Now look. This isn’t an anti-religious thing — creationism is simply not science.

I have no problem with beliefs. People may believe whatever they wish (yes, even Flat Earthers), but they should be given a proper education on what others believe so they can make an educated choice. What’s more, children shouldn’t be confused by teaching religion as science or vice versa. What would happen if you started learning English Literature dressed up as Maths? Or Geography in an art lesson?

Am I the only person left on this planet who remembers being raised as a Christian and being taught evolution? Seriously, as a child, I was really quite pious. I went to church, I went to Sunday school, I was a member of various christian youth groups… I even played the trumpet in church, for crying out loud!

But one thing that was never an issue back then was evolution. The two things were separate entities, and they weren’t immiscible either. None of us thought anything of being religious and being taught evolution.

Now I’m not a cynic or a skeptic (well, maybe a cynic…) and my present theistic beliefs aside, creationism is a religious belief not a scientific one.

Professor Michael Reiss says that if pupils have strongly-held family beliefs about creationism such ideas should be explored.

Rather than dismissing creationism as a “misconception”, he says it should be seen as a cultural “world view”.

And that’s what RE lessons were for. Don’t kids have Religious Education anymore? A cultural world view is not science. I’m sorry, but it isn’t.

I wonder what would happen if someone suggested teaching evolution in Sunday school… because that’s logically equivalent.
(For the record, I’d oppose that just as vehemently!)

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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6 Responses to Creationism…

  1. underwr1tten says:

    Sorry, I wasn’t clear. I fully support religious instruction in schools, when taught as humanities. I also remember taking a world religions class in a junior high history course, and it was more than relevant–it was necessary. Neglecting such a course leads to some rather silly misunderstandings. However, religion has almost no scientific relevancy, and should never be taught in a science class as science. Compartmentalization of subjects is necessary at times, but with the current confusion with creationism, it does make sense for a biology teacher to make a small side note about things like the differences between science and religion.
    In the case of those who lack high school diplomas, their children might be better off in school. I argue that with extreme reluctance, however, because I am thoroughly disgusted with the state of public education, and the broader structure of American educational systems (I’m not as familiar with those of other countries).

  2. The separation of church and state is not a mandate against teaching religion in public schools as a subject of historical relevancy. I remember learning about Buddism and Hinduism in high school in Missouri, shouldn’t it be fair for the sake of historical accuracy to discuss Christianity too? I don’t see how that’s unconstitutional. Moreover, technically, separation of church and state is not a constitutional principle, nor is it an amendment. It’s a screwed up interpretation of the 1st amendment, pure and simple. Jefferson actually wrote at length about what the separation of church and state is supposed to entail. It’s only in the last 120 some years that with the installment of crazy activist judges on the Supreme Court that it’s taken on a completely different meaning.
    And yes, parents do have the option of home schooling, but depending on the state, you have to have a certain level of education to be able to do that with your kids. For my parents (when I was homeschooled for 3 years in NC), it wasn’t an issue — a Ph.D and two masters degrees were sufficient, but what if you don’t even have a HS diploma? You’re probably f*ed in that case.

  3. invaderxan says:

    The reason why I was irked about this though is that this article is about UK schools. I really didn’t think there were a significant amount of creationists around here.
    And to be honest, I have no problem with creationists per se — just with creationism being taught as science.
    Abstinence-only sex education… Honestly…

  4. invaderxan says:

    It certainly does seem illogical to have no religious education whatsoever! RE was always a good class. We actually got to discuss things, everything from religion to philosophy. I think it was good becaues it was taken from a neutral point of view… Quite a contrast to sunday school.

  5. underwr1tten says:

    I’m sorry, I just don’t see the correlation between the superficiality of religious school education and the desire to teach religion in an environment where it is plainly illegal–that is, unconstitutional. If parents are dissatisfied with both systems, a third option is available: home schooling. Many religious families have taken advantage of this; I fail to see how they feel the need to break a very important law in order to weaken a system which is already so flawed it is frankly dangerous (I am referring to abstinence-only sex education, among many, many other serious detriments). I live in Florida, for reference.

  6. Don’t kids have Religious Education anymore?
    In the US? Not unless you:
    A) Go to a religious school (and even then many “religion” classes are a joke) or
    B) You’re a regular church goer (and even then, most religious classes don’t discuss where we came from — or at least, I never heard of it in the 10 years I was in CCD classes at my Catholic Church)
    So, thus, there is a drive to do the religious education in government-run schools.

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