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.
On 12 May 2011 an open letter was sent to the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, signed by key figures from both the scientific and religious communities. It calls for a change to the national Department for Education (DfE) guidelines to prevent creationism being taught, presented, or otherwise promoted as a valid scientific position to children in publicly-funded schools.
Since it was established in 1970 the Church of Scotland’s Society, Religion and Technology (SRT) Project has made a significant contribution not just to the life of one particular church and its capacity to comment on demanding issues in society, but also to public debates about science, technology and ethics generally, says Mary Anson.
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.
As with many other areas of public finance, funding for science is under major threat – maybe facing up to 25 per cent reductions, says Bob Carling. Many senior figures feel that proposed cuts will destroy the international excellence of science in the UK.