The National (USA) Center for Science Education (NCSE) has just endorsed a four-year-old statement on teaching evolution from the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution [Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution adds its voice for evolution]. Here's the text from the CSEE website [CSEE/SCEE President's Forum].
There is overwhelming evidence that life has evolved over thousands of millions of years. The ancestors of modern organisms, as well as whole groups that are now completely extinct, have been found in great abundance as fossils. The main processes responsible for evolutionary change, such as variation and natural selection, have been repeatedly observed and verified in natural populations and in laboratory experiments. All the features of living organisms, including those discovered in the recent advances in molecular biology, are readily explained by the principles of evolution. Any scientific theory that provides a clear mechanism, offers a broad explanation of natural phenomena, receives strong support from observation and experiment and that is never refuted by careful investigation is usually called a “fact”. The cell theory of organisms, the germ theory of infection, the gene theory of inheritance and the theory of evolution are all facts. Teaching alternative theories as though they had equivalent scientific status is a perversion of education that damages children’s ability to understand the natural world. In particular, creationism is a religious doctrine long since known to be a fallacious account of Earth history that has no scientific standing and cannot be represented as a credible alternative to evolution. Evolution is the single most important principle of modern biology and the foundation of any sound biology curriculum.I don't like this statement because: (1) it implies that the "theory of evolution" is only about variation and natural selection, (2) it confuses evolutionary theory with the facts of evolution, and (3) it confuses creationism with Young Earth Creationism.
President, Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution
If you are going to claim that your version of evolutionary theory is correct then you would be well-advised to define it. And if you are going to claim that it's a fact then what's the point of calling it "evolutionary theory"? The "theory" part of evolution is an explanatory model that's used to understand and interpret various facts about the history of life.
With respect to point #3, one of the main threats to science these days comes from Intelligent Design Creationism and there are many IDiots who do not subscribe to an obviously "fallacious account of Earth's history."