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science

Rise of Creationism in UK Schools

From the front page of today’s Guardian:

Dozens of schools are using creationist teaching materials condemned by the government as “not appropriate to support the science curriculum”, the Guardian has learned.

The packs promote the creationist alternative to Darwinian evolution called intelligent design and the group behind them said 59 schools are using the information as “a useful classroom resource”.

The group behind this are called Truth in Science – which must be a joke as they seem determined to lie about science whenever possible. It’s also worrying that that they are a completely different group to the one that has been lobbying MPs recently.

The story goes on to say:

A teacher at one of the schools said it intended to use the DVDs to present intelligent design as an alternative to Darwinism. Nick Cowan, head of chemistry at Bluecoat school, in Liverpool, said: “Just because it takes a negative look at Darwinism doesn’t mean it is not science. I think to critique Darwinism is quite appropriate.”

This man is head of chemistry. A post that is traditionally held by a scientist.

Now let’s be clear on this (as I’ve been misunderstood when writing about this before). I’m all for pupils being taught the history of belief and comparative religion. But the only way that creationism (or “intelligent design”) should be covered in a science lesson is to illustrate how far our understanding of the world has increased in a relatively short time.

And, yes, I’m all in favour of questioning Darwin’s theories. That’s how science works. Theories are tested and questioned. But any questions need to come from scientific research, not from idiots who are upset because science disagrees with their favourite fairy story.

It’s not all bad news though. The government has said that this material should not be used in the classrrom.

The government has made it clear the Truth in Science materials should not be used in science lessons. In a response to the Labour MP Graham Stringer on November 1, Jim Knight, a minister in the Department for Education and Skills, wrote: “Neither intelligent design nor creationism are recognised scientific theories and they are not included in the science curriculum.”

So, I wonder what will happen to the teachers who have used it already? In my opinion people who teach this nonsense to children should be banned from teaching. But I’ll be very surprised if that happens.

Update: The same story on the BBC.

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