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REF NO.: 88

SUBJECT: Memorial University professor one of many "Steves" supporting the teaching of evolution
DATE: Feb. 19, 2003

Memorial biology professor Dr. Steve Carr is one of over 200 Steves making a statement this month in support of the teaching of evolution in public schools. On Feb. 16, 2003, a first-of-its-kind statement on evolution was signed by over 200 scientists at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual convention in Denver, Colorado.

The statement was sponsored by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), a nonprofit organization which defends the teaching of evolution in the public schools. It reads: "Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate scientific debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism of evolution. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to 'intelligent design', to be introduced into the science curricula of the public schools.

NCSE's "Project Steve" is a tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition of amassing lists of "scientists who doubt evolution" or "scientists who dissent from Darwinism." Dr. Carr was asked to serve as the "regional Steve" for Eastern Canada.

"It's often said that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution," Dr. Carr said. "Teaching the Principles of Evolution course in the core biology curriculum at Memorial for 16 years has reinforced for me the importance of evolutionary thinking to every aspect of biology. The NCSE works hard to make sure that students are introduced to the scientific evidence and explanatory power of evolutionary thought early on in their education. I'm proud to be a part of Project Steve - the list includes some of the best scientists in the business, and many friends who share a passion for teaching and research in evolution."

The 200-plus front-line Steves will be wearing T-shirts with the statement on the front and a list of signatories on the back to raise awareness about the issue. For more information on Project Steve contact the NCSE's Web site at: www.ncseweb.org/steves.

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