Thursday, March 30, 2006

Creationism IS to be Taught in UK Schools

Seems I spoke too soon. According to the Spectator, (errgh - most pertinent stuff under sub),

"From September, in English schools biology pupils will be required to understand and discuss theories no scientist gives credence to. Jacqui Smith, the schools Standards minister, said in a parliamentary reply that 'creationism is one of many different beliefs which pupils might discuss and consider.'"

Forget the fact that even the Archbishop is of the opinion that thinking of the Biblical creation as a genuine explanation of the creation of the world amounts to a category error. Forget the fact that creationism could quite reasonably be taught in religious studies lessons and potentially useful spiritual lessons drawn and contrasts with scientific theories done there, ie: in a philosophical context. No let's go do something dumb and mix up two clearly delineated branches of knowledge, which almost immediately will make it much more difficult to reconcile these in any sensible fashion.

I had assumed that the argument for Darwinism and evolution had well and truly won in the UK but things could change . According to a recent poll"45% of Americans...believe that God created life on earth at some point in the last 10,000 years", so if we want to prevent a return to the intellectual dark ages, it may be best to whip those kids out of school.


David said...

From when I've talked to our Merkin cousins, the general consensus (though, unfortunately, I can't find the actual figures) has been that a majority of home edders (if not most) there do so for religious reasons, so maybe getting them into school where they can be exposed to the arguments for evolution would be a good idea?

As to the UK, if RE classes are anything like I remember, kids like asking too many awkward questions to take creationism seriously. Further, as this is going to be in biology classes, I don't imagine there'll be much in the way of an 'impartial' teaching/discussion of it. Don't forget cool; The Bible isn't really where it's 'at' nowadays, spiritually speaking.

On a tangent, I have yet to figure how Intelligent Design lends any weight whatsoever to Genesis' depiction of creation.

Carlotta said...

You know some Merkins? Great name with an interesting alternative meaning, as I recall.

And yes, I personally would prefer for parents to be offering their best theories tentatively, so that kids can think about them freely and for themselves...and not take them on board as a matter of ill-considered acceptance.

It is possible for this to just off to blog this exact story!

And perhaps you are right to think that teaching creationism in a biology class will just lead to more scepticism on the subject, but I personally feel it just shows a blatant ignorance of what can and cannot be defined as science, which could only possibly be confusing for someone not already in the know.

And on your last point, I completely agree, though perhaps I just don't know enough about ID.

David said...

I only know Merkins on t'net; forums and whatnot. Can't say I know the 'alternative' meaning. Used to call them Murricans myself, then I caught 'Merkin'.

I think this'll shoot itself in the foot. Evolution has this/that/other evidence (indeed, we can see it happening in viruses). Creationism...well, 'it says so in the Bible'.

I do find it annoying, though, because surely they should be teaching the other creation stories, too? There's some great mythology out there.

ID, from what I recall, basically says things are too complex to have happened accidentally, therefore there's some creator - 'intelligence' - behind it all. Which may or may not be so, but it can't really be tested. I just love how the fundamentalists ruin their 'it's-science-not-theology' by then linking it, with no reasoning, to Genesis.