Friday, September 12, 2008

Creation in the classroom

Weird. Its happening on this side of the pond. [BBC News Link]

I thought the 'teaching creationism as science' debate was a peculiarly American issue. But some leading someone (actually the director of education at the Royal Society; a biologist and reverend) has opened the debate up in the UK.

I have no problem with creationism being taught in the classroom.

But I do have problems with creationism being taught as science and as an alternative explanation to evolution.
  1. It simply is not science. Creationism in its many forms (bearing in mind that Hindu creationism is completely different from Judeo-Christian creationism, etc.) is an explanation of how we got here based on dogma, tradition and (possibly) divine revelation at some point in the past. It may be true. But. It is not science. It is not a testable theory, it is not based on empirical observation. Thus it is completely outwith the remit of science and should not, therefore, be taught in science class.

  2. It also is not an alternative to evolution. The theory of evolution - a description of the process by which one thing can slowly turn into a different thing over a span of many generations - has no explanation of the start point. It describes the change from A to B, from B to C, and so on, but cannot offer any explanation as to the origin of A. Evolution assumes a population of the original things as a starting point. Creationism, on the other hand, only offers an explanation of where the original things came from. Creationism itself does not consider the change from thing A into thing B. One creationist school of thought allows for evolution to work after the initial creative act. Another school of creationist thought says that we were created more or less as we are and there was no evolution.
Sigh. I wish they would teach kids how to think about issues in school, rather than just presenting them with issues as if they were facts. There are actually very few facts that we can be absolutely sure of in the realms of both science and faith.


Anonymous said...


I'm planning on shortly posting a similar blog and wholeheartedly agree with you. It's nice to see other Christian scientists who "get it" and will publicly say so. Good man and loving the cartoon!

David Meldrum said...

Um....he actually said it shouldn't be taught as a theory but as a "cultural world view". So that shouldn't be a problem, should it?

Ricky Carvel said...

Yes Dave, the original comments weren't suggesting it should be taught as science, but that isn't what the press heard. All the news reports and web stuff I read which followed the original comments concerned the 'creationism as science' debate...

Chris Hamer-Hodges said...

For me the main problem here (in the UK) is not that creation is taught as science - as you say it's not this side of the pond (and I agree - I don't think it should be!) - but that Darwinism is taught like faith (and an intolerant faith at that). The Michael Reiss incident shows that those who even suggest opening the theory up to debate are branded as "heretics" and treated shamefully. This is not scientific behaviour, particularly when much better theories are held with much more humility.