Creationism, Intelligent Design And ‘Truth In Science’ In British Schools
Truth in Science is the latest version of the so-called Intelligent Design ‘theory’ of Creationism. It now reaches into U.K. schools where one expects more measured understanding of the differences between Science and Comparative Religious Studies. What other equally unlikely notions could we, on the same ‘logic’, incorporate into the curriculum, and where? Your comments and ideas are welcome.
A year or so ago a senior and very well respected politician assured me that Intelligent Design would ‘never catch on’ in the U.K. because people here are ‘too sensible’.
Unfortunately he obviously hasn’t spoken to enough people in Liverpool. Following the news that the Bluecoat School in this city is offering the Truth in Science view to Science students, this morning’s Daily Post carries a two-page spread asking Should religion be part of science teaching? All but one or two of those questioned said Yes, they thought it would enhance students’ understandings to be exposed to ‘alternative ideas’ such as Intelligent Design … in science lessons… Apparently all ‘theories’ are of equal value, or so it is said by some.
I can only think these people are playing devil’s advocate. They must be.
Balance or baloney?
It’s one thing to suggest pupils learn about myths and stories in Religious Studies, There, they could perhaps, responsibly presented, ignite young imaginations in many ways – but it’s another entirely to deny the consensus of the very large majority of serious scientists and give these ideas status alongside the multitude of strands of evidence which support Darwinian theory and evolution.
If any children of mine attended a school where a version of Intelligent Design was introduced into the Science curriculum I would have to transfer them to somewhere which I judged a more responsible place of learning. I hope the governors of any schools where Truth in Science is ‘taught’ will ask some really searching questions.
I have written before about Intelligent Design and its even more extraordinary cousin, Creationism. The links are:
Creationism Is An Attack On Rationality: The Scientists Rally At Last
Survival Of The Fittest In The Marketplace, But Not For Life On Earth?
Evolutionary Theory In The Lime Light
US Universities, Privatisation And ‘Intelligent Design’
To be quite clear: Children are entitled to learn about things which equip them for modern life. Notions like Intelligent Design and its Truth in Science corollary are unforgivable, as serious science, at a time when it has never been more important to understand how our planet ‘works’ and what we need to do to protect it (and all the living things which inhabit it) for the future. The rising generation deserves far better than this.
Let the debate begin
If you think Intelligent Design has a rightful place in the mainstream Science curriculum, here’s your chance to show why literally thousands upon thousands of highly trained scientists (not to mention a goodly number of senior clerics) have got it wrong.
There again, you more probably think my senior politician contact is reasonable to expect an educationally sensible debate.
But sometimes we have to lighten up a bit. So here, tongue in cheek, is your opportunity to suggest other mysterious or untestable ‘ideas’ which a few folk might like to introduce into the (already over-crowded) mainstream curriculum – the sort of ideas which most of us recognise as simply stories, maybe fine for a tale to tell, but absolutely not fine in any modern educational provision intended to equip young people for the complex futures they must face.
I give you a starter for ten: try flat earth notions and ancient myths in mainstream Geography and History respectively. Or fairies at the bottom of the garden in Environmental Science… What else can you come up with?