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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Government must crack down on creationists in science classes

Secularists are calling on the Education Secretary, Ed Balls, to crack down hard on the teaching of creationism in schools. The call comes in the light of a new survey from Teachers TV showing that 30% of teachers support the idea of creationism being given equivalent status to evolution. The survey indicates that 18% of science teachers think this way.

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: “The findings in this survey are extremely alarming. It seems that such is the sensitivity around religion in schools now that pupils with fundamentalist ideas are able, in some circumstances, to force their beliefs into science lessons.”

Mr Sanderson continued: “Although teachers should be allowed to challenge and respond to such ideas when pupils raise them, they should also make clear that they have no place in science. Creationism is a religious idea that is fixed and immutable, evolution is research and evidence-based and subject to constant development. The idea that the two approaches have some sort of equivalence in science lessons is something that must be stamped on hard. It is time for the Government to issue instructions to schools that creationism is not to be given credence in science lessons. The place to discuss it is in religious education classes.”


7 November 2008


Published Fri, 07 Nov 2008