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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Creationist threat to Scottish schools

An organisation called the Centre for Intelligent Design (ID) has been set up in Glasgow with the stated aim of promoting the idea of “Intelligent Design” as an alternative to scientific explanations. The Centre also appears to be closely allied with the US-based Discovery Institute which explicitly seeks to replace teaching of scientific explanations of origins with “the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” ID is creationism dressed up in specious scientific language.

It is likely that the Centre has targeted Scotland because it does not specifically state in the Scottish curriculum that teaching creationism as science is not acceptable. This is not the case in England and Wales, where Ofsted has stated that creationism may be taught in schools only as a religious idea and not as a credible scientific alternative.

The NSS has written to both Michael Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Lifelong Learning, and to Learning and Teaching in Scotland (the principal curriculum body) asking them to make it explicitly clear that there is no place for ID in science classes in order to prevent the Centre infiltrating schools.

Members who are concerned about this issue can read more about it and write to Michael Russell at Michael.Russell.msp@scottish.parliament.uk.

Published Fri, 15 Oct 2010