Secular Humanists seek to ban origins debate in the UK education system
CrISIS campaign is launched against discussing creation
Published: 17 May 2011(GMT+10)
The pretentiously named “British Centre for Science Education” is pushing
this CrISIS petition to shut down any exposure of students to creation concepts,
even in religious education. But if creation is not science as the BCSE claims (their
graphic above), but presumably religion, then why should it not be in religion classes?
Philip Bell of CMI was recently invited to take part in a Religious Education study day at St Peter’s Church of England school in Exeter. This has, though, created a great deal of controversy following the objection of one parent and the subsequent involvement of the anti-creationist pressure group the British Centre for Science Education (BCSE) (Church of England schools in the UK are incidentally part of the state education sector).
A storm arose that made headlines in the local press.1 However, the initial report failed to mention the context: pupils also heard from a theistic evolutionist as well as from Philip Bell, although this was corrected in an editorial.2 The BCSE continues to ignore this context. Instead, the BCSE now support a campaign and petition to get any discussion of creation science removed even from religious education classes.3
Support has been given from the National Secular Society (i.e. atheists) and the “Christian Think-Tank” Ekklesia. According to a news release4 the group organising the campaign Creationism In Schools Isn’t Science (CrISIS), now has written an open letter to the Secretary for Education, Michael Gove, with signatories including, Jim Al-Khalili, Susan Blackmore, Andrew Colman, David Colquhoun, Richard Dawkins, Christopher French, Adam Hart-Davis, Julian Huppert MP, The Rev Canon David Jennings, Professor J Steve Jones, Dr Stephen Law, Clifford Longley, the Rev Michael Roberts, Simon Singh MBE, Canon Prof J.S. K. (Keith) Ward, and Professor James D. Williams. The CrISIS petition reads as follows:
“Creationism is known, and officially acknowledged, to be contrary to scientific fact. We therefore demand that creationism should not be presented as a valid scientific position, nor creationist websites and resources be promoted, in publicly funded schools or in any youth activities run on publicly funded school premises.”
Despite the fact that creationists are also voters and taxpayers who use the public education system, those supporting this campaign wish to deny them basic human rights. This campaign seeks to ban anyone from debating biblical creation, even in religious education classes.
Science has incidentally advanced historically through debate and dialogue without appeals to special authority, and such dictatorial statements are a poor reflection of the true nature of science. Instead it reflects more the attitude of Cardinal Bellarmine and the Church authorities who tried to silence Galileo, than a genuine respect for freedom of enquiry in science. Such demands to ban some lines of enquiry may suit atheists who a priori reject creation, but it will not advance science. We may ask then whether science is really a search for truth, or as the signatories of this statement wish, merely a search for naturalistic explanations irrespective of whether such explanations can even exist for such things as the origin of everything.5
Creationists would welcome public debate with anyone who wants to defend the statement that “Creationism is … contrary to scientific fact”. But rather than allow such debate, the proponents of this campaign would rather suppress the matter.
Freedom of thought
But more importantly, this campaign and statement clearly has little respect for the beliefs of a significant religious minority in the UK, including children, as it seeks to deny freedom of speech to those who believe in special creation. The BCSE’s stated commitment to “democracy, pluralism and liberty” rings hollow in light of their belief in the dominance of ‘science’ over all other beliefs, and their attempts to silence some religious believers. There is a sad irony here, in that secularists and atheists are showing a degree of intolerance that they have accused conservative religious believers of displaying. This statement reflects a belief in the dominance of science over other areas of education and thought—this is really scientism; science as a worldview, a religious belief system.
Tessa Kendall, who is Senior Campaigns Officer of the National Secular Society is reported as saying in the CrISIS news release that, “When teaching evolution, as well as the origins of the universe and the age of the earth, it should be made clear that science is not an ‘alternative’ and that there are not other ‘truths’ of equal value.”
Ekklesia, which supports the campaign, also needs to explain just how strong their commitment to respect religious freedom is. Simon Barrow of Ekklesia, who has also signed the letter, has written about another matter (relating to Anglican schools’ admission policy6) in which he argues that he wishes “to end discrimination on grounds of belief in publicly funded religious foundation schools.” And that the “principle of openness … is thoroughly Christian.” For Barrow the correct ‘Christian ethos’ is concerned with being ‘open to all’. As with BCSE, Ekklesia’s commitment to genuine pluralism, respect and a “principle of openness” towards religious minorities rings hollow in light of their support for this campaign. One may wonder about motives here because it is hard to understand the two different sets of standards advocated.
Barrow seeks to justify his approach by claiming that “creationism is not an issue of religion per se”, but that it is “eccentric ideas that overtly or covertly reject scientific method—while falsely claiming to be scientific themselves.” Perhaps by rejecting this as an issue of religious faith it somehow softens his conscience that he is in fact discriminating against people on the basis of their faith. Furthermore, he writes that creationism has been “ … strongly criticised and rejected by mainstream churches, and by theologians competent in matters of religion and science, as it has been by the senior scientific community.”7
The historical truth is, though, far more interesting and belief in creation is not a modern phenomenon as is often claimed, nor does it deny true scientific method. Many of the founders of the scientific revolution were motivated by their belief in divine creation, including Francis Bacon and Sir Isaac Newton. Peter Harrison, for instance, writes in The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science (Cambridge University Press, 2009) that the scientific method of experimentation was developed by Bacon and the early Royal Society as a way of overcoming the effect that sin had upon the human mental capacity as a result of Adam’s Fall (see a quote). And creationists have more reason than most to uphold belief in the order of creation and objective truth that supports the scientific method.
In terms of theology, the Church Fathers such as St Augustine and St Basil (in Hexaemeron) believed in a recent creation of some 6,000 years (often with a millennial component where the six days of creation were compared to 6,000 years of Earth history, i.e. Hippolytus. On the Hexaemeron), as did more modern mainstream theologians and preachers such as John Calvin and John Wesley. Augustine wrote:
This proposed discrimination is not against a tiny minority of the British population. For example, a 2009 Guardian report on a survey concluded, ‘Teach both evolution and creationism say 54% of Britons’—and this was for teaching it in science classes.
“They are deceived … by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though, reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6,000 years have yet passed. (Augustine, Of the falseness of the history which allots many thousand years to the world’s past, The City of God, Book 12: Chapter 10).
Barrow is simply wrong to ignore this evidence8 in order to isolate Christian believers who hold to traditional Christian doctrines. A substantial number of Christians retain a belief in creation, and it is simply not true to imply that all mainstream churches reject this position.
If Barrow would care to read the statement Sir Ambrose Fleming (widely regarded as the father of modern electronics) made at a foundational meeting of the Evolution Protest Movement in 1935 (now Creation Science Movement), he would see a strong commitment to loving Christian ethics at a time when evolution was being used to justify racism and fascism. Fleming said that evolution takes away “the chief basis for all religion … and morality [is] reduced to mere human expediency.” He thought it was “of national importance to counteract the effects of reckless and indiscriminate popularisation of the theory of the wholly animal origin of mankind, especially among the young,” and that it risked undermining belief in the “altruistic, aesthetic, intellectual, spiritual and religious faculties in man.”9
Despite the fact that creationists are also voters and taxpayers who use the public education system, those supporting this campaign wish to deny them basic human rights. This campaign seeks to ban anyone from debating biblical creation, even in religious education classes.10 According to this petition, creationists may only then argue their case on the basis that it is false (!), which would completely prevent creation presentations in schools that have any integrity. It would also deny the rights of children from conservative Christian backgrounds from having their beliefs respected in the classroom.
This proposed discrimination is not against a tiny minority of the British population. For example, a 2009 Guardian report on a survey concluded, “Teach both evolution and creationism say 54% of Britons”—and this was for teaching it in science classes.11 Another survey published in November 2008 found that 29% of U.K. teachers think that creation and intelligent design should be taught as science. And nearly 50 percent said they think excluding these ideas from the classroom would alienate students from science.12
Considering that these surveys covered teaching creation/ID in science classes, it would be surprising if a survey of attitudes to teaching creation in RE did not show overwhelming support from the British people. Indeed, most would think it preposterous that anyone would try to prevent such teaching in RE classes.
The campaigners make much of the signatures of some churchmen, claiming that this shows that their scheme can “no way be characterised as a dispute between the religious and non-religious.” But we may ask to what extent these churchmen represent regular Christian views? Clearly they do not, and at least one cleric who has signed this letter appears to even question central tenets of Christian faith. The Revd Canon F David Jennings, one of the signatories, has, for instance, even questioned the doctrine of the Passion of Christ,13 and also questioned a traditional understanding of God. He has written:
“Let me, therefore, offer some thoughts that enable me to use the word God in a meaningful way. I have to let go of the metaphysical as anything that can be meaningfully understood or applied outside of the realm of science or mathematics. … . I have already let go of the classical theistic models and descriptions of God. That is of a being who is omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, timeless, benevolent and creator.”14
This perhaps reflects what biology professor Will Provine has stated:
“ … belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.”15
Furthermore, when clerics are willing to sign a letter such as this alongside known militant atheists such as Richard Dawkins, we may ask to what extent are they committed to building Christian unity in the light of Jesus’ prayer that “they [Christians] may be one?” (John 17:21–24). As Jesus said “my sheep hear my voice” (John 10:4). But it is also clear that Dawkins doesn’t even respect such approaches from clergymen having said that they are in reality “barking mad”.16 And we may wonder as well why it is that so-called liberal Christians are so keen to use the law to silence other Christians and deny them freedom of expression.
Elitist education policies
This attitude towards social control in education … is reflected in the statement signed by these high profile academics who want children to only learn ‘official facts’ and be denied the opportunity for gaining skills in critical thinking and debate.
This campaign also reflects an elitist class-ridden attitude to education that in many ways is similar to that of Greek Platonism and to some extent the Prussian education system. Plato believed that in an ideal city-state, Polis, Philosopher Kings should rule with the rest turned into productive workers. Only the elite should be allowed to think for themselves with the general public taught enough to be obedient and economically useful. This attitude towards social control in education was taken up by the Prussian state in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, which wanted total obedience so that children could be trained for the civil service and the military. Fichte, for instance, asserted that “If you want to influence [the student] at all, you must do more than merely talk to him; you must fashion him, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will.”17 But I don’t believe such indoctrination creates an environment in which science and educational excellence, or even democracy, can flourish. This destructive approach is reflected in the statement signed by these high profile academics who want children to only learn ‘official facts’ and be denied the opportunity for gaining skills in critical thinking and debate.
With so many challenges in our world involving very complex environmental and social issues there is a need to give children the freedom to discuss important questions about the origin and meaning of life (matters that are really not accessible by scientific experimentation) and the world. Unlike this elitist ancient Greek way of thinking, socially conservative Christians have a vision for education that seeks genuine equality and respect across the board, allowing all children the freedom to think beyond that of simply learning officially sanctioned ‘facts’.
Oxford Professor Peter Harrison18 has also pointed out that the Reformation’s more literalistic approach to the Bible was a major factor that allowed modern science to get going. Protestant groups, especially non-conformist ones, also have encouraged ordinary people to read the Bible for themselves and this also helped to open up learning and education.
There is a need for genuine respect and freedom in the classroom that allows for real meaningful debate and dialogue over differences in scientific and religious belief so that children are given freedom to think through issues. Creationists have been unfairly painted in a very negative light by ‘progressives’ who seem to be losing sight of genuine respect and freedom for religious minorities. We are witnessing here the rise of a radical secularist hegemony that seeks to isolate some religious believers, ironically supported by those who like to think that they are the heirs of the Enlightenment, and even sadly some clergymen. In this light, we need to express concern about this CrISIS campaign that is supported by BCSE and some leading academics. True pluralism is only possible where people are allowed to hold and defend their own core beliefs in a respectful manner and framework. We should reject a post-modern relativistic pluralism where the very notion of objective truth is lost. But we also should reject the type of dictatorial dogmatism reflected in this campaign that doesn’t respect people and diversity and seeks to exclude a significant minority view from the marketplace of ideas.
- The newspaper item is found here with a long list of comments; http://www.thisisexeter.co.uk/news/Anger-creationist-invited-talk-school/article-3433995-detail/article.html, last accessed 13 May 2011. Return to text.
- Controversial ideas on origins of life arouse strong emotions http://www.thisisexeter.co.uk/news/Controversial-ideas-origins-life-arouse-strong-emotions/article-3445317-detail/article.html, last accessed 13 May 2011. Return to text.
- Available here http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/crisis-creationism-in-schools-isn-t-science.html, last accessed 13 May 2011. Return to text.
- http://bcseweb.blogspot.com/2011/05/close-that-loophole-mr-gove.html. Return to text.
- See “It’s not science”. Return to text.
- http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/14619, last accessed 13 May 2011. Return to text.
- http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/14756 and http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/14753. Return to text.
- See also: Did the early Church leaders and reformers believe the literal creation account given in Genesis? Return to text.
- See: https://www.csm.org.uk/whoweare.php. Return to text.
- A point confirmed by one of the signatories, Rev Canon David Jennings, when challenged directly by CMI’s Philip Bell on BBC Radio Leicester, 12 May 2011. Return to text.
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/oct/25/teach-evolution-creationism-britons, last accessed 13 May 2011. Return to text.
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/nov/07/creationism-intelligent-design-religion, last accessed 13 May 2011. Return to text.
- What was God doing at the crucifixion, David Jennings, Canon Theologian, Leicester Cathedral. Pdf article available here: http://www.burbage.leicester.anglican.org/about/rector.html: http://www.burbage.leicester.anglican.org/sermons/WHATWASGODDOINGATTHECRUCIFIXION.pdf, last accessed 13 May 2011. Return to text.
- God talk—Hello Mr Wittgenstein; http://www.burbage.leicester.anglican.org/sermons/2010wittgenstein.pdf, last accessed 13 May 2011. Return to text.
- Prof. Will Provine (Biology, Cornell Uni.), ‘No free will’. In Catching up with the Vision, ed. Margaret W Rossiter, Chicago University Press, 1999, p. S123. Return to text.
- See: Dawkins in compromising churchians. Return to text.
- Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Addresses to the German Nation, 1807. Second Address : “The General Nature of the New Education”. Chicago and London, The Open Court Publishing Company, 1922, p. 21 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_education_system. Return to text.
- Weinberger, L., Reading the Bible and understanding nature, A review of The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science by Peter Harrison, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1998. Return to text.
There are thousands of small churches in the UK that rent school halls for their services. If legislation is somehow approved along these lines …
“We therefore demand that creationism should not be presented as a valid scientific position, nor creationist websites and resources be promoted, in publicly funded schools or in any youth activities run on publicly funded school premises.”
… it could potentially shut down thousands of youth groups all over the country in one fell swoop. It could also muzzle teaching Creation from the pulpit if the church happens to be meeting on “school premises”.
This is an insidious plan indeed. What next? Requiring all Christians to have yellow crosses sewn into their clothes so that they can be ‘identified’?
Sadly, that’s not such a fanciful scenario Colin. The way things have gone so far, I can easily foresee that in public schools all religious children or teachers may have to sign a declaration or wear some mark which identifies their religion. It is scary to think that it probably isn’t too far away, a couple of decades or so. But what is even worse is that the compromising religious leaders would probably support it in an obsequiously desperate attempt to stay ‘relevant’!
From my contact with various parts of secular society, these types of measures wouldn’t raise an eyebrow, but would probably be welcomed.
Nazi-like religious persecution isn’t too far away I fear. But this time it isn’t going to be one isolated country, but rather the whole Western sphere, and neither is there going to be an ‘Uncle Sam’ to save us from it this time!
It is not surprising to read this. Just today an article on a major Australian news service quoted Stephen Hawking saying “heaven is a fairy story” Saddest of all, only 29% of 11,000 people polled disagreed with him.
To all who call themselves Christian, now is the time to stand on God’s truth and make yourselves available for the work of the Gospel. As Jesus said, “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few”. Don’t underestimate what you can do in your sphere of infuence. Your home, friends, work colleagues. Now is the time to remember the great commission, from the mouth of our Lord; “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
When you go home to see Jesus, what do you want to hear Him say? “Well done my good and faithfull servant” or “What happened???”
To CMI, keep up the great work you are doing! I use your resources regularly to reach out to people such as mentioned in this article who believe the “facts” of science. It makes people think when we show them other less known (for obvious reasons) scientific facts.
Obviously they’ve got to fight tooth and nail! They’ll lose the kids to the Truth, otherwise! I’m posting this on Facebook.
That is ridiculous. What happened to the freedom to think? It sounds like Soviet brainwashing.
As always, it comes down to this: Evolutionism is philosophically based pseudoscience, so the only way it can win the origins debate is to keep the debate from happening in the first place.
Evolutionists can consider creationism a crackpot minority position that can’t be taken seriously, or they can consider it a real threat. But they can’t consider it both at different times, at their convenience, without betraying their rigging of the game.
“Creationism is known, and officially acknowledged, to be contrary to scientific fact.”
I find this abhorrent, arrogant and typically Humanistic. What is even more abhorrent is to see the names of so called “Christian Leaders” slinking up to the likes of Dawkins. If successful, this will be the start, I believe, of real persecution against Christians, as well as other “faiths”. Dawkins et al will be wringing their hands with glee.
Thank Jesus that you have this site up and running … for now, as sooner or later I suspect we will all lose our right to profess the REAL science of Creation.
To a certain extent i would agree with the poster saying creation in schools isnt science. However i don’t think that evolution is science either so maybe creation and evolution should be thought in religious clases. For the simple reason that both creation and evolutionary world views are based opon beliefs about what happend in the past.
Thank you for sending us your feedback on this article. Indeed, the nature of world views is that they involve presuppositions and axioms that are held by faith. Both the straightforward grammatical, historical understanding of Genesis (Creation by God in six days, thousands of years ago) and the secular ideas of Big Bang and evolution (over billions of years, whether or not God is allowed a role) provide a framework, within which the scientific facts or data are interpreted.
Those behind this ‘CrISIS’ campaign are adamant in wanting to ban the biblical world-view even from being aired in overtly religious classes.
However, they seem to have no problem if an evolutionist presents evolutionary science (whether non-Darwinian concepts of cosmological, chemical and geological evolution or Darwinian concepts of biological and anthropological evolution) in those same religious classes. This, of course, betrays a blatant double standard.
You are right to describe BCSE as “pretentiously named”.
David Anderson has researched this bogus “organisation” and his findings may be read here: http://www.bcse-revealed.info/bcse/bcse.rev/Main/About.html
The Website makes interesting reading.
The campaign, especially the statement, “Creationism is known, and officially acknowledged, to be contrary to scientific fact.” could be a blessing in disguise.
Making such a statement provides an opportunity for atheists to “prove” its truth! Maybe the debate we’ve wanted so long can take place in the UK parliament!
A blatant act of sheer desperation. They know they are losing so they would rather silence those who tell the truth. How unoriginal! I can almost imagine them gnashing their teeth and plugging their ears just like the time when their predecessors were being convicted by the words of Stephen. I am also reminded these words spoken "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” One of these fine days these insolent fools are going to get what’s coming for them. I just hope they’ll see it and repent before it’s too late.
How sad is this? Evolutionists can’t win the debate, so they seek to silence their opponents. I have a science degree and am a Christian. Creation science is, in my opinion, superior, and a whole lot more fun than secular science. Secular science has to support the non-god world-view, lest it become objective and honest and say, “I don’t know for sure how this world came into being…” and the way becomes open for non-threatening debate from Christian scientists. There is so much freedom in stating that one does not know something. The onus is not on the proving or disproving, it is in the pursuit of the truth, and the education system should be at the forefront of freedom of thought and critical thinking instead of stifling it. What is the motivation and real issue that this proposed legislation represents? Why is this debate so unsettling to the secular scientists? Really, if the Biblical account of the origins of the world and universe is so wrong, why hasn’t that been proven and sent packing with egg on its face? No one needs to shield children from hearing more than one viewpoint. Christian children have not been censored from the evolutionary teaching, what is wrong with non-Christian children hearing about the account of Creationism, with evidence from science to confer? We now have to label science as secular or Christian, and the personal bias of the individual scientist is very much the issue in what the “scientific” conclusions drawn will be.
Thank-you for such an informative article about the Exeter meeting and for an even bigger eye opener in the online forum about the meeting.
Unfortunately for a group so interested in science education, it seems that the BCSE has few science educators and even fewer school teachers within its ranks.
This leads me to believe that the BCSE is more about being a vehicle to drive its atheism rather than to "protect science." After all, its leader is a business man and an atheist.
Ekklesia appears to be about protecting the rights of all faiths rather than Christianity. As for the compromising clerics, I know those only too well as I am a member of the Church of England. Surely the latter is at least a part of the reason why church attendance is shrinking in certain places of worship?
I teach both RE and Science in a state school. I would never condone creationism in science, but am happy to teach it when studying Christian belief in RE. I also teach the Hindu creation story: "Floating on the ocean, resting on the great snake Ananta, is Lord Vishnu. Some say that a lotus flower springs from his navel and from this comes Lord Brahma. And it is from Lord Brahma that all creation comes" Of course we are all entitled to our different beliefs, but you must recognise them as beliefs and not scientific fact. For those of you who can understand the science, have a look at this link: [link deleted as per feedback rules].
Thank you for your feedback on this article. Regarding your point that we should not equate our personal beliefs with scientific fact, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Creationists generally—and my colleagues and I within Creation Ministries International—certainly recognise the difference between our presuppositions and empirical scientific facts. In particular, it is axiomatic for us that Genesis 1-11 is a Divinely-inspired, wholly accurate historical record, albeit not a detailed scientific textbook account of origins. We interpret and understand the scientific facts within that framework (or worldview).
Evolutionists also interpret the scientific data within a presuppositional framework of history. For the believer in molecules-to-man evolution, as I used to be, it is a given (i.e. an unquestioned assumption) that the life has been purposelessly, mindlessly, gradually diversifying and incrementally increasing in complexity during the course of hundreds of millions of years. The same scientific facts available to the creationist are interpreted differently to fit within this paradigm,
Take fossils, for example. Both groups can agree on the their geographical and geological context, their size, shape, constituent materials, appearance, texture and so on—these are the indisputable and uncontroversial facts. But once we ask questions like, “How long ago was this fossil formed? What were the processes that led to its burial and its preservation?” we have stepped outside the realm of empirical scientific investigation and are offering speculation about past events, necessarily informed by our prior beliefs about earth history. In a very real sense, then, one should question whether evolution and evolutionism should have a place in science lessons; I refer you this insightful article which further deals with this and related issues in education.
I wonder if anyone other than christians listen? I have two science degrees and have been battling for over 40 years since my conversion. Can I recommend professor E H Andrews BSc,PhD DSc FInstP.F.I.M article ‘Is Evolution Scientific’ Keep up the good work.
Thank you for your feedback. Non-Christians do read the material on our site and often comment—and argue! Occasionally, we even see people have a change of heart on these issues, some even coming to faith in Christ. The book you mention by Edgar Andrews was helpful but is now quite dated (1977) and, I believe, out of print. However, the material at http://creation.com is designed to be bang up-to-date and to equip people like you to share and defend their faith effectively, and to bring rigorous, logical argument to bear on the science/Bible issues that rear their heads in secular culture. I commend to you our Topics page, if you haven’t already found it, as a guide to the veritable online library of information on this site.
Why did Adam and Eve hide among the trees of the garden? They did something wrong, knew it, and being naked (exposed) and feared the creator.
[E]volutionists are doing likewise: they teach something wrong, know it, and being naked (exposed) and fear a creationist, so they run in the jungle and hide among the trees of evolution.
Indeed, it is true that many evolutionists are aware of their Creator, but choose to reject Him as Creator (or profess to serve Him while rejecting His revelation in the biblical book of Genesis).
Many will agree with you that non-believers who are evolutionists seek to hide behind the supposed 'science' of evolution. And some of the more infamous proponents of evolution may, as you say, be running scared of creationists; certainly, it is well known that leading 'evangelists' for the evolutionary cause (such as Richard Dawkins) are unwilling to meet creationists in debate, claiming that to do so would be to 'give them the oxygen of publicity'!
As Dawkins said many years ago, "Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist" (Dawkins, R., The Blind Watchmaker, W.W. Norton, New York, p. 6, 1986), but this delusion would be shattered in a public, no-holds-barred discussion of the scientific facts with an informed scientist who is a biblical creationist.
What are Christians in the UK doing?! That they let something like this happen! Are they putting up a fight at least?
I regret to say that many within the Church have surrendered history (and the right to teach it, certainly in relation to ultimate origins) to the secular 'powers that be'; far from fighting, churchians are often to be found aiding and abetting the arch-secularists!
However, all is not lost and there are many individual Christians in the UK who are arming and equipping themselves with good information produced by organisations such as CMI (not least the creation.com website with its encyclopedic scope and numerous helpful articles). For more on what individuals could be practically doing, whether in the UK or in other countries, see the list of suggestions here.