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End bad science and discrimination in education policies

by

Published: 23 January 2014 (GMT+10)
7950-creation-chalkboard

Composed from 123rf.com/Sutisa Kangvansap

In October 2013 we drew attention to a new education policy about creation and intelligent design published by Education Queensland, Australia, for government schools. That policy said that Education Queensland does not recognize creationism and intelligent design as scientific theory and that creationism or intelligent design is not to be compared with or evaluated against scientific theory.

This is not an issue that is confined to Queensland but a global one. Special-interest groups use the same strategy globally to pressure governments to engage in discriminatory censorship within schools (e.g. see Further restrictive legislation to keep Creation out of UK state-funded schools).

Our report, which generated considerable discussion, showed that this Education-Queensland policy was ambiguous and confusing, discriminatory, scientifically flawed, educationally faulty, and effectively had the state imposing one particular belief system in their schools. A number of people contacted the Minister for Education expressing concern at the policy and asking for it to be rescinded.

Science text books use the word evolution in two different ways, and this ambiguity is the cause of much confusion.

One who wrote sent me the response they received from the Minister’s Office, the main part of which is reproduced here.

You may have noted that the fact sheet is currently unavailable on the Department’s website. The Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) is responsible for curriculum policy, review and development for all Queensland schools and my Department is working with QSA to determine whether its site would be the most appropriate location to host information regarding creationism and intelligent design.
All Australian Education Ministers have agreed to implement the F-10 Australian Curriculum: Science and Queensland schools have been doing so since 2012. In Years 11 and 12, students can select from the QSA senior science syllabuses. These documents support the teaching of scientifically-proven theories of evolution and do not include references to creationism or intelligent design. You may wish to contact QSA for further information by telephone on 38640299 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
This position is supported by the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Science Teachers Associations. Both maintain that creationism is not a valid scientific theory, chiefly because it is unable to be tested by experiment or observation and modified on the basis of evidence.
As well as providing opportunities for students to develop an understanding of science concepts like evolution, the Australian Curriculum: Science includes an explicit focus on questioning, investigating, processing data and evaluating the quality of available evidence and the merit or significance of claims about scientific phenomena.

This response shows that the worldview issues and belief systems involved are still not appreciated. I respond to the letter point-by-point below.

You may have noted that the fact sheet is currently unavailable on the Department’s website.

Good.

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end-bad-science
The Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) is responsible for curriculum policy, review and development for all Queensland schools and my Department is working with QSA to determine whether its site would be the most appropriate location to host information regarding creationism and intelligent design.

The policy presented on that Fact-Sheet is inappropriate as an educational policy and should not be hosted on any government site. The policy is ambiguous, confusing, discriminatory, scientifically flawed, educationally faulty, and has the effect of mandating a state-sponsored religious worldview in government schools.

All Australian Education Ministers have agreed to implement the F-10 Australian Curriculum: Science and Queensland schools have been doing so since 2012. In Years 11 and 12, students can select from the QSA senior science syllabuses. These documents support the teaching of scientifically-proven theories of evolution …

As I have said, the policy is ambiguous and confusing. It is first necessary to define what is meant by evolution. Science text books use the word evolution in two different ways, and this ambiguity is the cause of much confusion and the problem raised by the Fact-Sheet. Evolution, the worldview, as presented in school text books, claims that molecules turned into people by natural processes over billions of years (see They are Teaching Lies to Our Kids). This is a belief system about the nature of the world and of reality. It is a philosophical/metaphysical worldview. It is not a proven scientific theory. In fact, the scientific evidence accumulating is becoming more and more an obstacle to the idea that evolution could possibly be true. Some scientists even claim that this evolutionary belief has been falsified (see for example Plant geneticist: Darwinian evolution is impossible ).

… and do not include references to creationism or intelligent design.
It’s like asking the Atheist Association for advice on whether the Bible is true.

The fact that these documents exclude reference to creationism or intelligent design demonstrates that in their present form they are biased and educationally flawed. To mandate the teaching of the evolutionist worldview (i.e. molecules-to-man, naturalism, no God involved), and deny students information on the problems, contradictions and unknowns of that worldview would be educationally irresponsible. To prohibit discussion of alternative possibilities to one particular view of the world would be discriminatory and overstep the role of government in a pluralistic democracy.

You may wish to contact QSA for further information by telephone on 38640299 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

This is an issue that should be of concern to the Minister and his Office and they should ensure that this particular policy does not see the light of day.

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This position is supported by the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Science Teachers Associations.

This is a bigger issue than can be settled by reference to such associations. It’s like asking the Atheist Association for advice on whether the Bible is true. Most members of these associations would be people who believe in the evolutionist, materialist philosophy. They probably have not seriously considered alternative scientific views, and would not appreciate others raising or discussing alternatives. Usually a minority of the members of these organizations are convinced of creation and intelligent design, and believe they are useful scientific concepts.

The policies of these organizations would normally be adopted by its office-bearers in their committee meetings. Members are not usually canvassed, and, even if they were, minority views on this issue would not be represented respectfully. The committees are composed of people who have particular beliefs about God, the Bible, and Christianity, and these beliefs influence their policies.

Some of these associations can be zealous in promoting anti-theistic beliefs, as is documented in the video Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. In fact, the Fact-Sheet policy in question is a classic example of the sort of discriminatory behaviour documented in Expelled.

It is risky for government to rely on advice from these associations on curriculum issues when there are worldview implications involved. It is inappropriate for government to impose the evolutionist, materialist worldview on the children in its schools, and to give that worldview a privileged monopoly.

Both maintain that creationism is not a valid scientific theory, chiefly because it is unable to be tested by experiment or observation and modified on the basis of evidence.

Their view that creation is not a valid scientific theory is really just an expression of their personal beliefs. Government needs to consult more widely.

Evolutionists will complain that you can’t teach creation because it cannot be tested. Then they will say that you can’t teach creation because it has been tested and shown to be wrong. In other words, they contradict themselves.

Any contrary observation will simply be absorbed into the evolutionist worldview by changing details of the evolutionary story.

The fact is that the evolution worldview cannot be tested by experiment or observation. Any contrary observation will simply be absorbed into the evolutionist worldview by changing details of the evolutionary story. Like all worldviews, it cannot be falsified. It’s the same with the creation worldview. Contrary to what is stated, creation scientific models will be modified on the basis of new evidence and observations, so the reason given in the letter is wrong. Creation models and evidence are debated and discussed in peer-reviewed creation journals (such as Journal of Creation, and others). So, if Education Queensland were to decide to ban creationism because it cannot be tested, then to be consistent they should ban evolutionism too.

What needs to be appreciated is that the worldviews of evolution and creation are meta-narrative frameworks that scientists use in order to interpret the evidence. Creation scientific models within the creation worldview can be tested by experiment and observation. There are innumerable examples, but the work creation scientists are doing in the field of genetics is especially interesting (see The non-mythical Adam and Eve).

Government needs to seek a broader perspective of the community’s views. They should not rely on the views of one or two specialist associations that are biased via the sorts of people who are members, and biased in the way they formulate their policies, in a way which may well not reflect the society at large. When canvassed without ‘loaded’ questions, it is more likely than not that Australian respondents, for instance, would support a policy of discussion and critical evaluation of models within competing worldviews.

As well as providing opportunities for students to develop an understanding of science concepts like evolution, the Australian Curriculum: Science includes an explicit focus on questioning, investigating, processing data and evaluating the quality of available evidence and the merit or significance of claims about scientific phenomena.

Indeed, scientific inquiry is all about questioning, investigating, processing data and evaluating evidence. And that is why the Fact-Sheet policy is so educationally and scientifically inappropriate. (And if the Fact-Sheet policy is indicative of the approach of the New Australian Curriculum, then there is a bigger problem in the New Curriculum that needs to be rectified.)

Evolution (microbes to man over billions of years) as presented in science text books and in the National Curriculum is a worldview issue. It makes statements about the past that are ultimately based, not on repeatable observations, but on beliefs. The evolutionary worldview needs to be addressed appropriately in schools so that students appreciate its implications, and are encouraged to question, investigate, process data and evaluate the quality of available evidence.

When it comes to the big questions of life, such as where did I come from, why am I here, and where am I going, our children and their families deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. There has been a long tradition in western democracies, established by struggle and blood, that that government does not use its power and resources to push one particular belief system on its citizens at the expense of others. The evolutionary worldview claims that everything came into existence by itself by natural processes over millions of years. It says God was not involved. We should not be withholding information from our children on these issues. We owe it to our children to provide them with the opportunity to properly consider the evolutionary creation story they encounter in their science text books, and come to an informed decision for themselves.

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Readers’ comments
Understands S., Australia, 23 January 2014

Did this bill get past? Is it to late to send a email to them? Good science needs to get back in the educational system. Creation.

Peter N., Australia, 23 January 2014

Well written. Very timely, we should all send it to our MPs.

I loved the use of the word 'evolutionISM': too often we see 'creationISM-v-evolution' whereas I think it is more reasonable to write 'creation-v-evolutionism' - because creation is more logical and fits the known evidence better, with fewer faith assumptions, than the blind-faith assumptions necessary to believe evolutionism.

Raymond B., New Zealand, 23 January 2014

Observed evolution is always driven by intelligence, no exception. Unobserved evolution can take place any way you dream up.

Stephen S., New Zealand, 23 January 2014

I think the Australian education authorities recognise that the evolutionary view of "the survival of the fittest" holds true in some cases - ie, it explains why the Wallabys are regularly defeated by the All blacks :-) :-)

Tas Walker responds

That's funny.

Philip M., Australia, 23 January 2014

Just a thought or two. Since science can study the natural, only the natural, and nothing but the natural, and since philosophically, science itself cannot tell us whether historically origins occurred naturally or supernaturally, then to defer to science for answer to the question of origins betrays a biased a priori belief that historically, origins occurred naturally.

Both the creationist and the darwinist read their novel history into the scientific data. The difference between the two is that the creationist claims that his novel history is read firstly from an historical record, whereas the darwinist’s can make no such claim.

As for scientific theories, a scientific theory is the result of scientific conclusions read out of the available scientific data. Reading a novel historical belief into the scientific data does not constitute a scientific theory, and never will. The Minister has erred philosophically.

To claim that novel history can be read out of scientific data is circular reasoning, as the scientific data is the evidence for the novel history that in turn is used to historically interpret the data.

Abdul H., United Kingdom, 23 January 2014

If man has the power to bring himself to life - why can't he stop his own death?

Terry P., Australia, 23 January 2014

Well said.

Denying the veracity of the knowledge of God and his human Son, that exists throughout the Bible, is bad science.

«science, noun. ORIGIN Middle English (denoting knowledge): from Old French, from Latin scientia, from scire ‘know.’»

    Even worse is the science of making up stories of how all life evolved from abiogenesis on earth.

    For no scientist has ever been able to demonstrate in laboratory experiments how living cells, capable of reproduction/replication, do spontaneously assemble themselves from inanimate matter and then evolve.

    It is an observed law of nature, that living things are only reproduced by living things. Show us the empirical evidence that disproves this law.

John C., United States, 23 January 2014

Actually, Peter N, since both creation and evolution are philosophical worldviews that act as filters for identical scientific evidence, it is logically proper to refer to the debate as 'creationism v evolutionism.' Not that that way of stating things is any more tasteful to an evolutionist.

Jeremy W., Canada, 23 January 2014

This kinds of stories upset me, because I feel it is futile to try and stop it. Over here in Canada, we have Quebec trying to pass laws that say religious symbols can't be worn by public workers, and we have Quebec 'social services' trying to take kids away from their Jewish parents because they refused to teach the Evolution based curriculum of Quebec (they threw in bad teeth as an additional justification).....it is all so frustrating.

But then I remember Elijah. God, told him, everything is not how it seems. There are more people standing with you, and God is always there with his plan. So chin up, God has already won.

william M., United States, 23 January 2014

This is a wonderful letter. Unfortunately, here in the U.S. I doubt there is anyone with authority that would even read such a letter, much less consider it. Our "leaders" don't seem to be interested in facts or truth. They seem only to be interested in gaining and/or maintaining power.

Charles S., United States, 23 January 2014

It seems that this excellent response to bureaucratically biased authority would boil down to a "civil rights" issue where discrimination is rampant against our scientific beliefs in a young earth. perhaps a matter for the courts??

Kenneth L., Canada, 23 January 2014

Very glad to see the term 'evolutionism' used here. For too long, evolutionists have gotten away with distorting the language of the creation/evolution debate by means of their constant use of the words 'evolution' and 'creationism', i.e. their 'science' versus YEC's 'religion' apart from science. In truth, both sides have both scientific and religious aspects, which should be referenced properly in the language of the debate. When I encounter 'creationism' language where 'creation science' correctly applies, I counter by pointing out that the 'evolution' taught in schools is, in fact, very often 'evolutionism', i.e. a faith-based belief in molecules-to-man evolution that encompasses a number of different beliefs, i.e. classical Darwinism, neo-Darwinism, punctuated equilibrium (Stephen J. Gould's faith-based attempt to reconcile the fossil record with evolution), hopeful monster faith, etc., all of which contradict one another and claim the others are untrue! (So it's not just creationists who don't believe in evolutionary theory, it's the evolutionists themselves! And then there are their squabbles over supposed bird evolution, i.e. from dinosaurs or not). So they are really teaching 'evolutionism', a religious origins belief, disguised as science, and we should spare no effort to point that out, since it is true and since they spare no effort to falsely label YEC's real creation science as 'creationism', i.e. religion, as opposed to 'creation science', which has the effect of creating in the public's mind a false dichotomy, i.e. that YEC's are wanting to teach religion to students in science classes (an outright falsehood) and that evolutionists are just teaching science, also an outright falsehood. Sorry for another comment so soon this year, but this is important.

Michael I., United States, 24 January 2014

Excellent article Dr. Walker. I am glad to have read it. I don’t believe that removing creation curriculum from publicly funded education systems should be based on bias views of any group/organization/association. Instead how about proving it wrong first… Good luck pulling that off. As often as an evolutionist says the same about us, some people will believe anything. God bless you and CMI for all you do.

michael S., United Kingdom, 24 January 2014

They won't listen to your response, Tas, as they just parrot what they are told, the Minister would parrot that evolution is true, as recommended to him, if it was even him responding which is unlikely.

Personally I think science is inadequate as a solution. Stephen Meyer, an IDist, says that truth should come first, science second, and that it is an issue of semantics, pertaining to the God-of-the-gaps position the evolutionists stick with.

You could not prize their dead fingers away from the God-of-the-gaps argument, even if you tell them a hundred times that they have misapplied the fallacy. They know it is the way to win, because of the rule of methodological naturalism. My advice is to concentrate on ridding the evolution worldview from science rather than introducing Creation into the science classroom.

Think of it this way, evolution is science, but it is a failed theory, that clearly is not true. Creation is clearly true, but it is not ALL science, in the sense that science should deal with the natural explanations, repeatable tests, and so forth. In a perfect world, science would never have came into the issue of origins. Creation is still true, and explains things better, and there is science involved in it, but either you have both in the classroom, or neither. The true sin is for evolution to be exalted when it is a pathetic relic of a theory, tenuous to the uttermost degree. Darwin and his warm pond, are history. But they don't care because they are human, and they don't want God!

john P., Australia, 24 January 2014

I fired off an email to them from the attached link, pointing out--did they go back in a time machine to see evolution happening, impose their worldview on students and deny them an alternative, true scientific evidence is supportive of creation and intelligent design, genetic mutations only lose or shuffle existing information.

Also our civilisation Christian heritage, why democracy originated in the West--should be taught to every student in history classes.

Hopefully they get the email and allow students access to truth instead of fairy tales, but I wouldn't hold my breath

M. A., Australia, 24 January 2014

This ain't education, this is indoctrination and this is offensive as much as saying that the "Christians" of the Crusades are heroics against the "barbaric" Muslims in the Crusades when both of them are mass-murderers. I am getting tired of seeing evolutionary books shelved in the "science" category or in "non-fiction" area. Why are so people insensitive of allowing skepticism about the theory of evolution as much as creation?

Bruce B., United Kingdom, 24 January 2014

Excellent letter Tas. Would that it might have the impact it deserves though I doubt that it will if my experience in the UK is anything to go by. These government departments are incapable of original thought and forbidden from expressing it anyway. They are all held in thrall by

prohibitionists such as Dawkins and Jones etc.

John P. seems to be pointing to the elephant in the room. Anything that is said to be true must be defensible which means comparing it with other, possibly contrary, opinions. If you ban any contrary opinion your own position, by definition, becomes indefensible. If that rationale is correct then all education systems which teach evolution as unchallengeable fact are behaving illogically, immorally and dishonestly.

Justin B., Canada, 24 January 2014

Speaking of discrimination, every time I post anything contrary to evolutionary views on richarddawkins.net both the comment and my account are deleted (and I get blocked from the site). That's what I love about CMI. You don't turn down a debate and cower in a corner.

C. M., Australia, 25 January 2014

Thank you, Dr Walker for an interesting and most useful letter. I am sending it off to more than just my state MP. It will be going to state and federal ministers as well. I don't vote for either of the major parties but for the party whose principles match my own as a Christian. It is sometimes helpful to actually meet with one's MP to present the case face to face and assure him/her that they might get one's second preference if they lift their standards.

Larry M., United States, 25 January 2014

As a creationist I believe in the evolution that we can see during the process of time. But when the evolutionists start to claim it is the process of the development of all creatures then I start to call them evillutionists.

Chris R., Canada, 25 January 2014

When God says to "train up a child in the way he should go" why don't we take Him literally? Hence why we choose to home educate! We feel that this is something God demands, it is not an option for us. You can't send children into public schools to be "salt and light" when they are not allowed to speak God's truth. God's blessings on CMI and all of the people standing in the gap.

Chris Rogers, President, aheaonline.com

Sas E., United Kingdom, 25 January 2014

To Abdul: man does not have the power over life and death only Christ does. I know this is contradictory to what you believe in Islam but look up articles about articles on the differences between Christianity and Islam for example

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