When I was an Anglican priest I once asked my Anglican Bishop if I could invite someone to our parish to speak about creation from the Christian and biblical perspective. To my amazement he refused to grant permission and told me that I “should be more open-minded!”
Alas, the government in the United Kingdom is following along the same path, perhaps even with the blessing of the Bishops of the Church of England?
Teaching Creation Now Banned from UK Schools
The UK’s Independent newspaper featured an article on this subject on 20th July titled: “Teaching creationism: Indoctrination is a form of child abuse.”(1) Ironically, the author of the piece in the Independent writes:
Real Education is about open-ended questioning and challenging the mind. … Blinkered, limited, propagandist, religious thinking attempts to hold back or stop that process. Brainwashing is a form of child abuse. It should have no place in any place of learning.
One can only marvel at the self-serving hypocrisy exhibited here, which is tantamount to saying “You are free to ask questions, free to think for yourself and to make up your own mind—as long as you agree with the theory of evolution!”
Following a campaign by the British Humanist Association, the UK’s Department for Education earlier this year revised the regulations relating to government funded schools.
The new clause (24A) actually states that:
[the school] shall not make provision in the context of any subject for the teaching, as an evidence-based view or theory, of any view or theory that is contrary to established scientific and/or historical evidence and explanations.(2)
Since it would be understood that the theory of evolution is ‘established science’ and that ‘any subject’ would include Religious Education, it would appear that this effectively prohibits any discussion of the scientific evidence for creation in any classroom.
This is an extraordinary decision by the UK government and in my view is nothing short of blatant censorship.
It is very hard to see how this kind of censorship can be justified by rational argument. Can you imagine the scenario in which some student asks the teacher, “What are the scientific arguments presented by creationists?” What might be the answer? Perhaps the teacher would be honest and reply, “Well, I’m not allowed to tell you, otherwise our school will lose its funding. However, if you talk to me outside the school gates, I can answer your question.”
According to the results of a survey reported in The Guardian, 29% of UK teachers believe that creationism and intelligent design should be taught in science classes. Moreover, nearly 50% said they believed that excluding alternatives to evolution was counter-productive and would alienate pupils from science.(3) If this is what teachers feel about science lessons, how will they react to the exclusion of such discussions from religious education classes?
The depths to which some people will now stoop to prevent young people hearing about alternatives to evolution beggar belief. For example, simply because he expressed the view that children should be allowed to raise doubts about the theory of evolution in their science classes and discuss alternative views of origins, committed evolutionist Professor Michael Reiss was forced to resign his position as the Royal Society’s Director of Education. Dr Jerry Bergman, in his book, Slaughter of the Dissidents,(4) has documented numerous cases of Darwin dissenters in the USA facing demotion, loss of career or job, denial of degrees, and even personal threats.
Moreover, it is surely significant that all this is happening at a time when there have never been so many scientific facts challenging the Darwinian paradigm. The more the evidence points away from naturalistic processes as the explanation for our existence, the more desperate secularists become and the more draconian the regulations they press for in their attempts to hide this.
This is a very worrying development and shows the state of things in education in the Western World, and is a wake up call—not only to Christians, but to all those who genuinely value both freedom of speech and freedom of education.
It is to be hoped that Australian educational institutions will resist any pressure from our government to implement such draconian legislation about belief systems that limit freedom of speech and freedom of education. I am aware that some tertiary education science departments are already teaching the theory of evolution as scientific fact. I find this very concerning as well as being dishonest and unscientific. A philosophy based on a theory is not scientific fact and should never be taught as such.
(1) http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/07/20/teaching-creationism-indoctrination-is-a-form-of-child-abuse/ (2) http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/freeschools/a0074737/free-schools-model-funding-agreement (3) Randerson, J., Creationism should be taught as science, say 29% of teachers, The Guardian, 7 November 2008; http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/nov/07/creationism-intelligent-design-religion. (4) Bergman, J., Slaughter of the Dissidents, Leafcutter Press, USA, 2008.