Creationism gains foothold in schools (England)
- "Truth in Science" has been active promoting the teaching of Intelligent Design in high schools
and this has led to huge publicity and controversy.
Truth in Science
Here's a recent headline.
Creationism gains foothold in schools
The Sunday Times December 31, 2006
THE government has cleared the way for a form of creationism to be taught in Britains schools as
part of the religious syllabus.
Lord Adonis, an education minister, is to issue guidelines within two months for the teaching of
intelligent design (ID), a theory being promoted by the religious right in America.
Until now the government has not approved the teaching of the controversial theory, which
contradicts Darwinian evolutionary theory, the basis of modern biology.
Adonis said in a parliamentary answer: Intelligent design can be explored in religious education
as part of developing an understanding of different beliefs.
He announced that the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) is to hold discussions with the
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the assessment regulator, and said local advisory
councils would decide whether particular schools should teach the theory.
Creationists believe in the literal truth of the Biblical account of the creation by God in six
Intelligent design argues that life and the universe are guided by a designer, rather than an
undirected process as illustrated by Darwins natural selection.
The theory has gained a foothold in the American state school system, sparking legal challenges
from secular groups seeking to oust it from science teaching.
Although Adonis stopped short of permitting the teaching of intelligent design in science lessons,
one of the key lobby groups behind the theory, Truth in Science, hailed his statement as a
So far no schools in Britain teach the theory as part of its religious education syllabus. But
Truth in Science believes that the new government guidelines will give the green light to dozens
of schools to incorporate ID in the syllabus.
Andrew McIntosh, a professor of engineering at Leeds university who heads Truth in Science, said:
We believe that evolutionary theory should be taught in a critical manner, and some space must be
given to credible alternative theories, such as intelligent design.
The lobby group says its ultimate aim is to pressure schools to teach ID in science lessons as a
challenge to Darwinism. It says it has the support of about 70 heads of science across Britain,
who want ID to be introduced in the national curriculum as part of science.
Opponents in the Church of England dismiss it as fantasy. Colin Slee, the Dean of Southwark, said:
Everything needs to be explored, so that children can ask sensible questions. Though I see no
huge difficulty with exploring intelligent design or creationism or flat Earth, they happen to be
misguided, foolish and flying in the face of all evidence. I see no problem with Darwinian theory
and Christian faith going hand in hand.
Canon Jeremy Davies, Precentor of Salisbury cathedral, said: I dont see why religious education
should be a dumping ground for fantasies. If it is claimed that this is a scientific theory, why
isnt it explored in science classes? Its validity or otherwise should be tested against the usual
Others regard it as religious dogma masquerading as science. Richard Dawkins, author of The God
Delusion, said ID was not a science and should not be taught.
Christopher W. Ashcraft
Northwest Creation Network