Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Exam Board rules out creationism in UK classrooms
Ekklesia ^ | 24 May 2006 | Staff

Posted on 05/23/2006 6:56:00 PM PDT by PatrickHenry

An examination board at the centre of a storm surrounding the teaching of creationism in UK schools has committed to re-visit its guidance to avoid the threat to science teaching that many feared, and to issue strict guidance to trainee teachers on their exam programme.

The 'Gateway Science' specification had caused controversy because teachers were asked to “explain that the fossil record has been interpreted differently over time (e.g. creationist interpretation).”

But now the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (OCR) exam board has said they are “happy to commit to reviewing the wording of this part of the Gateway Science (Biology) specification for the next edition”.

They continue that “more immediately, we shall be issuing guidance in the many In-Service Teacher training (INSETs) and Network meetings we carry out during the year for the specification.”

The comments come in response to a letter from the British Humanist Association (BHA), which – along with teaching unions, scientists, educationalists and mainstream Christian theologians – has expressed public concern about creationist ideology creeping into classrooms.

OCR says that it envisages the guidance to teachers being “along the following lines: Only a creationist interpretation of the fossil record prior to, or contemporary, to Darwin needs to be explained in this context - such that students are able to understand the fundamental departure of Darwin's work from the religious norms of his time.”

Concerns had been raised that the inclusion of creationism in the specification might operate as a Trojan horse for those who wished to smuggle it and its cousin, so-called Intelligent Design (ID), into their science teaching. The new guidance makes clear that this should not occur.

Intelligent Design was condemned as non-science in a recent landmark judgement in Pennsylvania concerning the policy of the Dover School Board. Among those giving evidence against it was noted scholar John F. Haught, Professor of Theology at Georgetown University, and author of ‘God After Darwin? A Theology of Evolution’.

Andrew Copson, education and public affairs officer for the BHA, commented: “We welcome the sensible decision of OCR. Too many creationists and advocates of Intelligent Design hide behind the claim that they want nothing more than for schools to 'teach the controversy'. Now it will be made clear that no scientific controversy does in fact exist.”

Educational commentators point out that there is a fundamental difference between the lively debates that take place within the fields of evolutionary biology and philosophy of science, and non-scientific claims of creationism, whose supporters are found in fundamentalist Christian, Islamic and Jewish circles.

The question of the fossil record raised in ‘Gateway Science’ was thrown into relief by the recent visit to Britain of Australian creationist John Mackay, who sought an audience in schools and universities.

Evangelical Anglican vicar and geologist Michael Roberts told Ekklesia: “John Mackay and other ‘creationists’, who believe that the earth is only 6 to 10 thousand years old and that the fossils were laid down in the twelve months of Noah’s flood are utterly wrong.”

Having made a careful study of creationist texts, he says: “I soon found that they were wrong on three counts. First, they misunderstood standard geology. Second, their proposed alternative that all fossil-rich strata were laid down in the Flood results in absurdity. Thirdly, and most serious, was the frequent and systematic misquotation and misrepresentation of standard scientific sources.”

Adds Roberts: “Like the majority of Christians, past and present, I see no clash between science and the Bible.”

Noting that in America campaigners have “tried to force the teaching of ‘creationism’ into schools in every state”, Michael Roberts says that “the situation is not so advanced in Britain.” But he believes that, despite denials, academy schools are teaching creationism.

Today the Department of Education and Skills said that trust-backed schools, a widely criticized component of the government’s education reforms, would be subject to the same rigorous inspection as other state schools. The Education Bill is currently entering the report stage in the House of Commons.

Education minister Jacqui Smith, replaced in PM Tony Blair’s latest cabinet reshuffle, is on record as stating on behalf of the government that creationism and Intelligent Design should not be part of the science curriculum.

Vatican astronomer Guy J. Consolmagno, a Jesuit priest who has pioneered the field of gravitoelectrodynamics, recently described creationism as an unfounded superstition which undermines both legitimate science and theological understanding.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: abouttime; commonsenseprevails; crevolist; goddoodit; good; superstitions
Bold and underlining added by me. Everybody be nice.
1 posted on 05/23/2006 6:56:03 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
Evolution Ping

The List-O-Links
A conservative, pro-evolution science list, now with over 370 names.
See the list's explanation, then FReepmail to be added or dropped.
To assist beginners: But it's "just a theory", Evo-Troll's Toolkit,
and How to argue against a scientific theory.

2 posted on 05/23/2006 6:57:27 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Unresponsive to trolls, lunatics, fanatics, retards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
If educators reject creationism, it's only proof that there's an international atheistic Satanic communist Darwinist conspiracy against creationism. Of course, any time anywhere someone wants to put creationism IN, that's different.

</Creo_Mode>

3 posted on 05/23/2006 7:02:56 PM PDT by VadeRetro (Faster than a speeding building; able to leap tall bullets at a single bound!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
Evangelical Anglican vicar and geologist Michael Roberts told Ekklesia: “John Mackay and other ‘creationists’, who believe that the earth is only 6 to 10 thousand years old and that the fossils were laid down in the twelve months of Noah’s flood are utterly wrong.”

Having made a careful study of creationist texts, he says: “I soon found that they were wrong on three counts. First, they misunderstood standard geology. Second, their proposed alternative that all fossil-rich strata were laid down in the Flood results in absurdity. Thirdly, and most serious, was the frequent and systematic misquotation and misrepresentation of standard scientific sources.”


Creative author: "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Alice in Wonderland

Evolutionist: "Why, sometimes I've seen new evidence explaining as many as six formerly unexplained things before breakfast."

Creationist: "Bah! I will never believe those six recently explained things, and besides, Darwin, Hitler and Stalin ate breakfast."


4 posted on 05/23/2006 7:04:34 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death--Heinlein)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VadeRetro

Darwin Central is awesome in the UK.


5 posted on 05/23/2006 7:04:50 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Unresponsive to trolls, lunatics, fanatics, retards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Coyoteman
I suppose you think that's funny. Get your own dirt!
</creationism humor mode>
6 posted on 05/23/2006 7:09:02 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Unresponsive to trolls, lunatics, fanatics, retards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
Concerns had been raised that the inclusion of creationism in the specification might operate as a Trojan horse for those who wished to smuggle it and its cousin, so-called Intelligent Design (ID), into their science teaching.

Of course it would.

That's the way creationism spreads in science education - by disguising its true goals. Deception is the only way it can spread.

7 posted on 05/23/2006 7:09:30 PM PDT by highball (Proud to announce the birth of little Highball, Junior - Feb. 7, 2006!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coyoteman
First, they misunderstood standard geology.

They don't misunderstand it. Their superstition poisoned minds refuse to allow them to acknowledge it.

8 posted on 05/23/2006 7:12:01 PM PDT by shuckmaster (An oak tree is an acorns way of making more acorns)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

Placemarker
9 posted on 05/23/2006 7:14:17 PM PDT by Junior (Identical fecal matter, alternate diurnal period)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
Vatican astronomer Guy J. Consolmagno, a Jesuit priest who has pioneered the field of gravitoelectrodynamics, recently described creationism as an unfounded superstition which undermines both legitimate science and theological understanding. Emphasis mine.

So a Vatican official is on record denying the divinity of scripture?

10 posted on 05/23/2006 7:14:39 PM PDT by Army MP Retired (There Will Be Many False Prophets)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: highball
Concerns had been raised that the inclusion of creationism in the specification might operate as a Trojan horse for those who wished to smuggle it and its cousin, so-called Intelligent Design (ID), into their science teaching.

Of course it would.

That's the way creationism spreads in science education - by disguising its true goals. Deception is the only way it can spread.

I can't help it. Its too funny. Let your mind go and just imagine:

The Trojan Wedge...

11 posted on 05/23/2006 7:15:08 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death--Heinlein)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Army MP Retired
So a Vatican official is on record denying the divinity of scripture?

Catholics have no official problem with evolution. As for scripture, it's all in how it's interpreted.

12 posted on 05/23/2006 7:19:41 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Unresponsive to trolls, lunatics, fanatics, retards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry

Ah, I see. My ignorance of Catholicism shines through.


13 posted on 05/23/2006 7:23:59 PM PDT by Army MP Retired (There Will Be Many False Prophets)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Army MP Retired
Faith can never conflict with reason. The Pope's statement on Galileo and science/scripture conflicts. An excerpt:
In fact, the Bible does not concern itself with the details of the physical world, the understanding of which is the competence of human experience and reasoning. There exist two realms of knowledge, one which has its source in Revelation and one which reason can discover by its own power. To the latter belong especially the experimental sciences and philosophy. The distinction between the two realms of knowledge ought not to be understood as opposition.
The Pope's 1996 statement on evolution. Physical evolution is not in conflict with Christianity. Excerpts:
It is necessary to determine the proper sense of Scripture, while avoiding any unwarranted interpretations that make it say what it does not intend to say. In order to delineate the field of their own study, the exegete and the theologian must keep informed about the results achieved by the natural sciences.

Today, almost half a century after the publication of the Encyclical [see link & excerpt below], fresh knowledge has led to the recognition that evolution is more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favour of this theory.

Pope Pius XII's 1950 Encyclical, Humani Generis. Referred to in the 1996 statement. Excerpt:
... the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God.

14 posted on 05/23/2006 7:27:54 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Unresponsive to trolls, lunatics, fanatics, retards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Army MP Retired
So a Vatican official is on record denying the divinity of scripture?

Yes, hopefully (from the Catholic/Christian perspective), as asserting the "divinity of scripture" would be idolatry and heresy. However I don't see how anything Consolmagno said denies the divine inspiration of scripture.

15 posted on 05/23/2006 7:29:12 PM PDT by Stultis (I don't worry about the war turning into "Vietnam" in Iraq; I worry about it doing so in Congress.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Army MP Retired
So a Vatican official is on record denying the divinity of scripture?

A church employee. And the Jesuits have been on Planet Zongo since about 1900, anyway. My daughter tells me they have dragons living in the jungles there ...

16 posted on 05/23/2006 7:29:56 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Knights of Columbus martyrs of Mexico, pray for us! Viva Cristo Rey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry

I'm surprised at this. I thought they'd surrender to the Moslems. If not this time, the next round, or the next ...


17 posted on 05/23/2006 7:30:56 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Knights of Columbus martyrs of Mexico, pray for us! Viva Cristo Rey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
If you're having a slow night, try figuing out the mystery of the Two found dead in tub with barbecue
18 posted on 05/23/2006 7:32:05 PM PDT by shuckmaster (An oak tree is an acorns way of making more acorns)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
... the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God.

It seems this is in keeping with the following passage:

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the heavens, and the other elements of the world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and the moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to be certain from reason and experience. Now it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and they hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make confident assertions [quoting 1Ti. 1:7].

St. Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis, 1:42-43.


19 posted on 05/23/2006 7:36:08 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death--Heinlein)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry

Yeah! Britian is for intellect and science!


20 posted on 05/23/2006 8:42:35 PM PDT by Central Scrutiniser (No one censors speech they agree with.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VadeRetro


<< If educators reject creationism, it's only proof that there's an international atheistic Satanic communist Darwinist conspiracy against creationism. Of course, any time anywhere someone wants to put creationism IN, that's different. >>

</Creo_Mode>


You left out Nazi, homo, religious cult.




21 posted on 05/23/2006 9:38:15 PM PDT by Almagest
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: VadeRetro


<< If educators reject creationism, it's only proof that there's an international atheistic Satanic communist Darwinist conspiracy against creationism. Of course, any time anywhere someone wants to put creationism IN, that's different. >>

</Creo_Mode>


You left out Nazi, homo, religious cult.




22 posted on 05/23/2006 9:38:30 PM PDT by Almagest
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry

Thanks for the ping!


23 posted on 05/23/2006 9:41:08 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Almagest


Oops! I guess you left it out twice!


24 posted on 05/23/2006 9:41:50 PM PDT by Almagest
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
The 'Gateway Science' specification had caused controversy because teachers were asked to “explain that the fossil record has been interpreted differently over time (e.g. creationist interpretation).”

Its been interpreted not to exist, or to be just "funny-shaped" rocks?

25 posted on 05/24/2006 5:40:14 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson