Creationism is not an answer

I am with the government and others when it comes to criticising the teaching of creationism within schools in the UK.

Education Secretary Alan Johnson deserves praise for his robust criticism of schools who are teaching creationism, as does the national secular society. Read HERE for more details.

There is within the teaching of RE the possiblilty of teaching concepts about faith and that people used to turn to religion in the past to answer questions that were beyond their understanding. However, schools choosing to throw away Darwin's theories on evolution are doing children no favours at all.

Creationists often point out the there are flaws in Darwin's theories. However, Darwin has been proved correct in almost everything, yet creationists point to one thing that Darwin has got wrong and claim it proves their point. In the same way, creationists believe that all of modern science is wrong wrong. Creationists claim the earth is just a few thousand years old whereas geologists, using proven scientific dating methods will tell us it is many hundreds of millions of years old. Again, there is no proof in what creationists say. In the last ten years, DNA analysis techniques applied to many organisms have demonstrated the genetic relationship between all forms of known life (humans share 50% of their DNA with yeast, 96% with chimpanzees), yet creationists disagree with even these clear facts. Even if the theory of evolution was disproved, this would not imply separate human creation, which is the main feature of creationism.

So, perhaps there is a role for mentioning creationism as one opinion in RE, but it should be kept well away from the science lab. Creationsm is an unproven theory whereas science deals in provable facts that can be tested. Let's keep religion out of science.
P.S. Thanks to Iain Dale for being my proof reader floors/flaws no ammended. Cheers


Rob said...

There is too much religion in schools anyway without creationism. You didn't mention intelligent design either. It is a mad world.

Iain Dale said...

I think you mean flaws...

dizzy said...

OH dear Nich, I'm really sorry to have to inform you of this, but you're understanding of "science" is a little bit wrong.

Science does not deal with provable facts. Actually "science" doesn't deal with proofs at all. If you take that route you end up with, as Hume rightly pointed out, the problem of induction. e.g. All crows I have observed are black. Therefore all crows are black.

Induction is not science, and sadly, that is what Darwin's theory actually is at it's base if one takes the approach and view that it is "proven". Actually, Darwin's theory has not been proven at all. If you look at the history of evolutionary theory, it has changed considerably.

The reason it has changed considerably is because science doesn't deal with proven facts. What science deals with is the falsification of hypotheses. Science attempts to disprove a hypothesis and when it fails to do so it makes the hypothesis stronger, but it can never make it truly proven because there should always be a logical opposition to it as a theory.

As it happens, falsification and logical opposition is where creationism, and dialetical materialism for that matter, fall over. For they cannot be disporved either logically or in terms of testability. There is no test that can be devised that can penetrate and attempt to disprove the teleological argument for the existence of God, which is, essentially, at the very base of creationism, and or, Intelligent Deisgn (which is classical 17th century Descartian rationalism anyway).

Anyways, like I say, science does not deal with proof, it deals with the attempts to falsify theories, or, more rightly, deduction instead of induction.

Personally, I have no problem with Descartes ideas being talked about in biology lessons as part of an historical narrative of biological and philsophical understanding about the nature of nature. I think we need to make the distinction between Descartes and Creationism though, for there is one.

beepbeepitsme said...

RE: evolution

Evolution Rocks!