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Richard Dawkins celebrates a victory over creationists

Radical Ed 2012/06/05 10:41:40
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Leading scientists and naturalists, including Professor Richard Dawkins and Sir David Attenborough, are claiming a victory over the creationist movement after the government ratified measures that will bar anti-evolution groups from teaching creationism in science classes.

The
Department for Education has revised its model funding agreement,
allowing the education secretary to withdraw cash from schools that fail
to meet strict criteria relating to what they teach. Under the new
agreement, funding will be withdrawn for any free school that teaches
what it claims are "evidence-based views or theories" that run "contrary
to established scientific and/or historical evidence and explanations".

The
British Humanist Association (BHA), which has led a campaign against
creationism – the movement that denies Darwinian evolution and claims
that the Earth and all its life was created by God – described the move
as "highly significant" and predicted that it would have implications
for other faith groups looking to run schools.

Dawkins, who was
one of the leading lights in the campaign, welcomed confirmation that
creationists would not receive funding to run free schools
if they sought to portray their views as science. "I welcome all moves
to ensure that creationism is not taught as fact in schools," he said.
"Government rules on this are extremely welcome, but they need to be
properly enforced."

Free schools, which are state-funded and run
by local people or organisations, do not need to follow the national
curriculum. Scientific groups have expressed concerns that their spread
will see a reduction in the teaching of evolution in the classroom.

Several
creationist groups have expressed an interest in opening schools in
towns and cities across England, including Bedford, Barnsley, Sheffield
and Nottingham. Critics say they seek to promote creationism, or the
doctrine of "intelligent design", as a scientific theory rather than as a
myth or metaphor.

One creationist organisation, Truth in Science,
which encourages teachers to incorporate intelligent design into their
science teaching, has sent free resources to all secondary schools and
sixth-form colleges.

A BHA campaign, called "Teach evolution, not
creationism", saw 30 leading scientists and educators call on the
government to introduce statutory guidance against the teaching of
creationism. The group said if the government would not support the
call, an explicit amendment to the wording of the funding agreement
could have the same effect. Last week the Department for Education
confirmed it had amended the agreement, although a spokesman denied it
was the result of pressure from scientists. He said the revision made
good on a pledge regarding the teaching of creationism given when the
education secretary, Michael Gove,
was in opposition. "We will not accept any academy or free school
proposal which plans to teach creationism in the science curriculum or
as an alternative to accepted scientific theories," the spokesman said,
adding that "all free school proposals will be subject to due diligence
checks by the department's specialist team".

The revised funding
agreement has been seized upon by anti-creationists who are pressing for
wider concessions from the government.

"It is clear that some
faith schools are ignoring the regulations and are continuing to teach
myth as though it were science," Dawkins said. "Evolution is fact,
supported by evidence from a host of scientific disciplines, and we do a
great disservice to our young people if we fail to teach it properly. "

A
spokeswoman for the BHA said: "The government's new wording is quite
wide and in practice could prevent those who promote extreme religious
or particular spiritual or pseudoscientific approaches from including
them as part of the school curriculum as science or as evidence-based."


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  • elijahin24 2012/06/05 18:37:27
    bravo!
    elijahin24
    +3
    If only we could get such reason to prevail here in the USA.
  • Icarus 2012/06/05 12:51:39
    bravo!
    Icarus
  • irish 2012/06/05 12:49:25
    bravo!
    irish
    +5
    lets teach our kids to actually THINK and REASON! logic
  • PEEPL 2012/06/05 11:09:58
    bravo!
    PEEPL
    +4
    Good. No phoney science in science classes and groups. And no occult magic or pulling a rabbit out of a hat in church and saying it's god. Fair is fair.
    religious wackos
  • bricklyn PEEPL 2012/06/06 05:35:23
    bricklyn
    +1
    If you are breeding those little guys, I want to be the first on the list of potential adoptors.
  • Mark 2012/06/05 11:06:08
    None of the above
    Mark
    All doctrines and views should be taught dispassionately, but courteously in schools.
  • PEEPL Mark 2012/06/05 11:11:40
    PEEPL
    +1
    How about that the holocaust never happened. Their are many groups of religious holocaust deniers. Should they teach that in history class ?
  • Mark PEEPL 2012/06/05 11:13:54
    Mark
    In a history class, the children should be taught about the holocaust and also taught that there are people who claim it never happened becase of x, y & z.
    If you stiffle knowledge, it isnt education.
  • PEEPL Mark 2012/06/05 11:27:05
    PEEPL
    +1
    What's the difference though. It is a view wrapped in religion. How about the fact that the Vatican has opposed vaccinations as the work of the devil ?? It's a form of religion sold as science. There are many
    http://www.reformation.org/va...
  • Mark PEEPL 2012/06/05 11:33:39
    Mark
    You are just making the same point again and again.

    The answer to the "new" point you are making is the same as I made a moment ago. Just insert the variants you wish.
  • PEEPL Mark 2012/06/05 11:37:54 (edited)
    PEEPL
    +1
    OK,. how about something more directly from the bible itself. The idea that the earth itself is the center of our universe? There is even a bible based on the subject called "The Geocentric Bible". If it is God inspired I would think that he would have a better visual view than people. http://www.amazon.com/The-Geo... Religion plus religion based made up so called science is a farce.
  • Mark PEEPL 2012/06/05 12:39:02 (edited)
    Mark
    The bible doesnt state that it is. tt was Aristotle who postulated that the Earth was at the centre Do you think teaching about the life and work of Aristotle should be outlawed as well? I would not advocate teaching things that are not true.
  • PEEPL Mark 2012/06/05 18:34:19
    PEEPL
    Many have thought that it does and if one wacky idea wrapped up in religion should be taught in schools then they all should.
  • Mark PEEPL 2012/06/05 18:39:31
    Mark
    Teaching about religion is not the same as conversion, which is what seem to be confusing.
    Much of history is entwined with religious conflict of one sort or another as is geography. Perhaps they should be outlawed as well?
    The life of Galileo shouldnt be taught either. His most famous realisation of the Jupiter moons was dicredited because of the religious leaders of the time. Would you edit half of his story because of that?
    You may like to supress knowledge, like the leaders of his time.
    I would rather spread knoweldge.
  • PEEPL Mark 2012/06/05 19:33:32 (edited)
    PEEPL
    +1
    It is an attempt on the part of religion to get it's foot in the door of schools. And Whether the churches call it God or hide it in deceptive language like higher force,. or higher intelligence or let a phrase like supreme being come out it is unethical and insulting to both religion and science. It means that they feel that religious people should lie that it isn't religion and lie again to say that it isn't God. And that the intellectual community should drop their ethics and standards and submit to any pressure group. And yes science has ethics and standards.
  • bricklyn Mark 2012/06/06 05:36:35
    bricklyn
    +1
    Religions is not knowledge, that is why it is not taught in schools.
  • bricklyn Mark 2012/06/06 05:35:56
    bricklyn
    +1
    A school is is not a church.

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