Monday 11 February 2013

Kick creationism out of our schools

Where is David Laws when you need him? That’s David Laws the education minister, as distinct from the various other hats he wears.

It turns out that the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum is used in more than 50 UK schools. This curriculum includes a science text book that cites the existence of the Loch Ness monster as evidence against evolution.

It gets worse. ACE also asserts that God is right-wing and that Liberals are the root of all evil. It denies that transitional fossils exist, despite copious evidence to the contrary. It claims that solar fusion is a myth. It claims that evolution is a deliberate lie. And it claims that homosexuality is a learned behaviour.

Despite this, the government agency UK NARIC (which advises on overseas qualifications) has defended its decision to deem ACE’s in-house qualification, the International Certificate of Christian Education, as comparable to A-levels.

In a Liberal society, people should be free to believe in creationism if they want to. But that liberty does not extend to the teaching of demonstrable scientific falsehoods to schoolchildren.

Creationism is not ‘science’ by any definition. Science is a rational and systematic process that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. There is no place in science for dogma, religious or otherwise. And creationism is a dogma that flies in the face of the best scientific evidence we have.

To teach creationism even as one scientific hypothesis among many is therefore gross professional misconduct and should be treated as such. The government should withdraw recognition from ACE’s qualifications and it should ban creationism from science classes entirely.

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