Statement of Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences

The Discovery Institute's assertion that PBS's new Evolution series is designed to advance a "controversial political agenda" is false. Evolution is neither a political agenda, nor a matter of controversy within the scientific community. Rather, Darwin's work provides the foundation for modern biology: it is the central organizing principle that scientists use to understand the similarities between living things, the enormous diversity of life, and many features of the physical world we inhabit.

It is important to recognize that those who challenge the evidence for evolution are challenging the scientific method that has produced the knowledge underlying our entire modern understanding of the natural world. As just one example, exactly the same type of evidence-based logic that led Darwin to his conclusions in 1859 has also been used to protect us from hazards -- whether they be smoking, arsenic in our drinking water, or infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses.

PBS is to be complimented for devoting so much of its programming to a project whose clear aim is to promote the public understanding of science -- and thereby its many applications to creating a better world.

Bruce Alberts, Ph. D.
President, National Academy of Sciences