‘Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon.’ Fodor, J. ‘Why Pigs don’t have wings,’ London Review of Books, 18th Oct 2007

Monday, 18 April 2011

Exeter School Under Fire by Secularists for Allowing Creationist into School RE Lesson.

A Church of England school in Exeter, St Peter's, has come under fire for allowing Philip Bell of Creation Ministries International to speak in an RE setting  Anger after controversial creationist is invited to talk at school

The question I wish to raise is whether there is room for respectful dialogue on the question of origins in schools. The British Centre for Science Education wishes to remove all such discussion from the classroom, apparently even from RE lessons. But there are still many religious believers including Christians, Jews, Muslim and others who do not accept Darwinism believing it to be an ideology that goes against the core values of their faith. I believe the education system needs to come to terms with such plurality and accommodate dissent and respectful dialogue in this area. There needs to be greater respect for other's beliefs. The irony is that secularists are showing a degree of intolerance that they accuse fundamentalist religious believers of displaying.

The BCSE claim that "It believes in the tools for everyone to think for themselves - Science, Education and Reason - and the outcome – Democracy, Pluralism and Liberty." and that its "...campaign is dedicated to keeping all forms of creationism including Intelligent Design out of the science classroom in the UK." but then asserts that "The BCSE is open to all, irrespective of religious or political affiliations, who wish to oppose the tide of creationism in the United Kingdom." In other words, it is opposed to all forms of creationism in the UK, not just in the science classroom, and it is not committed to respecting all religious beliefs, only those that are similar to its own position. One wonders how this ties in with their desire to uphold "Democracy, Pluralism and Liberty?" I would suggest their very basis for existence is muddled and confused.

The Christian message advanced in the first century AD through dialogue, not through human compulsion, and there must continue to be room for dialogue in this area. Christianity has never had anything to fear from such dialogue with people of other faiths and none.
Andrew S 


Anonymous said...

Actually nobody seems to have any problems teaching creationism as a religious belief as far as I can see. The problem is preteding to children that that it is based on scientific principles because it isn't. Clearly you don't seem to have understood the issue at all.

Dissenters said...

Clearly - anon - I have understood it clearly. BCSE campaign against 'creation science' because they do not wish it even taught in the RE class, let alone the science class. The error for them is to not understand the logical fallacy inherent in classical foundationalism.

Lateralgal said...

Science, Education and Reason are all very fine left-brain activities. They can't comletely define/predict art, poetry, dance and intuition because these are basically right-brain activities. Likewise they can't speak with any authority on the experience of Christians with their God unless they have shared that experience to some degree and have some notion what we are talking about. If they take creationism out of schools they should also take art, music, literature, dance, and any other right-brained stuff which they can't empirically investigate fully. Our God is a creative God and has made us in His own style. Many christians have had direct experiences with Him. Science can have nothing to say about that because you can't put those experiences under a microscope. Neither should humanism gag us about it, as that is hardly scientific for a start.

Creationism has been a foundational belief in western societies, even for humanists who got many of their ideas from scripture originally - for instance the concept of freedom, which originally meant freedom from operating of the basis of lies and half-truths, rather than doing whatever I want when I want etc.

Truth-seeking has been the (originally Christian) backbone of scientific advance for many years, and should also be the motivation for right-brain functions.