Response to Prime Minister on creationism in schools

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Simon Barrow, co-director of Ekklesia, said: "The PM's comments seem worryingly complacent, given that a senior figure associated with faith-based academy schools has recently participated in a well-funded venture to promote creationism to secondary-school heads of science.

“Creationism should not be taught in science classrooms for the same reason that astrology and tarot shouldn't. It isn't science, it's bad theology based on wholly inadequate readings of biblical texts.

“It is also important to understand that the discredited claims of creationists and so-called 'intelligent design' advocates are part of an organized political lobby on behalf of narrow religious interests which do not accord with mainstream Christian thinking or the work of serious scientist-theologians.

“One only has to look to the US to see the way this issue can get out of hand, and how it can compromise good educational practice. Waiting until it becomes a major issue, as Mr Blair seems to advocate, is no substitute for proper DfES guidelines now. A big fuss isn’t needed. Clear action is.

“This is an issue church leaders should also be taking far more seriously at an educational level within their own communities. Creationist-style ideas misrepresent the Christian doctrine of creation - which is about the ongoing goodness and giftedness of all life in the purposes of God, not a specific theory of origins.

“By seeking to unravel 150 years of scientific endeavour and the evolutionary cornerstone of modern biological investigation, creationists and IDers both harm the proper search for truth and discredit the faith they wrongly claim to speak for.”