Creationism Is An Attack On Rationality: The Scientists Rally At Last

Light stream (74x112) 2007 004aa.jpg It has taken the scientists quite a while to wake up to the serious dangers for science and its rational underpinnings of creationism and the ‘theory’ of intelligent design. But now at last this danger – to the scientific community and far beyond – is beginning to be understood and confronted.
It’s taken a long time, but the scientists are at last beginning in numbers to fight back vocally against the attack from the Creationists, those mainly right-wing religious followers who believe despite the evidence that the story of the Old Testament is somehow literally true – and, even more worryingly, that it should be taught in schools. And in this rebuttal the scientists have been joined also by most mainstream churches and religious people – the large majority of whom in the case of both science and religion have until recently mainatined it is enough simply to ignore the creationists’ exotic claims.
But now scientists are seeking the active support of the churches to back evolutionary theory, especially in America, where Creationism and the related ‘theory’ of Intelligent Design have made the most headway.
Disputing creationism is not enough
It is not however enough simply to say that scientists should dispute creationism and intelligent design.
Far more is at stake than ‘just’ the challenge to an explanation of the origin of life on earth – vastly significant though this is.
The ideas of the creationists are, as some have recognised for decades, an affront to rationality. It is said that the President of the United States is a prominent supporter of creationism, or at least a proponent of intelligent design, but we must ask how this can be so when he is also a lawyer.
Lawyers may indeed sustain the view that ‘both sides’ of an argument should be aired, but rarely do they believe this even when one of those ‘sides’ has barely any evidence to uphold it. So what else is going on?
Economics and authority
The position of those who support creationism is usually authoritarian, and often anti-intellectual. This is in many respects evident in the current enthusiasm of some to promote such beliefs in Britain. In the USA, perhaps, this stance is even more established.
Many on the right of politics and religion like certainty. They do not feel comfortable with complex debates about evidence; and they are happier when intellectual challenge is replaced by the logic of big business. In other words, there is a deterministic preference here for authority and authoritarianiam to come together so that all is right with the world. God has pre-ordained the universe and our place in it, and this place is evidenced by our wealth (or not) and our religious observance. It’s an old-established way of thinking. Let there be no more debate!
A chasm between world views
For the vast majority of scientists there is a vast chasm between the exploration of the evolutionary paradigm and the determinism of the religious right. Small wonder then that scientists have been ill-prepared for the creationist onslaught.
And sadly small wonder too that many who might challenge the attack on science have not done so, perhaps for fear that in so doing they might also put at risk the funding of their research. There are significant numbers of wealthy benefactors out there who are comfortable with the idea of a creationist world and their hypothecated place in it.
Perhaps the scientists have failed to appreciate how precarious is the wider understanding of their work. Perhaps they have continued in their research mostly oblivious of the threat to their way of interpreting the world.
Fundamental issues
Neither of these positions can be seen as any more than innocent or at worst naive. But what is at stake is fundamental. Few people would wish to dispute the entitlement of individuals to perceive the world and all that is in it in their own way. Many however, the scientists amongst them, must now challenge more overtly and vigorously the view that we can dispense with informed debate and rationality. At last this is beginning visibly to happen.

Posted on April 21, 2006, in Arts, Culture And Heritage, Knowledge Ecology And Economy, Politics, Policies And Process, The Journal. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Just for the record: there are currently some 170 postings from me on this site. Four of them ( about 2.3%) contain the words ‘intelligent design’.

  2. Just so happens I don’t have time to read this carefully at the moment but one doesn’t have to be a scientist (which I’m not) nor a philosopher (which I’m not) to see the flaws in this argument even after a quick glance through it – just a bit of common sense and basic English comprehension.
    ID is NOT an antithesis of evolution and it does not deny ‘natural selection’ or any other aspect of evolutionary theory. That Dawkins and the rest can identify an ID ‘v’ evolution contest just goes to show how out of touch they are. To those who believe in ID evolution is just a sort of manufacturing process.
    Teaching ID? What is their to teach? – the basic idea can be got across in a few minutes or less.Those who believe in ID far from being anti-evolution are evolutionists themselves and they didn’t stop thinking about evolution just because they became proponents of ID. Do you really think American scientists who support ID suddenly downed tools and withdrew from science?
    I don’t know but I do suspect that the American politicians quoted above as being opposed to ID are mostly talking about the teaching of creation as described in the Bible. ID is of course, at present, not a ‘scientific’ concept in so far as it has nor been tested but then neither was GR or many another ‘scientific’ fact at one time and it should certainly have no place in the school science curriculum – not that there’s enough of it anyway.
    The fact is, ‘hilaryburrage’, that many of those who are aware of the diversity and complexity of life think there may be a bit more to evolution than can be explained by a series of so-called chance processes. ID is just a way of expressing that.
    But you have still not explained what you are afraid of. Are your children being exposed to floods of ID talk? Are children in your local comps. really listening avidly to ID talk instead of learning the parts of flowers? Ther’s no problem with ID. There ius a problem when so many so-called intellectuals should get so worked up about it.

  3. Maybe this helps to explain our concerns:
    Edge 186
    at
    http://www.edge.org
    This EDGE edition is available on the EDGE Website at: http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge186.html
    —————————————————-
    THE THIRD CULTURE
    —————————————————
    LETTER TO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS RE: “INTELLIGENT THOUGHT”
    [ED. NOTE:] Last week, the sixteen scientists who contributed essays to Intelligent Thought: Science versus the Intelligent Design Movement, wrote a letter that was addressed individually and sent with a copy of the book to every member of Congress. – JB
    —————————————————
    June 16, 2006
    To Members of Congress:
    We, the authors and editor of Intelligent Thought, are sending you a copy of the book in hopes that you will consider its message. The book is largely about Intelligent Design (ID), the latest incarnation of creationism. ID is a movement that threatens American science education and with it American economic predominance and credibility.
    The recent federal court decision in Dover, Pennsylvania found that ID was not a scientific theory, but a form of religion in disguise. Judge John Jones III, a churchgoing Republican appointed by President Bush, concluded that teaching this doctrine in the public schools represents both bad education and an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. President Bush’s science advisor, John H. Marburger, has affirmed that ‘evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology’ and ‘intelligent design is not a scientific concept.’ And Newt Gingrich has stated that ID has nothing to do with science and shouldn’t be taught in science courses.’
    Reason and law triumphed in Dover. But ID and its spinoffs continue to threaten American education by ignoring the massive evidence for evolution-the central principle that unites all the biological sciences- and by substituting adherence to religious dogma for the scientific method.
    Our country cannot afford substandard science teaching. Indeed, a national science test just administered by the Department of Education showed a decade-long erosion of scientific proficiency among American high school seniors. We won’t cure this problem by questioning scientifically established facts (evolution) and theories (natural selection) and replacing them with unsupported conjectures based on faith.
    The controversy over ID vs. evolution is not a scientific controversy. Every scientific body in the US has opposed ID and affirmed the reality of evolution. The “controversy” is about whether sectarian religious views should be taught in the science classroom. Most theologians readily accept evolution, finding it compatible with their faith. In 1996, Pope John Paul II officially endorsed evolution, and even with a recent change in Vatican leadership, the Catholic Church’s position has remained unchanged.
    As the world grows more complex, and we face scientific challenges such as addressing global warming, developing sustainable energy sources, and preventing the spread of pandemics, it is critical that America remain in the forefront of science. And the key to our preeminence is education. The study of evolution has practical benefits: it is the basis for breeding food crops, choosing animal models that can be used to treat human disorders, conserving species and their habitats, predicting which vaccines should be made to prepare for epidemics like avian flu, and manufacturing those vaccines. Science education that incorporates unscientific issues like ID is a sure path to America’s failure against competing countries. Conversely, given its importance for biology and for science in general, evolution deserves to be properly taught in American classrooms.
    Respectfully yours,
    Scott Atran
    Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique
    Paris,
    Department of Psychology
    University of Michigan
    John Brockman
    Publisher and Editor
    Edge (www.edge.org)
    New York City
    Jerry Coyne
    Department of Ecology and Evolution
    The University of Chicago
    Richard Dawkins
    Oxford University Museum
    Daniel Dennett
    Center for Cognitive Studies
    Tufts University
    Marc D. Hauser
    Departments of Psychology and Organismal and Evolutionary Biology
    Harvard University
    Nicholas Humphrey
    London School of Economics
    London, UK
    Stuart Kauffman
    The Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics
    The University of Calgary,
    The Santa Fe Institute
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Seth Lloyd
    Department of Mechanical Engineering
    Massachusetts Institute of Techology
    Steven Pinker
    Department of Psychology
    Harvard University
    Lisa Randall
    Department of Physics
    Harvard University
    Scott Sampson
    Utah Museum of Natural History and
    Department of Geology and Geophysics
    University of Utah
    Neil Shubin
    Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy
    The University of Chicago,
    The Field Museum, Chicago
    Lee Smolin
    Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
    Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    Frank Sulloway
    Institute for Personality and Social Research
    The University of California, Berkeley
    Leonard Susskind
    Department of Physics
    Stanford University
    Tim White
    Department of Integrative Biology and
    Human Evolution Research Center
    The University of California at Berkeley
    —————————————————–
    ALSO……
    20 June 2006

    Click to access 20_06_06_iap_evolution.pdf


    IAP STATEMENT ON THE TEACHING OF EVOLUTION
    We, the undersigned Academies of Sciences, have learned that in various parts of the world, within science courses taught in certain public systems of education, scientific evidence, data, and testable theories about the origins and evolution of life on Earth are being concealed, denied, or confused with theories not testable by science. We urge decision makers, teachers, and parents to educate all children about the methods and discoveries of science and to foster an understanding of the science of nature. Knowledge of the natural world in which they live empowers people to meet human needs and protect the planet.
    We agree that the following evidence-based facts about the origins and evolution of the Earth and of life on this planet have been established by numerous observations and independently derived experimental results from a multitude of scientific disciplines. Even if there are still many open questions about the precise details of evolutionary change, scientific evidence has never contradicted these results:
    1. In a universe that has evolved towards its present configuration for some 11 to 15 billion years, our Earth formed approximately 4.5 billion years ago.
    2. Since its formation, the Earth – its geology and its environments – has changed under the effect of numerous physical and chemical forces and continues to do so.
    3. Life appeared on Earth at least 2.5 billion years ago. The evolution, soon after, of photosynthetic organisms enabled, from at least 2 billion years ago, the slow transformation of the atmosphere to one containing substantial quantities of oxygen. In addition to the release of the oxygen that we breathe, the process of photosynthesis is the ultimate source of fixed energy and food upon which human life on the planet depends.
    4. Since its first appearance on Earth, life has taken many forms, all of which continue to evolve, in ways which palaeontology and the modern biological and biochemical sciences are describing and independently confirming with increasing precision. Commonalities in the structure of the genetic code of all organisms living today, including humans, clearly indicate their common primordial origin.
    We also subscribe to the following statement regarding the nature of science in relation to the teaching of evolution and, more generally, of any field of scientific knowledge :
    Scientific knowledge derives from a mode of inquiry into the nature of the universe that has been successful and of great consequence. Science focuses on
    (i) observing the natural world and
    (ii) formulating testable and refutable hypotheses to derive deeper explanations for observable phenomena.
    When evidence is sufficiently compelling, scientific theories are developed that account for and explain that evidence, and predict the likely structure or process of still unobserved phenomena.
    Human understanding of value and purpose are outside of natural science’s scope. However, a number of components – scientific, social, philosophical, religious, cultural and political – contribute to it. These different fields owe each other mutual consideration, while being fully aware of their own areas of action and their limitations.
    While acknowledging current limitations, science is open ended, and subject to correction and expansion as new theoretical and empirical understanding emerges.
    ✦ ✦ ✦
    1. Albanian Academy of Sciences
    2. National Academy of Exact, Physical and
    Natural Sciences, Argentina
    3. Australian Academy of Science
    4. Austrian Academy of Sciences
    5. Bangladesh Academy of Sciences
    6. The Royal Academies for Science and the Arts
    of Belgium
    7. Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and
    Herzegovina
    8. Brazilian Academy of Sciences
    9. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
    10. RSC: The Academies of Arts, Humanities and
    Sciences of Canada
    11. Academia Chilena de Ciencias
    12. Chinese Academy of Sciences
    13. Academia Sinica, China, Taiwan
    14. Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and
    Natural Sciences
    15. Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences
    16. Cuban Academy of Sciences
    17. Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
    18. Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
    19. Academy of Scientific Research and Technology,
    Egypt
    20. Académie des Sciences, France
    21. Union of German Academies of Sciences and
    Humanities
    22. The Academy of Athens, Greece
    23. Hungarian Academy of Sciences
    24. Indian National Science Academy
    25. Indonesian Academy of Sciences
    26. Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of
    Iran
    27. Royal Irish Academy
    28. Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
    29. Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
    30. Science Council of Japan
    31. Kenya National Academy of Sciences
    32. National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz
    Republic
    33. Latvian Academy of Sciences
    34. Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
    35. Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts
    36. Academia Mexicana de Ciencias
    37. Mongolian Academy of Sciences
    38. Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco
    39. The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and
    Sciences
    40. Academy Council of the Royal Society of New
    Zealand
    41. Nigerian Academy of Sciences
    42. Pakistan Academy of Sciences
    43. Palestine Academy for Science and Technology
    44. Academia Nacional de Ciencias del Peru
    45. National Academy of Science and Technology,
    The Philippines
    46. Polish Academy of Sciences
    47. Académie des Sciences et Techniques du
    Sénégal
    48. Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
    49. Singapore National Academy of Sciences
    50. Slovak Academy of Sciences
    51. Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
    52. Academy of Science of South Africa
    53. Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural
    Sciences of Spain
    54. National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka
    55. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
    56. Council of the Swiss Scientific Academies
    57. Academy of Sciences, Republic of Tajikistan
    58. The Caribbean Academy of Sciences
    59. Turkish Academy of Sciences
    60. The Uganda National Academy of Sciences
    61. The Royal Society, UK
    62. US National Academy of Sciences
    63. Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences
    64. Academia de Ciencias Físicas, Matemáticas y
    Naturales de Venezuela
    65. Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences
    66. African Academy of Sciences
    67. The Academy of Sciences for the Developing
    World (TWAS)
    68. The Executive Board of the International
    Council for Science (ICSU)

  4. Proponents of ID are likely to believe that ‘life’ itself – and probably ‘nature’ in general – is evidence of ID gaps in the fossil record or not.
    ID may not be provable(which doesn’t make it wrong, still a ‘hunch’)but questions like ‘how’? or ‘why’? may have no relevance where origins of life and the universe are concerned. Is that like physicists telling us that the laws of physics don’t apply at the ‘beginning’?
    But what really interests me is why you, and others, are so obsessed by this idea of ID. Are you afraid of something?

  5. This is an interesting piece of news:
    Discovered: the missing link that solves a mystery of evolution
    Alok Jha, science correspondent
    Thursday April 6, 2006
    The Guardian
    Scientists have made one of the most important fossil finds in history: a missing link between fish and land animals, showing how creatures first walked out of the water and on to dry land more than 375m years ago.
    Palaeontologists have said that the find, a crocodile-like animal called the Tiktaalik roseae and described today in the journal Nature, could become an icon of evolution in action – like Archaeopteryx, the famous fossil that bridged the gap between reptiles and birds.
    As such, it will be a blow to proponents of intelligent design, who claim that the many gaps in the fossil record show evidence of some higher power.
    [and so on; lots more follows in the actual article….]

  6. I don’t think you understood what I was trying to say. We should regard ID not as a theory but as a hypothesis which at the moment no one is able to falsify, and which may indeed turn out to be untestable. But that does not diminish the validity of the hypothesis. Alternatives to ID have the same status and in their time so I suppose had many other ideas now generally accepted.
    ID does nothing to undermine what you call the scientific theory of evolution. It merely seeks to identify a possible X factor in evolution. Don’t pay any attention to Mr. Dawkins. He thinks only in simplistic terms of form and structure-a way of thinking which can admittedly ead to some nice dinner table talk. When he begins to explain the evolution of even the most simple metabolic processes then perhaps you can begin to listen to him. The object of Mr. Dawkins and his kind in this debate is not to further science but to further atheism and to contain this idea that there may be some intellegence beyond us – to what purpose I don’t know. Whether there is or isn’t a designer is all the same to me but as I said, I won’t lose any sleep about it if there is. Don’t you think it’s just a 50/50 chance?
    I suggest you read up on this irreducable complexity idea. It might make you think.
    Finally, ID is not an ideology and I challenge you to tell me even one way in which the concept is dangerous? It certainly undermines no scientific theories and in fact it might stimulate scientists to counter this IC idea. It seems much more dangerous to me that Mr. Dawkins and his friends in the BBC are pursuing their obsessive objection to this idea with a view to bending peoples’ minds. Supporters of ID, note, seem to be doing no such thing – at least not here.
    PS. Don’t worry about C. B. Thaxton being a Creationist. Newton was probably worse and I can’t begin to imagine some of the things Archimedes and the inventors of metallurgy must have believed in.

  7. In my opinion, ID is not harmless. It seeks to undermine scientific theories of evolution but fails misterably to propose any testable (yes – that’s important) alternative theory.
    The link to Creationism is not unsubstantiated:
    ‘The earliest known modern version of intelligent design began, according to Dr Barbara Forrest, “in the early 1980s with the publication of The Mystery of Life’s Origin (MoLO 1984) by creationist chemist Charles B. Thaxton with Walter L. Bradley and Roger L. Olsen. Thaxton worked for Jon A. Buell at the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE) in Texas, a religious organization that published MoLO.”‘ (Wikipedia)
    I find it very worrying that western society is now increasingly willing to promote unsubstantiated ideologies over the previously accepted need for sustained scientific investigation and (that word again) rationality.

  8. I was only trying to convey the idea that Einstein, Maxwell and the others were not concerning themselves with falsifiable hypotheses when they were developing their theories. They were not following a textbook on the methodology of science while they were at work.
    ID may have been unfruitful in the experiments it has suggested but lack of proof does not prove that the idea is wrong. If Einstein had left out his Cosmological Constant would GR have been any less valid because it was developed before Hubble’s discovery?
    What really intrigues me is why ‘hilaryburrage’ and others should be so keen to join in this assault on ID and rejoice in the fact that scientists (all of them)? are opposing the idea.
    Let us look for clues.
    1) Mr. Dawkins is an atheist, at Cambridge University and a Profesor of Public Understanding of Science -sounds like something out of 1984.
    2) The BBC joined in the assault with a shallow programme involving Richard Attenborough.
    3) ID for some reason has become associated with God and Christianity, more ridiculously so with Christian Fundamentalism.
    4) Some versions of socialism and republicanism are strongly opposed to Christianity and profess atheism.
    5) Somehow ID has been linked with Creationism a supposedly growing influence in America and on some American leaders – (which I happen not to believe).
    Put these together and what conclusions do you arrive at?
    It is acceptable to criticise peoples’ beliefs. It is unacceptable to try to stop others believing their harmless beliefs.
    Once again, ID is not irrational. There is an element of reasoning to it. It is Mr. Dawkins and his kind who assert dogmatically that it is invalid who are being irrational – superstitious even. Their obsession seems almost sinister.
    Why do you object to this harmless idea of ID? I see no reason to lose any sleep about it. I personally would have no objection to being a design but equally I would have no objection to having been not designed. What’s your problem?

  9. All good science is based on testable hypotheses. And we certainly do get to hear of the wrong ideas scientists have had. To cite one famous example: Einstein died believing that his theory of a cosmological constant was wrong – the universe was proven to be expanding, not a constant size as he had proposed. However, new discoveries, some 80 years later, suggest there may be reason for re-introducing his concept. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_constant)
    Hypotheses may not be testable overnight, but they have to be specific enough so that scientists know what they’re testing for.
    Back to ID – take a look at: http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge181.html
    Let’s uncover ID for what it is – Christian fundamentalism with no base in rationality.

  10. Did Darwin, Einstein, Blohr, Bell or any of the others need falsifiable hypotheses? ID is speculation, isn’t there a place for that in science – and as such does it not offer a speculative explanation of evolution even if no one has yet designed an experiment to verify it. (Or derived a falsifiable hypothesis to test if you must). No need to take Popper etc. too seriously for practical purposes. Can’t see the problem with ID – what harm does it do? – and if it is an illusion why deprive people of their illusions? We never get to hear of the wrong ideas scientists – including good ones – have had. ID is (could be) just one more mistaken idea – let time judge. (How long ago were folk saying space travel was impossible)?
    I remember a TV programme about ID some months ago on which someone too eager to rubbish ID was dismissing something called ‘irreducible complexity’ by observing that a component of a flagellum had been found in nature. Trouble is, he assumed that the evolution of the organism with the component pre-dated the evolution of the organism with the flagellum. He also missed the point that the assembly of parts might be even more intelligent than the creation of the part in one go. That programme was a deliberate and very studied attempt to ridicule ID. I think it backfired and had the opposite effect.
    More interesting to think about why people get so worked up about this idea. Have my own opinions on that of course.
    Quite right about place of ID in curriculum though but nothing to do with evolution has any place whatsoever in pre-16 school education and if you do equate it with Creationism then I still think you are very wide of the mark.

  11. Sadly ID is limited, period. It explains nothing. So far proponents have been unable to propose a falsifiable hypothesis. As a result, conflating ID with Creationism seems perfectly valid to me.
    Neither of them is science and, if taught, they should be relegated to the myths and legends class, or used a counter examples in Philosophy of Science tutorials.

  12. It is a bit worrying to read that ‘Creationism’ and ‘Intelligent Design’ are being equated. They are totally different concepts.
    Creation is an account of the whole Universe and may well have been intended only as a story – much as some parents today may speak as the stars as being ‘God’s daisy chain’. I doubt myself if the ancients ever believed it themselves any more than they would have believed that the Earth was carried on the back of an elephant standing on a tortoise – I don’t suppose they were any more stupid than we are. Historiographers ought to investigate this possibility.
    As for it being a vehicle of ‘The Right’ – I don’t know what is meant by that expression but if it means pro-establishment then Creationism is obviously of ‘The Left’. Altenatively from the geographical focus of Creationism I think we can assume that Creationists are mostly Democrats which would again mean, from another ‘wooly’ use of the L/R polarity, that they continue to be of the ‘Left’.
    ‘Intelligent Design’ is limited to explaining the evolution of living things. To anyone who has the slightest knowledge of the complexity of life – and from his books Mr. Dawkins doesn’t – it seems a plausible enough story and no less fruitful than the conclusions of pseudo-scientists – Mr. Dawkins again – that life ‘evolved by chance’ or that ‘that is just how it happened’. Right or wrong Intelligent Design is a reasoned theory.
    A true scientist – unlike a polemicist such as Mr. Dawkins – might have continued with something along the lines of, ‘if evolution happened and it was not intelligent design then, by analogy with crystal growth and the arrangement of sub-atomic particles, what physical and chemical forces brought it about’? Personally I don’t think any scientist qua scientist would align himself one way or the other with any speculative, presently untestable concept such as ‘Intellegent Design’.
    Of course Creationism should not be on the school biology curriculum but that’s Labour for you. If there is any need for young scientists to learn that our ‘understanding’ of nature can be wrong they can repeat the relatively simple experiment that disproved the idea that ‘heavy’ objects – other things being equal – fall faster than ‘light’ objects – or repeat the simple experiments of Pasteur concerning spontaneous generation. Tell some children about Creationism and they might believe it.

  13. I agree with you absolutely that Creationism should not be taught ANYWHERE (for my preference).
    I am therefore horrified to hear that it is being taught as part of GCSE Biology here in the UK. My understanding is that it is being taught as an example of outmoded, susperceded thinking. But even so – Why?
    Alchemy is not taught as part of Chemistry is it? Or ‘Earth, Air, Fire and Water’ as the fundamental elements of Physics? We know better than that.
    My question is then why is it included in the Biology syllabus?
    It only serves to pay lip service to those who wish to propogate religious twaddle and has absolutely no relevance to current scientific knowledge.
    To even mention it offers up the opportunity for those so inclined to stress all the wrong bits about science in education and, as such, is very dangerous and should be removed.

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