The issue about creationism in schools is part of a wider set of misleadingly contructed arguments about religion and science, says Bob Carling. But ‘culture wars’ are often played out often by ignoring (or unfairly vilifying) those who take seriously the religious aspects of being human (and thus are theistic or agnostic) and who on the other hand take seriously the scientific evidence for evolution.
Creationism and ‘intelligent design’ are not scientific theories, but they are portrayed as such by some religious fundamentalists who attempt to have their views promoted in publicly-funded schools. There should be enforceable statutory guidance that they may not be presented as scientific theories in any publicly-funded school of whatever type, say a group of eminent scientists and science educators. They include an Anglican priest and they are backed by five organisations: three scientific, one secular humanist and one Christian.
A leading US proponent of 'Inteligent Design' has been touring the UK to drum up support for his cause, says Bob Carling. But there are good reasons why he is unlikely to convince theologians or scientists with a 'god of the gaps' argument.
Disputes over truth are often presented as examples of a clash between religion and science. Galileo's conflict with the Roman Catholic Church is frequently talked about in this way, as are more recent controversies about evolution and creationionism. But an exploration of the details reveals that conflicts over truth are often closely tied to questions of politics and power.
Behind the tasks of politics, religion, philosophy and science lie abiding concerns about human nature and destiny, says Michael Meacher. In his new book, while eschewing conventional faith, he explains why he thinks life and humanity are full of purpose.