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Education United Kingdom Science

Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools 649

sandbagger sends this news from io9: In what's being heralded as a secular triumph, the U.K. government has banned the teaching of creationism as science in all existing and future academies and free schools. The new clauses, which arrived with very little fanfare last week, state that the "requirement for every academy and free school to provide a broad and balanced curriculum in any case prevents the teaching of creationism as evidence based theory in any academy or free school." So, if an academy or free school teaches creationism as scientifically valid, it's breaking the funding agreement to provide a "broad and balanced curriculum." ... In addition to the new clauses, the UK government clarified the meaning of creationism, reminding everyone that it's a minority view even within the Church of England and the Catholic Church.
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Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

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  • Yep. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @06:23PM (#47267207) Homepage

    Because sometimes, just sometimes, we actually have a brain.

  • by Sasayaki ( 1096761 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @06:36PM (#47267327)

    Britain Rules Teaching Children Known Falsehoods In Science Class For Religious Reasons Now Deemed Inappropriate

    Good. Honestly, though, this isn't a huge deal for Britain. Almost every developed country has this policy either formally or de-facto.

    If this came out of the US, though, holy balls it would be big. The US seems to be the only country where a sizable body of Christians are allowed to lie for Jesus to impressionable children, or worse, genuinely believe creationist excrement and are still permitted to use their authority to teach it to others.

  • by TsuruchiBrian ( 2731979 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @06:52PM (#47267477)

    You could just read TFA:

    I guess....

    You can claim that God made biology possible by creating a universe in which biology could make them exist, but you can't claim that God "created" animals at all.

    This seems like a pretty dumb rule. If I claim human beings created computers, am I wrong because it turns out that computers are actually directly created by industrial machines?

    By saying you think God created the universe you are still saying that God created all life (and probably that he knew he was creating life), but that evolution is the mechanism by which life was created (i.e. evolution can still be true even if God created the animals).

    So really it seems that the heart of the issue is more to do with whether you are allowed to claim evolution is false, and less to do with claiming that God created life (which I would assume every religious person believes).

  • by hsthompson69 ( 1674722 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @06:53PM (#47267481)

    Evolution is falsifiable - find a modern rabbit fossil in the Precambrian.

    Just because you can't setup a laboratory experiment for something *doesn't* mean you can't test it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @07:01PM (#47267557)

    Science is not consensus, but non-experts would do well to heed scientific consensus, as it's likely to take them closer to the truth. Not always, but it's the best we've got.

  • by hsthompson69 ( 1674722 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @07:14PM (#47267653)

    Science, at its most basic, requires falsifiability.

    The "God" question (or the "which God" question), is not subject to falsifiability, and therefore, clearly doesn't belong in a science class. If that question should come up, it should be clearly answered with "gods are not falsifiable, so they don't belong in science class - ask a theologian or philosopher".

    Now if by denying a 7 day creation period for the planet in science class, we're implicitly denying the existence of God, and your kids pick up on that, I'm not terribly sympathetic. Science may not speak to whether or not God exists, but it has no responsibility to avoid contradicting any particular mythology with the scientific method.

  • by hsthompson69 ( 1674722 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @07:23PM (#47267739)

    You found a modern rabbit fossil in the Precambrian? Pics, or it didn't happen.

    Oh, and "the fossil was obviously disturbed and moved to a different strata in the earth" is a *valid* explanation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @07:27PM (#47267785)

    Actually, the best we've got is the scientific method

    Not for normal people who have no time to go around designing their own experiments or constantly reading about others' findings.

    but non-experts would do well to insist on the scientific method rather than a vote of a group of people in lab coats.

    Yes, and when there is scientific consensus, it's a good bet that the scientific method was used.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @07:55PM (#47268029)

    Nope. You can find plenty of examples by doing your own research, I'm not doing it for you. It won't take long, a simple Google search for "out of place" fossils. When you look at results you will find plenty of examples that are either discounted, "explained" away, or outright covered up.

    And, you, as most other ardent Darwinian's won't give half a thought to the bigger picture and happily swallow the "explanation" knowing full well it doesn't make sense.

    You were offered a chance to present evidence and refused. You lose the argument.

  • by riverat1 ( 1048260 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @08:11PM (#47268157)

    Oh please! There are thousands of things in climate science that are falsifiable. It's going to take falsifying more than a few of them to discredit AGW. I suggest you get started.

  • Re:Yep. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @08:21PM (#47268219) Journal

    Like a sensible education in the sciences?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @08:29PM (#47268275)

    can you think of a repeatable experiment that would prove or disprove that there is a creator?

    Can you think of a repeatable experiment that would prove or disprove that there are magical unicorns?

    See, it's not up to science to prove some imaginary thing you or anyone else comes up with. It's your idea, so you prove it. If you can do that, science will suddenly become interested. But, seeing as how the "God" superstition has exactly as much fact backing it up as the magical unicorn idea, that is to say, none whatsoever, the balls in your court. Not in science's.

    Here's the metric: reproducible, consensually experiential, testable. None of "I had an idea", " I read it in an old book" or "someone swore to me it was true" equals "it's Science!"

  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:23PM (#47268583)

    Yes, you could teach it in a balanced way by looking at several creation myths from various religions, include it in a discussion of the enlightenment and maybe more people will leave HS understanding that religion and science split because blind faith and reason are fundamentally incompatible.

    Yep, you can look at the various creation myths, spot the similarities (throw in Pastafarianism for shits and giggles), compare these myths to science and get students to spot the flaws.... The fundies would shit a brick.

    The big problem behind creationism as science is that you're not meant to think critically about it. You're not meant to question it. Its entirely faith based. You have to accept, with no evidence that god exists before any of the rest of it makes sense.

  • Re:Yep. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:41PM (#47268691)

    correct. religious bullshit should never be taught to children.

  • Re:Yep. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:59PM (#47268789)

    But this move does not prevent the teaching of creationism in British schools, it only prevents it from being presented as an scientific theory. It can be taught in other classes that aren't classed as a science (like literature or art). However Creationism isn't really big in Britain where people tend to be more grounded in reality.

    Which is absolutely fine. Ideal in fact. No possible grounds for religious discrimination defences. Less wiggle room for the god squad to ooze through.

    Teach creationism,. teach the world is actually made of custard, teach that the planet is hollow, and the illuminati live inside working each and every person with strings made of graphine that pass through solid material.

    Just NOT IN SCIENCE class.
    And teaching it to a sensible minimum standard with nationally approved curriculum and nationwide tests means the "but we rally know the truth children.. don't we" nudge nudge is also not allowed.
    Coz' then they slip towards the bottom in science in the league tables, and wave goodbye to all those nice fee paying pupils.

  • by able1234au ( 995975 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @10:08PM (#47268839)

    Sorry you lost your wife and son. I think experiences such as yours shows the background and reason why humans had to invent gods. Originally those gods were in the Sun, or Rocks or Trees or anything else mystical, and they gave comfort to humans. Which is fine, but let's not confuse that comfort with something that actually exists.

  • by Ann O'Nymous-Coward ( 460094 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @10:56PM (#47269003)

    I see. According to you, "liberty" = "attempts to pass off blatantly unscientific bullshit as science".

    No doubt your other definitions include "war" = "peace", "freedom" = "slavery", and "ignorance" = "strength".

  • by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @11:35PM (#47269167)
    I too am sorry for your pain. It means nothing to reality, though. Reality is reality, it doesn't care about your feelings or mine, your wishes or mine, your faith or mine.... it is reality. In reality, there is no evidence, and never has been any evidence, that God exists... none, not a single shred, ever in the history of the human species. Teaching that there is to a bunch of impressionable children, should be considered a vile form of abuse.
  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday June 19, 2014 @12:09AM (#47269331) Homepage Journal

    Wow. There isn't a better post one could write as an example of cognitive dissonance.

    I feel sad for you. Trapped in a belief system that you will see you dead family again instead of actually moving on.

  • Re:Yep. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @02:05AM (#47269723)

    Because there is great public support for teaching the bible in some states, it's easy for schools to violate the constitution and get away with it simply because no official dares to take action against them and face a career-killing backlash. In your case, the school probably just declared it a 'bible as literature' course and denied it was in any way religious. A paper-thin excuse, but with sufficient public support that is all it needs.

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