UK decides intelligent design is not science

| 20 Comments

The UK government has followed in the footsteps of the Dover ruling by confirming that “intelligent design”, aka “neo-creationism” will not be taught in schools as part of the National Curriculum, reports VNU Net.

“The government is clear that creationism and intelligent design are not part of the science National Curriculum programmes of study and should not be taught as science.”

Recently the Council or Europe released a report addressing their concerns with “Intelligent Design”.

The Register is even more direct by declaring that “UK Gov boots intelligent design back into ‘religious’ margins”

The government response comes in response to a petition asking

We received a petition asking:

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to prevent the use of creationist and other pseudo-scientific propaganda in Government-funded schools.”

Details of Petition:

“The Prime Minister has recently spoken about the importance of science education in the UK. Creationism & Intelligent design are greatly featured in the media and are being used disingenuously to portray science & the theory or evolution as being in crisis when they are not. Moreover groups such as Truth in Science are targeting our nation’s children and their science education with material that is not only non-scientific but have been rejected by the scientific community. These ideas therefore do not constitute science, cannot be considered scientific education and therefore do not belong in the nation’s science classrooms.”

The government response:

The Government remains committed ensuring that young people have an understanding of the importance of science and the world around them.

Science is a core subject of the National Curriculum throughout every Key Stage. The National Curriculum secures for all pupils, irrespective of background and ability, an entitlement to a range of areas of learning. Its aim is to develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes necessary for each pupil’s self-fulfilment and development as an active and responsible citizen. It makes expectations for learning and attainment explicit to pupils, parents, teachers, governors, employers and the public, and establishes national standards for the performance of all pupils. All materials that support the teaching, learning and assessment of primary and secondary education, can be found on the National Curriculum website (new window).

The Government is aware that a number of concerns have been raised in the media and elsewhere as to whether creationism and intelligent design have a place in science lessons. The Government is clear that creationism and intelligent design are not part of the science National Curriculum programmes of study and should not be taught as science. The science programmes of study set out the legal requirements of the science National Curriculum. They focus on the nature of science as a subject discipline, including what constitutes scientific evidence and how this is established. Students learn about scientific theories as established bodies of scientific knowledge with extensive supporting evidence, and how evidence can form the basis for experimentation to test hypotheses. In this context, the Government would expect teachers to answer pupils’ questions about creationism, intelligent design, and other religious beliefs within this scientific framework.

We will be publishing guidance for schools, on the way creationism and intelligent design relate to science teaching. It will be possible to ensure that the weight of scientific opinion is properly presented. The guidance will be available on the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority website in due course.

20 Comments

Great. I am looking forward to Dembski’s reaction.

I am looking forward to Dembski’s reaction.

A measured thoughtful response filled with assurances that ID will most assuredly survive this minor setback and continue to grow and survive. Along with the other leading lights of the movement and the growing groundswell of support across the US and Europe he will assuage the nervous readers at UD that all is well in Disneyland, the man behind the curtain has it all under control. Please ignore the rats scurrying past your feet and continue with your assigned tasks.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Moreover groups such as Truth in Science are targeting our nation’s children and their science education with material that is not only non-scientific but have been rejected by the scientific community.

Truth in science is in fact a front for young Earth creationism in the UK. Professor Andy McIntosh has conducted a number of seminars for AiG at Liberty University and holds fairly extreme YEC views. Stuart Burgess is also a well known YEC.

Like Dover, the intentions of groups such as Truth in Science become clear when one examines them more closely.

http://www.truthinscience.org.uk/si[…]view/191/82/

Isn’t this just slightly old news? Anyways, it seems to me Dembski has preemptively responded with alarmist predictions that soon IDists will be getting sent to jail in Europe – citing the recent conviction of some jerkwad who, as it turns out, is actually a Holocaust denier, an antisemite, and general all-round nice guy. That he’s some flavour of creationist is almost incidental (though unsurprising).

A measured thoughtful response filled with assurances that ID will most assuredly survive this minor setback and continue to grow and survive.

LOL

good one.

like his measured, thoughtful link to the Pleasurian supporters of ID.

The Brits are behaving in true non-ideological fashion and being plain about it. WAD, and his minions will have enough grist for the mill. Over at the disco, Casey, Logan now twiddling theri thumbs after the GG fiasco, will have a new theme for their dog-and-pony act. Fun ain’t it?

Fun ain’t it?

like throwing water balloons at clowns kinda fun?

like playing whack-a-mole kinda fun?

*shrug*

gets boring after a while.

It’s not like this is anything of a surprise. The UK has had a secular standard cirriculum for decades if I’m not mistaken.

You would probably not recognise the UK National Curriculum and related legislation as “secular” in the US sense. A daily “act of worship” would not go down well under the US constitution.

I presume Dembski will be describing our new (son of a Chiurch of Scotland Minister) PM as an agent of atheism?

Richard C

Minor point, and in the interest of denying fuel to the IDiots: “UK determines that ID is not science” is more like it. “Decide” is a word that allows that there may have been a choice to make, as if they might have said, “Well anyway, why bother the established scientists? Let’s go with the “Darwinists” instead of the new guys.”

A judge, yes, “decides” these matters, simply because that’s the sort of terminology used judicially, what with “decisions” and all that. As in, Jones did make a “decision”, however one gathers from his “decision” that the “determination of facts” led to said “decision”.

While I don’t know what went into the UK’s acknowledgement, determination, whatever, that ID is not science, I expect that in this case it’s more a matter of “determination of fact” than making a “decision” either judicially or as some kind of voluntary choice.

I wish I could say that I am being pedantic, but we’ve seen too many word games played by IDists to wish to give them any ambiguities that they might pounce upon.

Glen D http://geocities.com/interelectromagnetic

Puppy Wrote:

It’s not like this is anything of a surprise. The UK has had a secular standard cirriculum for decades if I’m not mistaken.

Actually the UK school system is very non-secular. As Richard C points out, a daily assembly (usually religious) is required. Religious Education is also compulsory. Tony Blair’s government has encouraged the growth of faith schools and even before this, many state schools were run by the Church of England.

The response to this petition is in line with responses from the Schools ministers from all three major parties over the past year and from the schools standards inspectorate, Ofsted.

Strangely “Truth In Science” have not reported this response on their website yet but continue their quotemining of the National Curriculum.

You might be interested to know that the petition was submitted by James Rocks - a member of ‘Science Just Science’ - a group inspired to a large extent by the Panda’s Thumb and the work of you guys across the water.

Another active British Group is the British Centre for Science Education:

http://www.bcseweb.org.uk

Our ‘National’ Curriculum does not apply in Scotland - which has become the latest target for American-inspired creationists looking for a ‘victory’ somewhere in the ‘civilised’ world:

http://www.sundayherald.com/news/he[…]7583.0.0.php

Sorry - meant to give a link to ‘Science Just Science:

www.justscience.org.uk

As others have noted, the UK’s education system is hardly “secular”, although it isn’t exactly approaching evangelical fervour either.

It is interesting to note that the UK does not have the constitutional road blocks to the teaching of straight creationism that the USA does. Therefore, ID is pretty much an unknown entity in these parts. There is simply no reason for its existence as there’s no anti-establishment of religion laws to dodge (and lets face it, that’s all ID is ultimately for).

The established Church of England in this country also rejects creationism outright, with the Archbishop of Canterbury speaking out against it on at least one occasion.

Andrew

It’s been a while since I was home, but what about the school set up in Gateshead and financed by some sort of loony carpet millionaire? It was much touted by Tony Blair for its outstading results, which Richard Dawkins later determined was because the school, through a veil of religious selection, was actually selecting for ability. Anyway, that school was happily teaching some form of ID. Has it now stopped?

Nope, it’s happily carrying on, as far as I know. I was under the impression that it never really taught ID, just straight creationism (but they may have switched just to sound more sciencey). The materals of which are hidden away when Ofsted come to visit. The loony millionaire is one Peter Vardy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_[…]sinessman%29

Our ‘National’ Curriculum does not apply in Scotland - which has become the latest target for American-inspired creationists looking for a ‘victory’ somewhere in the ‘civilised’ world:

Ken Ham is targeting Scotland very soon:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/eve[…]vent_ID=5640

Answers in Genesis is very active among evangelical churches in the UK. YECism is particular prevalent in Northern Ireland, even in mainstream churches

Erm, since it’s happily carrying on, and since the gov’t know full well it is (eg Dawkins’ programme, numerous press reports), and since a school could hardly hide direct evidence that creationism and/or ID is being taught in science classes from govt inspectors without some sort of collusion, what price _any_ statement of intent from such a govt? Bastards the lot of them.

Millipj, good point.

However, in the CoE primary school I attended they were very open to celebrating non-Christian religious festivals such as Diwali (sp) and Ramadan and there was never any talk of Creationism. I think the assembly was the only religious thing they had and even then it was mostly the typical CoE sedate “and the moral of the story was” type stuff.

Curriculum-wise, it was pretty non-religious. Although we did learn about religion, it wasn’t taught as science, for example.

With my 12 year old about to finish his first year at secondary school - Bristol’s John Cabot City Technology College, about to become a City Academy - this is of considerable concern to me. His previous school (which was a perfectly ordinary general UK infant/junior school as far as I’m aware) did have a morning assembly, but it wasn’t exactly what I’d call ‘religious’ (CofE) as it included acknowledgement of other ‘faiths’ - as did his RE classes, which covered Islam, Judaism, Xtianity, Hinduism and Shinto. (I should add he’s been brought up as an atheist, understanding that there are people who need a religious crutch to give their life meaning, but to question everything and to discard it if it doesn’t make sense or stand up to scrutiny.)

We’re fairly sure that the College wouldn’t want to risk its reputation for scientific and technological excellence - but the worry is there. Kai knows what ID and creationism are (he laughed in disbelief when I explained them to him) and I’ve asked him to let me know if any of his tutors even touch the subjects other than in a comparative religion class, but I find it appalling that I should have to go to such lengths to safeguard his education.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on July 1, 2007 1:29 PM.

Haldane’s non-dilemma was the previous entry in this blog.

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