
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"the belief that life was created by a supernatural force is impossible to support or refute with factual evidence and hence is outside the realm of science [p.107]";
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(ISBN 0071398813)
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Evers, C. (? ?), Starr, C. (? ?), Starr, L. (? ?) state:
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[in "Biology: Today and Tomorrow with [and without] Physiology"(2009, 3rd ed.)]
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"science does not address the supernatural, or anything that is 'beyond nature' [p.009...] science is the study of the observable -- those objects or events for which objective evidence can be gathered.  It does not address the supernatural [p.010...] science does not address the supernatural [p.016]";
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(ISBN 0495561576, 0495827525)
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Futuyma, D.J. (PhD{zoology} UM) states:
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[in "Evolution"(2009, 2nd ed.)]
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"'Darwin’s dangerous idea' as the philosopher Daniel Dennett (1995) has called it [...] explains the apparent design of the living world without recourse to a supernatural, omnipotent designer [p.279...] supernatural processes cannot be the subject of science [...] Darwin offered a purely natural, materialistic alternative to the argument from design, he [...] brought every aspect of the study of life into the realm of science [...per] the completely mindless process of natural selection [...] this process cannot have a goal [that is, it is not teleological...] for the future cannot cause material events in the present [...] the concepts of goals or purposes have no place in biology (or in any other of the natural sciences), except in studies of human behavior [p.282...] evolution does not have goals [p.299]";
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(ISBN 9780878932238)
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(for this textbook's homepage, click here, 
(this chapter is available courtesy of the NCSE and Sinauer, click here,
http://ncse.com/news/2010/01/futuyma-natural-selection-adaptation-005290)
(archived here,
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(for the archive.org history of this page, click here,
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Hall, B.K. (PhD{zoology} UNE, DSc{biological sciences} UNE) states:
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[in Evolution: Principles and Processes (2010)]
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"vital force [or] vitalism [...] gaining freedom from such [religious-like] constraints was more difficult for biology (especially for evolution) than it was for physics or chemistry [p.433...] vitalism: the concept that the activities of living organisms cannot be explained by any underlying physical or chemical principles but arise from unknowable internal or supernatural causes [p.g21...] Darwin's works made clear that society no longer needed to believe that only the actions of a supernatural creator could explain biological relationships [p.435...] despite the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution as a natural process, some religous groups adhering to creation have developed intelligent design as a purported scientific alternative to evolution.  'Intelligent design' is latter-day creationism [...but] Kitzmiller v. Dover [..ruled it] a form of religion and not science [...]  because intelligent design relies on supernatural explanations rather than natural causes, it is not science [...] religious arguments [...] are not scientific explanations and should not be confused with, or regarded as, scientific explanations [p.440]";
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(ISBN 0763760390)
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Hopson, J.L. (MA{science writing} UM), Postlethwait, J.H. (PhD{developmental genetics} CWRU) state:
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[in "Modern Biology"(2006)]
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"science is characterized by an organized approach, called the scientific method, to learn how the natural world works. The methods of science are based on two important principles. The first principle is that events in the natural world have natural causes. For example, the ancient Greeks believed that lightning and thunder occurred because a supernatural god Zeus hurled thunderbolts from the heavens. By contrast, a scientist considers lightning and thunder to result from electric charges in the atmosphere. When trying to solve a puzzle from nature, all scientists [...] accept that there is a natural cause to solve that puzzle [p.013]";
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(ISBN 0030651786)
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07. Reference Tools:
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