Statement on Evolution
Pacific Science Center
February 25, 2008
Evolution is a scientific reality. .
Evolution is a broad, well-tested description of how Earth's present-day life forms arose from common ancestors reaching back to the simplest one-celled organisms almost four billion years ago. It helps explain both the similarities and the differences in the enormous number of living organisms we see around us.
Evolution explains history of life through geologic time; the diversity of living organisms, including their genetic, molecular, and physical similarities and differences; and the geographic distribution of organisms.
In nature today, the characteristics of species are changing, and new species are arising. The fossil record is the primary evidence for evolution in times past, and evolution is well documented by further evidence from other scientific disciplines beyond paleontology, including comparative anatomy, biogeography, genetics, molecular biology, and studies of viral and bacterial diseases.
Evolution is also a scientific theory. In science, the word "theory" is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not "guesses," but reliable accounts of the real world. The theory of biological evolution is more than "just a theory." It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ theory of disease.
Although changes to our understanding of evolutionary mechanisms may occur, the overall correctness of the theory is indisputable.
Pacific Science Center's position on evolution is based, in large part, on questions and answers in "Evolution from the American Association for the Advancement of Science" (AAAS), the Statement on the Teaching of Evolution developed by the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and The Paleontological Society's statement on evolution.