Professor Reiss and science education

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Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia, which has argued that creationist thinking is bad theology as well as non-science, said today that he regretted the Rev Professor Michael Reiss' removal from his post as Director of Education at the Royal Society, the leading science institution.

He commented: "I do think some of Professor Reiss' remarks [on teaching children who hold creationist views] inadvertently opened the door to an unhelpful confusion between curriculum and classroom practice issues. But it is also clear that they were carelessly - and in some cases culpably - misinterpreted by a media looking for sensation rather than understanding, and by some writers who simply do not comprehend the nuances involved.

"But both the Royal Society and Professor Reiss have made their opposition to creationism crystal clear, and it is hard to see how their decision to remove him from his post makes that more convincing or confident; or how it furthers a necessary debate about dialogue in the classroom.

"I hope the Royal Society will also reiterate its rejection of the kind of prejudice that says a person's religion or non-religion should be a factor in measuring their scientific or educational competence, as Professor Dawkins unfortunately inferred in his initial remarks."

See Ekklesia's earlier comment on Professor Reiss' remarks: http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/7703

'Theology, Science and the Problem of ID': a paper on creationism-related issues - http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/6707