April 11, 2006
Is Britain’s children learning yet?
Leading scientists have launched an unprecedented attack on the teaching of creationist theories in Tony Blair’s flagship academies.
Britain’s most prestigious scientific body, the Royal Society, said children were being confused by the teaching of the Bible’s creation story in science lessons.
It follows a recent revival in creationist thinking, most notably in three schools supported by multi-millionaire car dealer and evangelical Christian Sir Peter Vardy.
The schools - a city technology college and two city academies - are allowed to stray from the national curriculum under Labour’s controversial scheme to give schools more autonomy if they win private backing.
… Sir Peter’s charitable trust runs Emmanuel College in Gateshead, the King’s Academy, Middlesbrough and Trinity Academy, Doncaster. A fourth school is in the pipeline.
Nigel McQuoid, director of schools at the Emmanuel Foundation, has said he believes the earth was created by God in six days.
A recent Channel 4 documentary showed former students at Emmanuel College saying that although they were taught the theory of evolution, teachers made no attempt to hide their bias towards creationism.
Other developments which have prompted the society’s statement include the revelation that a new national science syllabus invites teachers to discuss creationist theories in GCSE lessons. Exams set by the OCR examination board - one of the main three in England - could require students to outline ideas which contradict evolution.
… [T]he Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said recently that the creation story was not worth teaching alongside the modern theory of evolution. He stated that classroom work should include the Bible only when ‘discussing what creation means’.
In other words, even the Church of England thinks these people are nuts.
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