UK anti-creation campaign is reported by Ekklasia, who describe themselves as a “beliefs and values think tank”. A group of scientists, educators and church leaders, including Professors Steve Jones and Richard Dawkins and Reverends Michael Roberts and David Jennings, have sent an open letter to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education in the UK, and other Education politicians, calling for a ban on creationism in schools. The letter complains that a creationist had been invited to St Peter’s, a state secondary school in Exeter, Devon “to lecture to Year 11 students as part of an RE revision day” and finishes with this demand: “Creationism is known, and officially acknowledged, to be contrary to scientific fact. We therefore demand that creationism should not be presented as a valid scientific position, nor creationist websites and resources be promoted, in publicly funded schools or in any youth activities run on publicly funded school premises”. (RE is Religious Education)
Those who signed the letter have formed an organisation named CrISIS, an acronym for “Creationism In Schools Isn’t Science”. This organisation is supported by the British Centre for Science Education, Ekklesia and the National Secular Society and has started a petition asking people to sign up to the same demand they sent to the Education politicians.
However, it seems the event that resulted in the letter and the petition was not a lecture on creation, but a debate with an evolutionist, and as their letter admits, it did not occur in a science lesson, but in a Religious Education lesson.
The organisation has been criticised for over-reacting, even by its supporters. Andrew McMullon, one of the signatories wrote on the CrISIS Facebook page: “It seems that the incident reported by CrISIS was NOT creationism being taught as science but creationism being debated (in front of intelligent 16 year olds) as part of an RE event! So I feel that CrISIS got my signature under false pretences by misrepresenting and over-reacting to a reasonable occurrence in a school”. (emphasis in original) A blogger with the pseudonym Church Mouse, who is openly anti-creationist, published an article entitled “The hysterical reaction to creationism in schools” 13 May 2011, that included the following comments: “How better to learn what creationists believe than to hear it explained by a creationist. How better to challenge those beliefs than to hear him debate those beliefs with a scientist who can explain the evidence for evolution. What on earth is dangerous here?” and further on: “The lesson was RE, and the views were challenged. If the argument is that false claims should not be allowed to be heard, then we are in a very dangerous place”.
Editorial Comment: The Church Mouse blog is correct – the reaction by the CrISIS group is hysterical. A debate between a creationist and an evolutionist is perfectly reasonable activity to have in a school – even in a Religious Education programme. This kind of over-the-top reaction is not new, and Creation Research has had personal experience of this in the UK and many other places. In 2006 the editors of this newsletter had been invited to give a series of lessons on creation in a public high school in Britain. After some fear-mongering publicity by local sceptics, who threatened to picket the school, the principal revoked the invitation. During this time one of our speakers had also been invited to speak at a Christian Union meeting at another British school. In spite of the fact that the Christian Union is a voluntary extra-curricular activity, school authorities intervened and forced them to cancel the invitation.
The reason for these irrational reactions is because the creation evolution debate is not about science versus religion, but a clash of two world views. If evolution was real science, it would stand up to any honest scrutiny. But since it is religion disguised as science, anti creationist sceptics have to call on politicians (and in some places lawyers) to protect evolution from any challenges or alternative views, so students cannot find out how they are being conned. Creationism is a direct threat to the philosophy of materialism, or naturalism, which is the prevailing world view in academic circles, therefore, the naturalist educational elite and the liberal theologians cannot allow students to hear what’s wrong with their view from any source. The Rev Roberts is also a geologist, who neither believes Genesis nor most of the New Testament, and has been involved in loudly opposing Creation Research ever since he was publically thrashed in a debate at Scorton UK by John Mackay, because Roberts’ anti Christ stand was exposed for what it actually is – old fashioned rebellion against the Creator. (Ref. philosophy, politics, atheism)
Evidence News 9 June 2011