UK educator: Teach creationism

UK educator: Teach creationism

Summary: So this is the state of science education? I just don't know what to think anymore.

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TOPICS: United Kingdom
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So this is the state of science education? I just don't know what to think anymore. The Times of London reports that Britain's director of education at the Royal Society says creationism should be taught in science class.

In a kind of waving the white flag Rev. Prof. Michael Reiss said one in 10 children don't believe in evolution; teaching creationism would stop them from writing off science entirely.

“An increasing percentage of children in the UK come from families that do not accept the scientific version of the history of the universe and the evolution of species. What are we to do with those children?” he said.

“My experience after having tried to teach biology for 20 years is if one simply gives the impression that such children are wrong, then they are not likely to learn much about the science that one really wants them to learn.

“I think a better way forward is to say to them, ’Look, I simply want to present you with the scientific understanding of the history of the universe and how animals and plants and other organisms evolved.” Discussing Creationism in a respectful way made it less likely that children would ignore science or detach from it, he said.

He added that he felt children would not be marked down for expressing creationist opinions in science exams: “As far as I’m aware examinations in science don’t penalise students for giving their personal opinions.”

Reasonable enough, but such teaching belongs in social studies, not science class IMO.
“There is no evidence for a creator, and creationism explains nothing. It is based on religious beliefs and any discussion should be in religious studies.” Dr John Fry, a physicist at the University of Liverpool, said: “Science lessons are not the appropriate place to discuss Creationism, which is a world view in total denial of any form of scientific evidence. Creationism doesn’t challenge science; it denies it!”

Topic: United Kingdom

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23 comments
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  • the virus is spreading

    indeed
    spinin
    • But...

      ...treating it as a public health issue doesn't work very well. Heresy suppression has been tried repeatedly since ancient times and the costs always outweigh the benefits (among other things, it encourages hypocrisy and emnity and discourages rational thought). In the end, the most effective way to fight bad ideas is with good ones, and by teaching people the skills they need to evaluate and discuss ideas, good and bad.
      John L. Ries
  • I didn't see the part

    about the Universe being created from a drop of blood (Qu'ran) or the whole fire-and-ice thing (from the Eddas) or any of hundreds of others. How about equal time for the Navajo and Hopi creation accounts? Why not the ancient Greek thing about the generation before Kronos?

    Then there's the whole thing in the Bhagavad Gita -- the cosmology there is really awesome.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • Exactly!

      They should have a Creationism class, you can take it as the Revealed Word, or you can take it as comparative mythology. Equal time for all Creation stories.

      So, class, how did Anu, Enki, and Enlil create the world? Why did they cause the Great Flood?

      Don't let's forget the Flying Spaghetti Monster, how created some trees and mountains, and how humans evolved from pirates.

      edit: Oh, wait! I almost forgot about Ahura Mazda and the timeless battle between good and evil. Do not succumb to the darkness of Angra Mainyu!
      seanferd
  • We really need to teach clear thinking, and open-mindedness

    I think if I was teaching high school or college (regardless of the subject), I'd say something like the following the first day of class:

    "You don't have to believe anything I say in my lectures, nor do you have to believe anything that's written in the text, but you do have to understand it, as it does reflect the current scholarly consensus (possibly coupled with my own ideas, and those of others), right or wrong. You are free to draw your own conclusions about the material I will present and even to discuss them in class, but to reach a rational conclusion, you will need to understand why people think what they do, even if you disagree, and even if it seems completely irrational to you. You might change your mind, once you understand the reasons people draw the conclusions they do, but then again, you might not. In either case, you will hopefully be in a better position to discuss the merits of different theories and ideas than you are now, so be patient with me, even if you think I'm completely out of my mind. Ultimately, you are the ones who decide what you will and will not believe, not me, nor anyone else."

    The acts of deity, in any case, are better discussed in religious classes than scientific ones.
    John L. Ries
    • Fabulous!

      If I was a teacher, I'd have to quote you on that at the beginning of every new semester/class.
      pistolleer@...
  • RE: UK educator: Teach creationism

    In traditional Jewish thought the universe was created from one point and expanded outward and that the seas brought forth fish, sound familiar?
    tech_israel
    • Sure

      Makes one wonder where christians got there creation stories.
      seanferd
      • Sources

        That everything that was created from one point, Nachmanades on the Torah (circa 13th cent)that fish were created from the water Talmud Tractate Chulin. Unfortunately Christians rejected these sources.
        tech_israel
  • RE: UK educator: Teach creationism

    I don't espouse Creationism but I do think that discussing the parts that Genesis has correct would be a great starting point for a lecture.

    1. Things came about (whether evolved or created) in the order of increasing complexity.

    2. The earlier items in the creation story are required elements for the later items, ie. animals and humans require the fishes and birds and the fishes and birds require the land and vegetation.

    Indeed, I opine that this is the real great insight that the writer(s) of Genesis was trying to impart.
    pistolleer@...
  • Creationism? Which one?

    Monotheism is nothing but a dictatorship. It's the worst kind too, you can't assassinate the arrogant p***k.
    kozmcrae
  • The desmantling of truth

    As much as I believe schools should teach children HOW to think rather than WHAT to think. Some people need to have their own TRUTH to believe in. There isn't enough TRUTH anymore, it's overshadowed by OPINION. Don't believe me? Do a search of "Plamsa Cosmology" or "Thermate" or "Apollo 11". It's hard to be sure of anything these days. Let people find their own simple truths by having their own opinion. If you don't you'll only have debate. Religions don't cause fighting, money and power do. Everything else is just an excuse to find support for ulterior motives.
    Unaphiliated
  • RE: UK educator: Teach creationism

    Welcome back, Dark Ages.
    Mitch Ratcliffe
    • Cause of Dark Ages

      Consider that it may well have been the **LACK** of full disclosure of Religion to the masses which allowed the Dark Ages.

      An informed public prevents any given "sect" from gaining prominence or total control.

      I think both should be taught.

      BTW: There is actually insufficient evidence to call Evolution a "Law of Nature" that is an indisputable fact.

      In many areas it has only enough "hard" evidence to go fron a Scientific Hypothesis to Theory.

      Yet, many items in the Bible, though previously discounted, have been proven through hard science.

      Consider that the current not so veiled hatred for Christianity in America may well lead to a back door invasion of some far worse form of oppressive religion.

      Mike Sr.
      madrucke@...
      • That is the one truth to this whole thing

        Nobody alive today was there at the begining, and no records of the account were written to survive to this day.

        In the end their is no proff that either is right, so both evolution and creation are taken on faith, whether you know it or not.
        AllKnowingAllSeeing
        • flat-earther...

          Yes, there are records. It just takes a great deal of SCIENCE to be able to read them.

          Just because you can't see the earth is a sphere, doesn't mean it's flat dude...

          There was an excellent documentary on a legal case with the board of education somewhere in Delaware, where they successfully threw creationism teaching out of the science classroom. They did an excellent job of proving that the creationist theory is neither a theory nor science. Sorry I can't remember the title.
          ridingthewind
          • Flat Earther? Who Me?

            Well, you have a right to your thoughts. As do I.

            But, you might be interested to know that I am a Science Geek who at 16 postulated a method for Fusion which I was told was "stupid" by a college professor.

            But, which happened to have been state of the art at the time. Which I learned near the end of my Navy Tour when reading a recently unclassified report.

            So, I am no "Flat Earther"...

            While I know all the theory for electricity. And, daily practice the Laws Associated therewith.

            I still have to take the fact that when I turn the light switch on I will get light on faith, because while I can observe the laws in action I can't really "Prove Them". :)

            Mike Sr.
            madrucke@...
      • Not so sure about that last bit

        "Consider that the current not so veiled hatred for Christianity in America may well lead to a back door invasion of some far worse form of oppressive religion."

        How do you see that happening? I can't quite wrap my head around it.

        Regardless, I don't see that much hatred of Christianity, and I think non-believers and non-Christian believers who may or may not hate Christianity are in the minority. I also think that the hatred or disregard you see is for those types of authoritarian fundamentalists who who espouse so much hatred for everyone who doesn't think or believe as they do. Actually, I think there are plenty of not-really-practicing Christians who will defend any Christian faith at the drop of a hat, regardless of what they believe or how they actually behave.
        seanferd
        • Not So Sure about Tolerance

          I caught a CNN reporter the other day and even though I am an Assemblies of God adherent...

          The way she was reporting it I thought she was talking about a rabid cult of some kind...

          It wasn't until I actually saw the Church Sign itself that I realized what was going on.

          Honestly, had I not know the truth of who and what the Assemblies are, for all their faults, I was actually starting to get ready to sign up for the attack, myself.

          So, I think there is a *lot* of liberal media bias against Christianity in general.

          It only remains for some group to exploit it...

          Like the current FCC interest in controlling content on the web and doing away with Equal Access...

          Couple that with the fact that in almost all cases where any other faith but Christianity is concerned Christianity loses the case and the other faith wins.

          Mike Sr.
          madrucke@...
          • I guess it boils down to personal experience, then

            There will always be people with something against a belief or point of view, and those who will totally misrepresent it as well. I do not, however, see any imminent collapse of Christianity. Christians win points for their interests at least as often as not, and they are not going away any time soon.

            Sorry to hear your denomination was being attacked or misrepresented for no apparent reason. I can see how that can be upsetting.

            edit: Just thought I'd mention that Christians are the vast majority in the U.S. I don't know why a majority would be so concerned with tolerance of their viewpoint. I'll admit that there is much less of a majority of Christians who read every bit of the Bible literally or have a political Creationist agenda of some sort. Not believing in literal Creation does not a non-Christian make. Plenty of the liberal left are Christians as well, although they may not always make Christianity their major focus.
            seanferd