Dispatches from the Creation Wars

British Scientists Fight Creationism

The Guardian reports that prominent British scientists are stepping up their response to creationism in schools there.

Prominent scientists, including Sir David Attenborough and Richard Dawkins, have called on the government to toughen its guidance on the promotion of creationism in classrooms, accusing “religious fundamentalists” of portraying it as scientific theory in publicly funded schools.

A group of 30 scientists have signed a statement saying it is “unacceptable” to teach creationism and intelligent design, whether it happens in science lessons or not. The statement claims two organisations, Truth in Science and Creation Ministries International are “touring the UK and presenting themselves as scientists and their creationist views as science”.


The article continues:

“Creationism and intelligent design are not scientific theories, but they are portrayed as scientific theories by some religious fundamentalists who attempt to have their views promoted in publicly funded schools,” the scientists say.

“There should be enforceable statutory guidance that they may not be presented as scientific theories in any publicly funded school of whatever type.”

The scientists claim organisations such as Truth in Science are encouraging teachers to incorporate intelligent design into their science teaching.

“Truth in Science has sent free resources to all secondary heads of science and to school librarians around the country that seek to undermine the theory of evolution and have intelligent design ideas portrayed as credible scientific viewpoints. Speakers from Creation Ministries International are touring the UK, presenting themselves as scientists and their creationist views as science at a number of schools.”

And the creationists have learned the art of obfuscation well from their American counterparts:

Truth in Science denied advocating the teaching of creationism in schools. “We wish to highlight the scientific weaknesses of neo-Darwinism and to encourage a more critical approach to the teaching of evolution in schools and universities,” it said in a statement.

Translation: “We don’t want to teach creationism, we want to teach this other thing that is identical to creationism under a different label.” New wine in old skins.