British Humanist Association unmasks two more approved creationist free schools -- time to sign their petition!

Francis Gilbert's picture
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The British Humanist Association has uncovered two more approved free schools. This is their press release:

"Two further creationist-run Free Schools are due to open in 2012 and 2013, 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’ and state they will ‘teach creation as a scientific theory’; while Sevenoaks Christian School, a secondary school in Kent approved to open from 2013, sets out the creationist beliefs of the school’s founders, and explains that creationism will be taught in Religious Education (RE).

 On Friday, the Department for Education announced that 102 new Free Schools have been ‘pre-approved’ to open from next year – 33 of which are ‘faith’ schools. The BHA also revealed that one of the proposed schools, ‘Exemplar – Newark Business Academy’, was from a creationist group that last year had its bid rejected by the Government due to concerns around teaching creationism. When rejecting that bid, the DfE said that Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove ‘was unable to accept that an organisation with creationist beliefs could prevent these views being reflected in the teaching in the school and in its other activities’. However, Mr Gove approved the same group a year later, after they promised to only teach creationism in RE, not science.

 Since then, the BHA has identified two more creationist Free Schools. Grindon Hall Christian School’s ‘Creation Policy’ states 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.’ It goes on to say that ‘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.’

 Commenting on Grindon Hall, BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said, ‘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.’

 In its FAQ, in response to the question ‘Will you teach creationism?’, Sevenoaks Christian School explain: ‘Christians believe that God made the world, loves the world and is pleased with his creation. In RE we plan to teach about this and our responsibility as stewards of this precious earth. The government has said that free schools cannot teach “creationism” or “intelligent design” in science lessons as an alternative to the theory of evolution and we are content to accept this.’

 Referring to Sevenoaks, Mr Copson continued, ‘It is plain from their comments that Sevenoaks Christian School are a creationist group who have identified that they can’t teach creationism in science, so they will teach it in RE instead. Teaching creationism in RE is no more acceptable than teaching it in science as pupils who are taught one thing in one subject and then the opposite in another are going to end up confused. The previous government made this very clear in their guidance on creationism and it is deeply concerning to see the present government watering that down.’

 Examining both bids together, Mr Copson concluded, ‘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

 Grindon Hall Christian School’s Creation Policy in more detail

 The 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.

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

 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

 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

 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."
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Andy's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 10:35

sevenoakschristianschool.org.uk website:

FAQ: Teach Creationism = No. Topic will be covered in RE


This is underscored by the latest from the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jul/17/creationist-groups-appro...


"Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association (BHA), said he was concerned that the government's scrutiny of free schools was inadequate. "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," Copson said.

"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."

Grindon Hall says it teaches evolution as "an established scientific principle, as far as it goes". However, the school's policy document adds: "We believe no scientific theory provides – or ever will provide – a satisfactory explanation of origins, ie why the world appeared, and how nothing became something in the first place."

The school's principal says this document is obsolete and the school would not teach creationism in science.

The Sevenoaks Christian school, due to open next year, says on its website: "The government has said that free schools cannot teach 'creationism' or 'intelligent design' in science lessons as an alternative to the theory of evolution and we are content to accept this."

A third free school approved by the government to open next year, the Exemplar-Newark Business academy, is a fresh proposal from a group whose previous application was turned down because of concerns over its teaching of creationism. Backers of the school in Nottinghamshire say creationism will be taught only in religious studies.

The Grindon Hall principal, Chris Gray, said the document on the school's website is "out of date". He said: "First of all, it's illegal. Secondly, we were questioned at length about it when we were interviewed to be a free school, and that was to the [Department for Education]'s satisfaction. A number of schools have been sadly turned down on that. That document is from a time when we were not as clear as we are now about the proper distinction as to what is taught in a science lesson and what might be taught in assembly – two different spheres.

"If children question for themselves their origins, that's what we want them to do – to ask sensible, responsible questions. Am I here by accident, or – dare I use the word – design?"

Sevenoaks Christian school said in a statement: "Sevenoaks Christian school are delighted to have been successful in their bid to open a free school in 2013.

"With the support of 800 local families and more than 20 local churches, our proposal is both popular and broad-based.

"We reject the BHA claims as misleading and unfounded. Free schools cannot teach creationism and we accept this."

On Friday, the DfE announced that 102 free schools had been approved to open from next year, 33 of which describe themselves as religious.

The department says creationism or intelligent design should not be taught as "valid scientific theories" in any state-funded school. The government says it expects to see evolution included in the science curriculum of all free schools.

A DfE spokeswoman said: "It is absolutely not true that this free school will be able to teach creationism as scientific fact. No state school is permitted to do this. We have clear guidelines about what schools can and cannot teach. Any free school found to be contravening the guidelines will be in breach of their contract and will be subject to action by the department, including prohibiting them from operating."

Faith-based free schools have sought to draw a clear public distinction between teaching creationism in science and teaching the biblical creation story in RE. The principal of Grindon Hall said he would not teach creationism in science lessons.

Gray said: "I'd run a million miles from that – it's lethal."

Referring to the Sevenoaks Christian school, the BHA said: "Teaching creationism in RE is no more acceptable than teaching it in science ... "


The schools clearly state that they will comply with the legal situation and only cover creation as part of the RE delivery, which incidentally is what happens in the majority of state schools (Primary and Secondary) under the theme of what the different world religions teach and believe.

But the BHA are not satisfied with this and adopt a stance that explicitly tries to tell schools (faith based or otherwise) what they can and cannot cover in an RE lesson about what world religions believe about creation. I am bemused that the BHA cannot discern the difference between fact and belief. What next? Will they decide that myth and fables cannot be taught because they are not factual and confuse students between reality and fantasy? Will they ban teaching what Native American Indians, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and Judaism teach as their beliefs because there is no body of evidence sufficient to be categorised as factual to support their beliefs? To debate evolution, creartionism and intrelligent design is one thing but to attempt to dictate what an RE unit can cover is going way too far.

For me that’s not Humanism, which allegedly respects the diversity of human culture and beliefs, rather it is stepping into aggressive militant and intolerant Atheism.

I also have growing concerns about the near rabid/manic personal agendas that are being reflected through the views of high profile contributors on the site. I say this because to me the campaigns against any other form of school system except comprehensive, the obsession with the Finnish system (which although undeniably amongst the best in the world is by no means the only model), and now campaign against faith schools generally appear to be at odds with the spirit and intention of the founders ideals:

"... we have decided to set up the Local Schools Network in order to promote local state schools in the UK. This website aims to correct the myths and lies that are spread about local state schools.

We aim to promote the cause of local state schools by celebrating their achievements, informing the public about key issues surrounding them, campaigning for further improvements and answering questions that people may have about them."

LSN is not then a subsidiary of the BHA or the Atheist lobby, neither is it a vehicle for promoting faith schools or LAs. It is about all forms of state maintained schools from Non-demonimational, through former SST, Academies, and Free Schools to VA and VC. Irrespective of the category or label these are all state schools, so I feel that it is incumbent upon the group to stick to its founding principles.

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 11:44

andy - there is a difference between discussing faith in RE lessons and teaching a faith position as a fact with which all adherents must agree or be accused of heresy. I support RE teaching as laid down by the DfE:

Pupils should have the opportunity to learn that there are those who do not hold religious beliefs and have their own philosophical perspectives, and subject matter should facilitate integration and promotion of shared values."

https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DCSF-00114-2...

It is only by knowing one another than we can live in harmony with one another.

The BHA is not saying that nothing that is not underpinned by scientific evidence should be taught in schools. The world is a rich source of wonderful myths and legends which are testimony to human imagination. All children should have the opportunity to hear these stories. At the same time children need to be taught how to differentiate scientific fact (ie that which is underpinned by the best available evidence) and fiction masquerading as science (eg intelligent design).

RE should be a place to learn ABOUT beliefs. It should not be a place where children are taught WHAT to believe.

My position on faith schools is that which was promoted by Synod last year: Don't divide the children. All schools, whatever their label, should admit all children regardless of faith. If they are Christian schools they should remember what Jesus said, "Suffer little children to come unto me". That means all of them.

http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2012/02/don%e2%80%99t-divide-the-c...

Andy's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 12:08

Janet, I have to admit that I cannot agree with your assertion that faith schools teach the beliefs of their particular faith as facts. This does not ring true with me based on my experience in schools. If you take Christianity and its central tenets, these are articulated in the prayer/statement of beliefs called the Apostles Creeds the opening line of which is: "I believe ..." whereas if it was being articulated as fact it would surely be, 'God the Father, Almighty, is the Maker of heaven and earth ..." The first is a statement of belief and faith whilst the latter conveys a state of purported fact.

I am then at something of a loss as to why you appear to be hung up on swapping RE covering what different faith groups teach as their beliefs and using the term facts?

Andy's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 12:30

Janet, I was also a little quizzical that you focused your attention on the faith/belief v fact as opposed to people using LSN as a soapbox of supporting the BHA? This despite the fact that the government has made its position on creationism clear, the guardian article highlights what appears to be a misrepresentation of the facts by the BHA regarding the schools in question, and Francis quotes from an out of date statement from one of the schools that has clearly been withdrawn and rewritten (again see the Guardian article). The latter raises the delicate question as to whether Francis missed/overlooked this or knowingly used the out of date material to falsely inflate his stance - the latter would of course be reprehensible in terms of knowingly misleading LSN users.

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 12:57

Andy - I was not saying that all faith schools teach that their beliefs are facts. I have no evidence either way. However, there is a danger that schools, or even individual RE teachers in evangelistic mode, can promote the idea that beliefs are facts. You are right that Creed is an affirmation of belief - ie belief that something is true. The person saying the Creed is attesting that certain statements - that Jesus was born of a Virgin, that he died and rose again, that there is life after death - are factual truths.

I will try to make it clear about what should happen in RE: pupils should be taught about the central tenets of different religions - beliefs, rituals, festivals and so on. What should not happen is that they are told categorically what they should believe - that's indoctrination.

Andy's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 13:25

Janet, thank you for your response. It is an area where I find myself agreeing to disagree with you. I do not accept that if a person holds something as a personal belief that this is synonymous with them holding it as being factually accurate.

Fact:
Something that actually exists; reality; truth
Something known to exist or to have happened
A truth known by actual experience or observation

Belief
Something believed; an opinion or conviction
Confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof
Confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.
A religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith

Faith
Confidence or trust in a person or thing
Belief that is not based on proof
Belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion
A system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 14:34

Andy - I actually agree with your definitions above. My concern is when "belief" is presented as "fact" when it is not true.

Truth is a statement which is based on evidence.

Fantasy is a theory which uses "elements of the real world" * to build stories - for entertainment, solace or to explore ideas (as such they are useful hypotheses on which to ground experiments).

Belief is a theory that can be true (eg I believe the train to London leaves on the hour) or a fantasy (eg I believe that energy from crystals can cure warts).

A delusion is a theory unconnected to the real world but is connected to "the fantasies, memories, needs and desires of the person who holds it [the delusion] and insists that the delusion is true." *

"When fantasies become the myths that comfort and support us... we call them 'beliefs." * To a believer, "the act of believing provides all the evidence that is needed."*

I am comfortable with children being introduced to beliefs and fantasies (the world would be a duller place without them) but only that which can be upheld by evidence should be presented as truth. That is why no school should teach untruths as truths when the best-available evidence shows otherwise.

*Rowe, Dorothy, "Why We Lie"

Andy's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 14:41

Janet, as I said earlier I cannot agree with you and must leave it there. Sadly, none of your material has addressed the key issue raised in the top page thread, which is both factually inaccurate and - for me - steps well outside the the scope of the LSN, which considering Francis is a founding member is lamentable.

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 13:38

The Creation Policy has been removed from the website of Grindon Hall Christian School. However, the website says:

"We are a family-type school based on the truths of the Bible."

http://www.grindonhall.com/vacancies/vacancies.asp

I'm unsure what is meant by the "truths of the Bible" since so much of it is contradictory (eg "an eye for an eye" v "turn the other cheek"). Leaving that aside, the school will not be able to teach creationism in science or it would not get state funding. There's nothing to stop the school teaching it elsewhere - in RE, in assemblies, in tutorials.

This is borne out by the principal's own words as reported in Huffington Post: "Instead the view that God created the world in seven days will be taught in Religious Studies lessons, insists Gray."

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/07/18/creationist-schools-row-grind...

An interesting question would be: when did the school remove the Creationist Policy? The policy has the school's name on the top. Unless there is any suggestion that the policy is a forgery, then it must have been endorsed by the school at some point.

Andy's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 14:06

Sevenoaks Christian School website:

Q. Will you teach ‘creationism’?

Christians believe that God made the world and loves what he has made. In RE we plan to teach about this and our responsibility as stewards of this precious earth. We will not teach ‘creationism’ or ‘intelligent design’ as an alternative to the theory of evolution; indeed Free Schools are prohibited by law from teaching this.

Grindon Hall website

The School:

A Christian School – this means we affirm Christian truth, employ Christian teachers, hold a daily act of Christian worship and aim to have Christ at the centre of all we do. It means we pursue excellence in everything we do, from academic life to sport and extra-curricular activities. It does not mean we only admit children from Christian families: around 80% of our pupils are from non-faith or other faith backgrounds and all are welcome. And it does not mean that we adopt extremist positions which in our view can often devalue the reputation of Christian education.

Personally I am content to accept that within the greater scheme of things - and reality of life - that some groups of people will choose to believe and accept propositions that are different to those held by other groups. Thus I can live with a situation whereby a group of people elect to follow the scientific proposition for creation and other that will have a different view e.g. Christianity holding that God created everything. The reason I can live with this is not simply a question of tolerance - life and let life/freedom of expression etc - but the fact that I don't and probably will never know the answer.

It is also noteworthy that for many theological scholars it is entirely reasonable - indeed plausible - to hold that evolution and Christian teaching on creation are wholly compatible with each other. The reason for this is that origins of the Old Testament are indisputably not English and neither did the concept of the 24 hour day/365.25 day year exist. Thus when reading Genesis it would be well to remember that when the English renders on the first day, this is more accurately rendered as during the first period (note period is not defined).

So what concerns me most of all about any faith group is a 'literalist' approach: whether this be Christian groups holding literally to six days of creation (the 7th was a day of rest) or Muslims holding that Allah speaks arabic and hence the language is the holy language of Allah). Returning to Christian literalists they ignore the fact that their God is the creator of everything and therefore is outside of creation, which makes God gender free. Gender after all is necessary for the continuation of humankind which is not relevant to the entity that created it (evidenced through their own teaching that God is the alpha and omega; having no beginning and no end).

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 14:07

Sevenoaks Christian School has explicity said it will not teach "creationism" or "intelligent design" but will teach that the world was created by a supernatural being in RE. The qeustion is: will the school teach it as a myth or will it teach it as if it were an undeniable fact?

http://www.sevenoakschristianschool.org.uk/?page_id=56

The website also says: " And our faith informs how we treat pupils who have a different faith, or none: we will be respectful of other beliefs, ensure no-one is discriminated against on faith grounds, and give pupils and parents opportunities to opt out where appropriate."

But this is followed immediately by a qualifier:

"Of course parents do have a choice as to whether to send their children to this school, and we would hope that they would be happy for their children to play a full part in the spiritual life of the school."

http://www.sevenoakschristianschool.org.uk/?page_id=56

In other words, parents shouldn't apply unless they're happy for their child to take part fully in the school's "spiritual life". Parents can opt out but the school makes it clear that they'd rather they didn't. They are free to apply elsewhere.

And why does the school say everyone in the school behaves humanely because God tells them too? Surely it's enough to behave humanely because one is human?

Andy's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 14:27

Janet, we are continually digressing from the top page item. Yes, parental choice will invariably dictate whether thye send their children their. According to their website (see my last comment) 80% are either non-faith or other faith background, so I very much doubt they are ramming their views down the students throats or indoctrinating them.

You also overlook the fact that it is enshrined in law that parent in the maintained sector have the right to withdraw their children from all/any RE/faith based activities. Thus once the school opens its doors as a state funded Free School all parents can exercise that option. Your concerns appear then to borne out of personal anxiety/fears/supposition rather than fact.

The latest government position on RE can be found at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/a0064...

If a school doesn't follow this then I assume they are using the local SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for RE) framework, e.g.:

http://www.merton.gov.uk/learning/schools/standing-advisory-council-on-r...

Andy's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 14:28

* they send their children there (typing aberration sorry)

Ricky-Tarr's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 15:51

There seems to be some confusion in Francis's mind and also among the Humanists about the various different uses of the term 'Creationist'.

The OP alludes to the scientific theory of evolution. Darwin's theory of evolution explains the origin of species. It does not explain the origin of the universe. Gas, quantum fields and what have you do not reproduce, have genes and are not subject to selection pressures. The universe did not come into being through natural selection. So, the scientific consensus on evolution is not in conflict with the kind of creationism that says God made the universe. Nor is the creationist account necessarily in conflict with 'Big Bang' theory, which was itself first proposed by a physicist who happened also to be a Catholic priest.

No one actually knows what, if anything, existed before big bang. There is no 'scientific consensus' about the origins of the universe. Consequently, the kind of creationist who says "God created the universe" isn't in conflict with science.

A different sort of creationist ( common in the US, but rare here) does dispute evolution. Some claim God created all species individually and directly. This sort of teaching is banned in free schools - but by the accounts of the schools themselves, it doesn't look like anyone is inclined to teach it anyway.

Yet another sort of creationist proposes 'Intelligent Design'. This is essentially a critique of Darwinian evolution that claims the orthodox Darwinian account is insufficient to explain all the things evolution claims to explain and also that the original complex proteins that gave rise to the first single-cell organisms could not have arisen by chance. It is in this latter area that the controversial 'teach the controversy' approach is involved.

With so many different sorts of 'creationist' - concerned with different things, we need to be careful not to just bandy the term around loosely to demonize people - as this thread does rather.

Nearly all the main faiths and denominations say God created the universe. But that doesn't make their mainstream adherents 'creationists' in the sense of denying evolution or insisting the world is only 4000 years old.

A bit more nuance would be welcome.

Andy's picture
Wed, 18/07/2012 - 17:08

It strikes me most forcefully that aggressive atheism has been brought to bear amongst the BHA membership and that does a serious disservice to the agnostics within the BHA. I am also struck by the wilful 'we know best attitude' that leads to a closed mind and total intolerance of others to make their own minds up for themselves. Let alone a toxic 'nanny state' approach to what people are allowed to do, believe and support.

I am disappointed that the author of this thread seems to have attempted to deliberately misled others in his highly provactive and majorily flawed presentation of what he sees as the facts.

Based on its own 'About us' page LSN is not a subsidiary of or platform for the BHA or any other particular group, it is about local schools.

Janet Downs's picture
Sat, 21/07/2012 - 11:40

House of Lords 17 July 2012: Lord Hunt of Kings Heath described the DfE’s decision to allow a free school to be opened by a “group of creationists” as “extraordinary”. He strongly protested against the decision and added, “I find it outrageous - outrageous - that a school that clearly is going to be tempted down the creationism route has been authorised by the noble Lord [Hill of Oareford, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education].”

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldhansrd/text/120717-0...

Andy's picture
Sat, 21/07/2012 - 13:31

On the basis that:

1. It is illegal to teach creationism in science as fact
2. There are several notions of what is labelled creationism
3. That evolution only covers the living species on planet earth
4. Creationism can only becovered in RE as part of a faith groups belief system

The comments from the vast majority of opponents are rooted in ill/misinformed positions that promote singular intolerance and stand in the face of the fact that no-one can prove their position beyond doubt and thus there is no hard irrefutable evidence one way or another. The balance of probability is just that probability.

It is then my opinion and position that based on the fact that we live in a so called democracy with freedoms under the UN Human Rights codes this whole creationist opposition situation is abject nonsense peddalled by those with closed minds and wishing to exercise undue control over the human rights of others to exert their own particular values, beliefs and control over everyone else.

Ricky-Tarr's picture
Sat, 21/07/2012 - 14:11

Last year, Richard Dawkins was on the same bandwagon, Andy, but then his targets were Muslim:

Muslim faith schools fill children's heads with "alien rubbish" as they continue to teach them creationism is true, atheist Richard Dawkins has said.

In the Times Educational Supplement (TES), the Oxford author said they had a "pernicious influence".


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-15226421

I don't think Dawkins was right to choose that epithet 'alien'. It sounds a bit too Nick Griffin for comfort.

There is certainly a tone of prejudice surrounding this issue with people bandying around the word 'creationist' as a term of abuse.

Imagine if people were trying to up the populist rhetoric by saying that the governors or headteacher of a free school were 'homosexuals'.

The religious views of governors or teachers should matter no more than their sexual orientation.

What matters is that they should obey the law of the land.

There is no evidence here that anyone is planning to break the law and this and another similar post are just based on nasty populist talk and playing to the gallery of prejudice.

Andy's picture
Sat, 21/07/2012 - 14:30

I am appalled and deeply concerned by the levels of blind intolerance being articulated by some on this site and across the country.

FJ Murphy's picture
Sat, 31/08/2013 - 19:11

Since when has LSN become a site for advertising the BHA?

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