Category: God

UK Government Bans Creationism from Schools

June 27, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

The UK government has banned all academies and free schools, both existing today and those which are yet to open, from teaching creationism as scientifically valid.

Creationism Science Quiz - USA Style

Thank God that tests like this will not be allowed in the UK school system.

Back in 2012 the government stopped all future free schools from teaching creationism and pseudoscience as science, but the change did not apply to free schools which were already operating and didn’t apply to Academies. But these rules have now been extended to include all current and future academies and free schools.

This is great news for those who, like me, have been concerned that simplistic, creationist views were potentially indoctrinating or, at the very least, misleading children since they were being presented as science. Creationism and the fact that, in the face of overwhelming evidence to support the scientific facts of evolution, people continue to hold strong creationist views is a subject worth discussing in schools. As stated by Richy Thompson, campaigns officer at the British Humanist Association:

“…teaching creationism in science was the same as a geography teacher “telling their students the world was flat”.

“We don’t want to see any children being taught creationism for the simple reason that it’s not true,” Mr Thompson said. “The scientific consensus is overwhelming and the evidence is overwhelming in supporting the theory of evolution.”

Alice Roberts, professor of public engagement in science at the University of Birmingham in England and presenter of BBC programme The Incredible Human Journey which explains the evidence for the theory of early human migrations out of Africa, has expressed concern that too many children are at risk of indoctrination.

“There should be regulation that prevents all schools, not just state schools, from teaching creationism because it is indoctrination, it is planting ideas into children’s heads,” she told TES. “We should be teaching children to be much more open-minded.

“People who believe in creationism say that by teaching evolution you are indoctrinating them with science, but I just don’t agree with that. Science is about questioning things. It’s about teaching people to say, ‘I don’t believe it until we have very strong evidence.’”

Any UK schools which are found to be breaching the ban are likely to have their funding reduced or removed.

In the United States there is far more widespread belief in Creationist theories and legislation has already been passed which allows creationism and intelligent design to be taught in the states of Louisiana and Tennessee. A recent Gallup poll has worryingly demonstrated that only 19% of Americans believe that humans evolved and god had no part in the process. A huge, 42% believe that God created humans and 31% believe that humans evolved with God’s guidance.

In a 2006 UK poll regarding the “origin and development of life” some interesting results were derived. Participants were offered 3 options, Young Earth (creationism), Intelligent Design, Evolution theory – as explanations for the origin of life. In the UK 22% chose young earth (creationism), 17% opted for intelligent design and 48% chose evolution.

The same survey conducted in a United states Gallup produced contrasting results between the various political persuasions. Creationism was chosen by a massive 60% of Republicans with only 4% choosing evolution without god. Of the Democrats 38% believe in creationism and only 17% believe in evolution.

Luckily, the support for creationism from credible and relevant scientists is minimal and support is declining. But many American free schools are funded by organisations which promote creationist theory. So there are some interesting times ahead for educational systems and curricula on both sides of the Atlantic.

References:

Huffington post: Creationism Banned from UK Schools.

Pink News:UK government bans teaching creationism as science in all state schools