Leeds Museums & Galleries Evolution Position Statement

Leeds Museums & Galleries (LM&G) exist to collect, preserve and interpret historic, scientific and cultural collections and historic sites and use them as inspiration for educating, entertaining and informing the people of Leeds and visitors to the city.

We hold very large and diverse collections, particularly in natural science which enable us to undertake programmes to explore our understanding of the natural world and the processes active within it.

A significant part of the work we do in communicating ideas through our collections is concerned with the diversity of life and the natural world. Central to this, is the theory of evolution, which for two hundred years has been challenged and debated and yet it endures as the best interpretation of the evidence for the origin and development of the diversity of life on Earth. We subscribe to the view that rigorous science and collation of evidence tells us that the Earth is approximately 4.56 billion years old and that life has evolved through processes of random genetic mutation and natural selection.

We take a firm position on the acceptance of evolution as the best explanation of how the diversity of life on Earth came to be and it is our policy to present evolution as such in our displays, events and activities concerned with life on Earth.

We recognise that there are other faith-based perspectives on the development of life, however we do not advocate the promotion of these alternatives in formal science education in line with the policy of the Department for Education. We acknowledge and respect these minority views and would encourage discussion and exploration of ideas and themes around evolution in the appropriate forums in our programme.