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September 27, 2006

Untruth in science

The young-earth creationist crazies are targeting Old World schools:

Creationists and anti-evolutionists in the United Kingdom have established a new website, called ‘Truth in Science’, to try to persuade school parents to lobby for their ideas within the British education system.
The move is the latest attempt by opponents of Darwinian theory to ‘teach the controversy’ by claiming equivalence for non-scientific theories of origins often derived from fundamentalist interpretations of Christian scripture.
Truth in Science asks, “Are you aware of what your child is being taught, and have you ever discussed this with his or her science teacher?” It says that a ‘free resource pack’ is being sent to school heads of science in September 2006.
… The website includes GSCE lesson plans for teaching ‘Intelligent Design’, which proposes the notion that life on earth may have been produced by an unidentifiable intelligent cause or causes.
… In relation to the [U.K.] National Curriculum, TiS claims: “Alternatives to Darwinian evolution as a theory of origins can be taught in Key Stages 3 and 4 under the topic of ‘Ideas and evidence in science’.”
The group says that science teaching in UK schools is ‘biased’ because it does not give room to creationist-style ideas.

Behind TiS is a motley group of pseudo-scientists, as Michael Roberts—a British priest, geologist and long-term campaigner against creationism—explains:

Prominent is Andy McIntosh, Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory at the University of Leeds and author of Genesis for Today, which is largely about the value of Genesis for ethics. It contains several appendices which I believe are full of scientific errors and misinterpretations.
Another director is Steve Layfield, head of science at Emmanuel College, Gateshead, who fervently supports teaching creationism in schools, even suggesting that the Fall of Adam resulted in lunar craters and thus should be taught as science.
Two others are John Blanchard, evangelist and author of Evolution: fact or fiction? Has Science Got Rid of God? and Does God Believe in Atheists?, which stand accused of being full of scientific distortion, and George Curry, Vicar of Elswick Parish Church, Newcastle, on the board of the Christian Institute and chair of Church Society.
All fifteen mentioned on the website are Young Earth Creationists, and connected variously with Biblical Creation Society, Answers in Genesis and other groups.
… The material on the website is carefully packaged, and its YEC roots, and thus its scientific worthlessness, may not be immediately apparent to the undiscerning. Though the “Cambrian Explosion” is mentioned (the sudden explosion of life forms spread over 10 million years some 550 million years ago), any reference to the vast age of the earth is carefully avoided.
All the “committee” appear to believe the earth to be 6,000 to 10,000 years old and not 4.6 billion. In fact one cannot make any intelligent comment about the Cambrian Explosion without accepting its vast antiquity.

British parents beware.

UPDATE 09/29/06: The British government’s Department for Education and Skills has now given a general assurance that it won’t allow British school science lessons to be infiltrated by creationism or intelligent design. But don’t expect the crazies to give up.

Posted by Stephen at 5:40 PM in Education | Evolution | Religion + cults | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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