June 21, 2006
Science vs. fiction
A Good Thing, I guess, but frustrating that academia has to waste so much time on a crusade against the creationist cretins:
The world’s scientific community united yesterday to launch one of the strongest attacks yet on creationism, warning that the origins of life were being “concealed, denied or confused”.
The national science academies of 67 countries warned parents and teachers to ensure that they did not undermine the teaching of evolution or allow children to be taught that the world was created in six days.
Some schools in the US hold that evolution is merely a theory while the Bible represents the literal truth. There have also been fears that these views are creeping into British schools.
The statement, which the Royal Society signed on behalf of Britain’s scientists, said: “We urge decision-makers, teachers and parents to educate all children about the methods and discoveries of science and foster an understanding of the science of nature. Knowledge of the natural world in which they live empowers people to meet human needs and protect the planet.”
“Within science courses taught in certain public systems of education, scientific evidence, data, and testable theories about the origins and evolution of life on Earth are being concealed, denied, or confused with theories not testable by science.”
… [C]reationism is being included in the science curricula of a growing number of UK universities. Leeds University plans to incorporate one or two compulsory lectures on creationism and intelligent design into its second-year course for zoology and genetics undergraduates next Christmas, according to The Times Higher Education Supplement. At Leicester University, academics discuss creationism and intelligent design with third-year genetics undergraduates for about 20 minutes in lectures.
In both cases, lecturers argue that the controversial theories will be presented as fallacies irreconcilable with scientific evidence. But […] a THES investigation has also discovered there are at least 14 academics in science departments who consider themselves creationists. They believe all kinds of life were designed rather than evolved. Several others are proponents of intelligent design, which rejects evolution.
And is of course identical to creationism, although don’t tell the Independent.
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