No to creationism in schools!

July 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm (child abuse, children, Christianity, Education, humanism, Jim D, secularism, Tory scum)

From the British Humanist Association:

Free School due to open in September 2012 will ‘teach creation as a scientific theory’

TAKE ACTION! Write to your MP and to Michael Gove to oppose the plans, and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do likewise.

A Free School due to open in September 2012 intends to ‘teach creation as a scientific theory’, the British Humanist Association (BHA) can reveal. Grindon Hall Christian School in Sunderland, currently a private all-through school but approved last October by the Department for Education to open as a Free School from this September, has a ‘Creation Policy’ on its website in which they ‘affirm that to believe in God’s creation of the world is an entirely respectable position scientifically and rationally.’

The BHA have also revealed that two groups approved to open schools from 2013 intend to teach creationism in RE.

Grindon Hall’s Creation Policy starts off by explaining that:

We will affirm the fact that “God created the world and everything in it”.  We will affirm that he did so “ex nihilo” – out of nothing.
We believe that God, as sovereign Lord of the universe, is capable of creating the world in a few 24-hour days, or over a period of millions of years.

It goes on to state that the school does ‘not share the rigid creationist’s insistence on a literalistic interpretation of the first chapters of Genesis’ and that ‘We are therefore very happy to believe that God could have created the world in six days.  But we do not feel that it is helpful to affirm it as an unarguable fact.’

However, it is clear that the school genuinely believes that there is genuine scientific controversy around whether or not God created the Universe and the world. The policy then explains:

we vigorously challenge the unscientific certainty often claimed by scientists surrounding the so-called “Big Bang” and origins generally.
We believe that no scientific theory provides – or ever will provide – a satisfactory explanation of origins, i.e. why the world appeared, and how nothing became something in the first place.
We will teach evolution as an established scientific principle, as far as it goes.
We will teach creation as a scientific theory and we will always affirm very clearly our position as Christians, i.e. that Christians believe that God’s creation of the world is not just a theory but a fact with eternal consequences for our planet and for every person who has ever lived on it.
We will affirm that to believe in God’s creation of the world is an entirely respectable position scientifically and rationally.

BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘Grindon Hall Christian School is a classic example of the so-called “teach the controversy” approach, often used by American creationist groups to get creationism taught in schools. Creationists do not argue that evolution should be taught; they simply argue that there is genuine scientific debate over the origins of the Universe and the Earth, and that therefore creationism should be taught alongside evolution.

‘The issue with the “teach the controversy” approach is that there is no scientific controversy over evolution and creationism: the scientific consensus is overwhelmingly in favour of evolution.

‘Michael Gove said that he was “crystal clear that teaching creationism is at odds with scientific fact”. So it is startling to see two Free Schools that intend to teach creationism in RE and one that intends to teach creationism as a valid scientific theory. Either the scrutiny to which bids are being subjected is inadequate, or the government’s policy statements are untrue.’

Notes

TAKE ACTION! Write to your MP and to Michael Gove to oppose the plans, and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do likewise.

For further comment or information, please contact Andrew Copson on 07534 248596.

Yesterday afternoon the BHA posted a facility through which people could write to their MPs or Michael Gove. By today, over 1,000 emails had been sent: http://www.humanism.org.uk/campaigns/what-you-can-do-to-help/creationist-free-schools

Read the previous press release on Exemplar Academy, Creationists approved to open Free School in 2013, 13 July 2012: http://www.humanism.org.uk/news/view/1076

In 2011, the BHA came together with 30 leading scientists and educators and four other organisations to launch ‘Teach evolution, not creationism!’ Read the statement from scientists including Sir David Attenborough, Professor Richard Dawkins and Professor Michael Reiss, and organisations including the BHA, the Association for Science Education, the British Science Association, the Campaign for Science and Engineering and Ekklesia: http://evolutionnotcreationism.org.uk/

View the BHA-backed Government e-petition on the same subject: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/1617

Read more about the BHA’s campaigns work on countering creationism: http://www.humanism.org.uk/campaigns/religion-and-schools/countering-creationism

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.

NB: From The Guardian: “A third of the free schools approved by the government to open from September next year are faith schools, including one turned down by ministers last year because of concerns that it would teach creationism.” Read the rest here.

H-t: Stroppy Bird

5 Comments

  1. angrysoba said,

    Teaching it in RE is not such a problem given that it is a Christian school. The problem is when creationism is taught in science.

  2. EUtopia said,

    I don’t really think it’s a big deal to teach creationism is RE class. There is nothing wrong with saying that God created the world – it is the most plausible theory, because before the big bang there is thought to have been no time. It shouldn’t be taught in science, but what should be pointed out is that evolution is by no means an entirely waterproof theory…

    • Babz Badasbab Rahman said,

      Prove that before the big bang God created the Universe is the most plausible theory. The Multiverse theory sounds much more plausible to me. God came about because humans were unable to comprehend many things.

  3. Matt said,

    Can I be honest, I’m 15 and all you adults are protesting that we should not be told about creationism in schools, in science, but TBH I’m a Christian and I tell people at my school about Jesus and creationism so from any corner which you try to stop creationismyou will always fail. You adtults think you know the best for us, you think you know why our generation is like the way that it is, but you have no idea how open minded we really are. So have your conferences and conventions to try and stop Jesus from being part of a school, but in the end the students make a bigger impact than the teachers do in school life.

  4. Clive said,

    If you’re really open minded, read some good books about evolution. Try, for starters ‘Why Evolution is True’ by Jerry Coyne, and ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ by Richard Dawkins.

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