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Humanist Association of Canada Calls for
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
to Disown Anti-Evolution Statement

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada produced, through one of its granting committees, a statement that put the theory of intelligent design on an equal footing with the theory of evolution. Despite pressure from the press and from scientists from Canada and around the world, SSHRC steadfastly refuses to disown the statement.


An Urgent Message from the President of HAC

Gary Bauslaugh, President of the Humanist Association of Canada (HAC) and Editor of Humanist Perspectives requests the help of all persons who value scientific integrity in the following matter.

In my role as Editor of Humanist Perspectives I have been active in trying to get one of Canada's major research granting agencies, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to disown an outrageous statement made by one of its adjudication committees, in rejecting the grant application of Dr. Brian Alters of McGill University for a research project entitled "Detrimental Effects of popularizing anti-evolution's intelligent design theory on Canadian students, teachers, parents, administrators and policymakers."

The rejection statement by the committee contained the sentence:
"Nor did the committee consider that there was adequate justification for the assumption in the proposal that the theory of Evolution, and not Intelligent Design theory, was correct."

The statement, and SSHRC's subsequent refusal to distance themselves from ID, have led to national and international outrage. This has been a major embarrassment to Canada and to Canadian scientists. An account of the affair was published in the summer issue of Humanist Perspectives (#157). This has also been sent to hundreds of scientists around the world, including 360 biologists in all of the G10 countries.

We are seeking an official retraction by someone in charge at SSHRC, or to get someone such as Arthur Carty, the National Science Advisor (charged with maintaining Canadian science standards), or even someone like the politician responsible for SSHRC, Maxime Bernier, to launch an investigation. A number of scientists have already written to these people, but there has been no satisfactory response. As you will see in the article [published in Humanist Perspectives] I have also tried with little success to get members of the adjudication committee to retract the statement.

We are not going to let this issue go -- there appears to be a decidedly unscientific, perhaps even anti-scientific, element in SSHRC. I invite you to read over the material and, if you are so inclined, write to one of the people listed below (or to anyone else who might be interested or who might be able to help) about your concerns. I'd appreciate getting copies of any letters you send - we will be publishing more on this topic and perhaps could use some of your letters.

Gary Bauslaugh
Editor, Humanist Perspectives
President, Humanist Association of Canada
1444 Maple Bay Rd
Duncan, BC, V9L 5R2
Ph: 250-746-6678
Fax: 250-746-6672

Further information: Humanist Perspectives

Express Your Concerns to the Following Persons

Dr. Arthur Carty Ph.D., O.C.
National Science Advisor
Room 728
85 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A3

The Honourable Maxime Bernier
Minister of Industry
5th Floor, West Tower
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5

Janet E. Halliwell
Executive Vice-President
350 Albert Street
P.O. Box 1610
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4

Prof Stan Shapson
Chair, Executive Committee
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
350 Albert Street
P.O. Box 1610
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4

SSHRC Committee members: