The AHA considers the integrity of scientific knowledge, where information is assigned a degree of certainty according to the weight of the evidence, to be essential to a humanist society.
Humanists insist that scientific studies, peer-reviewed and reproduced in accordance with the highest standards, be the basis for public policy and education. Religious or sectarian doctrine is irrelevant and immaterial to discerning best practices.
The AHA argues against the revival of creationism through “intelligent design” theories, as well as other inappropriate religious teachings in public schools and policymaking. The AHA fights for embryonic stem cell research and against the ban on federal funding for it, which is based on the assumption that the small cluster of cells has the potential to be a person. Abstinence-only sex education in schools has been consistently unsuccessful in reducing unwanted pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS, whereas teaching responsible sex practices, such as condom use, have resulted in an evidence-based reduction of teenage pregnancy and STDs. The AHA supports environmentally friendly policy that recognizes humanity’s proven role in climate change. We oppose pseudoscience equally, whether it is religiously-motivated or from a secular source. But superstition and unwavering belief in the unverifiable should never be an excuse for promoting broad religious beliefs in the public sphere in a pluralistic and secular society.