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January 1, 2007

Creationists find their Adonis

While the blogosphere has been getting its collective knickers in a twist about why Richard Dawkins signed a badly worded (and six-month old) anti-religion petition—a petition that plays right into the hands of the creationist crazies—the Blair government has figured out how to sneak creationism into Britain’s state schools:

The government has cleared the way for a form of creationism to be taught in Britain’s 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.

It’s worth noting that before becoming Britain’s clueless minister for schools—and before his utterly undeserved enoblement—the good Lord was plain Andrew Adonis, an equally clueless newspaper reporter.

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.
… 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 significant breakthrough.
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.
… 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.

Curiously, the Church of England again finds itself leading the charge against this crap:

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 don’t see why religious education should be a dumping ground for fantasies. If it is claimed that this is a scientific theory, why isn’t it explored in science classes? Its validity or otherwise should be tested against the usual criteria.”

More here on Untruth in Science and Blair’s Christianist agenda.

Posted by Stephen at 1:01 AM in Education | Evolution | Politics | Religion + cults | Science + technology | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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