The following article was posted on 19th July. Coincidentally (we assume), the UK’s Independent featured an article on 20th July titled: “Teaching creationism: Indoctrination is a form of child abuse.”1 We have commented on such ludicrous and inflammatory claims on this site before, see here. Ironically, the author of the piece in the Independent writes: “Real Education is about open-ended questioning and challenging the mind. … Blinkered, limited, propagandist, religious thinking attempts to hold back or stop that process. Brainwashing is a form of child abuse. It should have no place in any place of learning.” One can only marvel at the self-serving hypocrisy exhibited here, which is tantamount to saying “You are free to ask questions, free to think for yourself and to make up your own mind—as long as you agree with exactly what we evolutionist propagandists are telling you!” Such attitudes plainly demonstrate the tyranny of tolerance. Furthermore, they demonstrate that Dominic Statham’s article, far from being an exaggeration of the state of things in education, is a much-needed clarion call—not only to Christian people, but to all those who genuinely value both freedom of speech and freedom of education.
Evidence for Creation now banned from UK religious education classes
In January 2012, we reported here that, following a campaign by the British Humanist Association, the UK’s Department for Education had revised the regulations relating to government funded schools.2 We stated, based on press reports at the time, that those ‘free schools’ that teach creation or intelligent design in science lessons will, from now on, have their financial support withdrawn.3 However, now that the new free schools funding agreement has been published, it’s clear that the situation is far worse than was originally apparent. The new clause (24A) actually states that
‘[the school] shall not make provision in the context of any subject for the teaching, as an evidence-based view or theory, of any view or theory that is contrary to established scientific and/or historical evidence and explanations.’4
Since it would be understood that the theory of evolution is ‘established science’ and that ‘any subject’ would include Religious Education, it would appear that this effectively prohibits any discussion of the scientific evidence for creation in any classroom.
Hence, the only view of origins that can be presented to the youngsters as ‘evidenced based’ is the one that, in the words of Richard Dawkins, implies that the universe has ‘no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference’, that we are no more than biochemical machines ‘dancing to our DNA’ and that people are not responsible for their actions.5 Indeed, they are to be taught that the only rational explanation for their existence is the belief system that paved the way for the killing of millions in Soviet Russia,6 World War I,7 World War II,8 and the Holocaust.9 At the same time, teachers are forbidden from telling their students that there is any evidence for the view that people are made in the image of God (and that they therefore have intrinsic value), or that the creationist world-view that led to the rise of science10 was based on anything other than religious ignorance. Moreover, it would seem inadmissible to teach that the practice of the Christian faith, which led to the abolition of slavery, the founding of hospitals, schools and many other charitable institutions, that taught honesty, respect and self-sacrifice, was based on anything other than a belief in unsupportable myths.
It is very hard to see how this kind of censorship can be justified by rational argument. Can you imagine the scenario in which some student asks the teacher, “What are the scientific arguments presented by creationists?” What might be the answer? Perhaps the teacher would be honest and reply, “Well, I’m not allowed to tell you, otherwise our school will lose its funding. However, if you talk to me outside the school gates, I can answer your question.”
According to the results of a survey reported in The Guardian, 29% of UK teachers believe that creationism and intelligent design should be taught in science classes. Moreover, nearly 50% said they believed that excluding alternatives to evolution was counter-productive and would alienate pupils from science.11 If this is what teachers feel about science lessons, how will they react to the exclusion of such discussions from religious education classes?
The depths to which anti-creationists will now stoop to prevent children hearing about alternatives to evolution beggar belief. For example, simply because he expressed the view that children should be allowed to raise doubts about the theory of evolution in their science classes and discuss alternative views of origins, committed evolutionist Professor Michael Reiss was forced to resign his position as the Royal Society’s Director of Education. Dr Jerry Bergman, in his book, Slaughter of the Dissidents,12 has documented numerous cases of Darwin dissenters in the USA facing demotion, loss of career or job, denial of degrees, and even personal threats.
Moreover, it is surely significant that all this is happening at a time when there have never been so many scientific facts challenging the Darwinian paradigm. The more the evidence points away from naturalistic processes as the explanation for our existence, the more desperate secularists become and the more draconian the regulations they press for in their attempts to hide this.
The Altenberg 16
Recently, evolutionist Suzan Mazur published a book entitled, The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry.13 (See Walter ReMine’s excellent review in the January 2012 edition of Journal of Creation.14) The Altenberg 16 is a group of top university academics who met together at a symposium held at Altenberg in Austria in 2008. According to Mazur, these leading evolutionary scientists ‘recognize that the theory of evolution which most practicing biologists accept and which is taught in classrooms today, is inadequate in explaining our existence.’15 Some of the delegates would clearly go further. According to molecular biologist, Professor Antonio Lima-de-Faria, not only is the Darwinian paradigm wrong, but it ‘actually hinders discovery of the mechanism of evolution.’16 Professor Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini spoke for a number in stating simply that natural selection ‘is not the way new species and new classes and new phyla originated.’17 Professor Jerry Fodor confessed, ‘I don’t think anybody knows how evolution works.’18 If scientists can’t point to natural process that can drive evolution, why should evolution be taught as science in school classrooms?
The centre piece of the Altenberg symposium was a paper produced by Stuart Newman, Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy at New York Medical College.19 In this he proposed that complex life is the result of ‘self-organization’. But what is the evidence that such a process exists? Entering into the evolutionists’ mindset this is not difficult to answer:
(1) evolution is a fact
(2) undirected processes cannot explain the complexity of life
(3) evolution must, therefore, be the result of a directed, ‘self-organizing’ process.
It is, however, untenable that a natural process, capable of building something as complex as the human brain, is apparently unobservable.
A time to stand up and be counted
The Altenberg 16 are clearly not the only scientists who recognize the bankruptcy of Darwin’s theory.20 Indeed, there can be little doubt that many top academics know this and, moreover, they know that there is simply no tenable alternative theory. Government education ministers, generally, have little knowledge of science and rely on advisors. If they only hear from their advisors the view that evolution is established science, who can blame them for believing this to be true?
Those who have been gifted by God in scientific ability, and are privileged to hold high positions in our top academic institutions, have a serious responsibility to faithfully testify to the truth—as Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48). Unless such people make the facts clear to the government, the next generation will be raised believing all the same dogma that led to the most godless, despotic, murderous regimes ever known in history.
Update 7 December 2012
Evolution now mandatory in ‘Free Schools’
In November 2012, following pressure from the President of the Royal Society, the British Government announced its intention to make the teaching of evolution mandatory in ‘Free Schools’. A new clause in the ‘Free Schools Funding Agreement’ will require that the school “make provision for the teaching of evolution as a comprehensive, coherent and extensively evidenced theory”.21 Moreover, on the website of the Department for Education, it now states, “We do not expect creationism, intelligent design and similar ideas to be taught as valid scientific theories in any state funded school.”22
References and Notes
- http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/07/20/teaching-creationism-indoctrination-is-a-form-of-child-abuse/ Return to text.
- Statham, D., and Bell, P., Dawkins boasts over evolutionary dogma in schools, 21 January 2012; /dawkins-bha-schools-creation. Return to text.
- In the UK, ‘free schools’ are schools that have been set up by parents, teachers, charities and voluntary groups. They are partly funded by the government, but have a greater degree of autonomy than other government schools. Return to text.
- http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/freeschools/a0074737/free-schools-model-funding-agreement Return to text.
- Dawkins, R., River out of Eden, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London, p. 133, 1995. Return to text.
- Hall, R., Darwin’s impact—the bloodstained legacy of evolution, Creation 27(2):46–47, 2005. Return to text.
- Cosner, L., Darwinism and World War One, Creation 32(2):15–17, 2010. Return to text.
- Wieland, C., One Human Family, Creation Book Publishers, USA, pp. 66-71, 2011. Return to text.
- Bergman, J., Darwinism and the Nazi race Holocaust, Journal of Creation 13(2):101–111, August 1999. Return to text.
- Sarfati, J., Why does science work at all? Creation 31(3):12–14, June 2009. Return to text.
- Randerson, J., Creationism should be taught as science, say 29% of teachers, The Guardian, 7 November 2008; http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/nov/07/creationism-intelligent-design-religion. Return to text.
- Bergman, J., Slaughter of the Dissidents, Leafcutter Press, USA, 2008. Return to text.
- Mazur, S., The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry, North Atlantic Books, California, 2010. Return to text.
- ReMine, W.J., Desperate attempts to discover ‘the elusive process of evolution’, Journal of Creation 26(1):24-30, 2012. Return to text.
- Ref. 13, p. 19. Return to text.
- Ref. 13, p. 83. Return to text.
- Ref. 13, p. 314. Return to text.
- Ref. 13, p. 34. Return to text.
- Ref. 13, p. 12. Return to text.
- See for example, Shapiro, J.A., Evolution: A view from the 21st century, FT Press Science, USA, 2011. Return to text.
- Walker, P., Free schools must teach evolution, minsters announce, The Guardian, 30 November 2012; www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/nov/30/free-schools-teach-evolution-ministers. Return to text.
- www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/freeschools/freeschoolsfaqs/a0075656/free-schools-faqs-curriculum#faq5. Return to text.