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Intelligent Design Added to Primary School in Britain

Creationism gains foothold in schools

THE government has cleared the way for a form of creationism to be taught in Britain’s schools as part of the religious syllabus.

Lord Adonis, an education minister, is to issue guidelines within two months for the teaching of “intelligent design” (ID), a theory being promoted by the religious right in America.

Until now the government has not approved the teaching of the controversial theory, which contradicts Darwinian evolutionary theory, the basis of modern biology.

1/1/07 Update: Additional information from Truth in Science

As a side note, the famous Keele/Reading atheist philosopher Professor Antony Flew, who last year sparked a huge controversy by giving up atheism for deism, a move that was fitfully argued as untrue by the alarmed atheist movement, is one of the eggheads who encouraged the British government to start teaching ID.

It has emerged that 12 prominent academics wrote to Tony Blair and Alan Johnson, the education secretary, last month arguing that ID should be taught as part of science on the national curriculum.

They included Antony Flew, formerly professor of philosophy at Reading University; Terry Hamblin, professor of immunohaemotology at Southampton University; and John Walton, professor of chemistry at St Andrews University. In October Truth in Science was criticised for sending education packs to hundreds of schools across Britain explaining ID.

The packs — which included books and DVDs — were used by some unwary science teachers as teaching aids.

But Truth in Science in turn accuses Dawkins of pressuring ministers into promoting atheism through schools.

McIntosh said: “People like Dawkins are pushing atheism through schools, which is a religious view, and not a scientific one. Atheism is not the natural state of a scientist, since there have been scientists who have been theists both before and after Darwin.”

Lord Pearson, a Tory peer and supporter of ID, who asked the question that prompted Adonis’s statement, said: “Advances in DNA science show that the DNA molecule is so complicated that it could not have happened by accident. It shows there is a design behind it.”

Quick, call Judge John Jones and let him know. Obviously the Brits haven’t heard of his majesty’s ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover and how ID died as a result. ROFLMAO

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34 Responses to Intelligent Design Added to Primary School in Britain

  1. For what it’s worth I have quote from Richard Dawkins:

    I really have less trouble than some of my colleagues with so-called creation science being taught in the public schools as long as evolution is taught as well. By all means let creation science be taught in the schools

    Richard Dawkins
    Alabama Insert

  2. You have to wonder his journalism has gotten so dishonest and full of blatant biases.

    ID is “creationism” and simply an idea promoted by the religious right in America. Ummm, but Flew (a deist for famous former atheist) is supporting it in the UK. So Flew is part of the religious right in America, huh? Crazy how these extra dimensions work…that Flew could be a deist over the pond yet also in the US as part of the religious right!

    Needless to say- the top story above is commentary full of distortion not news reporting. The fact that the statements are so patently false is troublesome. You think a writer would realize some in his audience aren’t complete fools, right?

  3. By the way- didn’t a well known scientist come out recently to knock down the idea that Darwinian Evolution is the basis of modern biology?

    The claim that NDE is the basis of modern biology is fairly ridiculous on the surface. Would biology be put in a stand still if we were to get rid of the idea that blind, uncaring, undirected, accidental forces shaped all of biology? I seriously doubt the world would come crashing to a stop as some seem to almost claim.

  4. By the way- didn’t a well known scientist come out recently to knock down the idea that Darwinian Evolution is the basis of modern biology?

    Not just one, but several. The whole biological community tacitly admits this when the Reporters cameras are off. See:

    In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom

    Sal

  5. Anthony Flew was interviewed by Lee Strobel — online video here:

    http://www.leestrobel.com/

  6. Darwin v. Design Conferences coming up:

    http://www.discovery.org/scrip.....and%20News

    Shame I live in New Zealand and not the US :-(

  7. That really is an interesting remark from Dawkins, Sal–especially in light of what he said in this Times article. What could this possibly mean? Perhaps that he believes naturalistic evolution is in more trouble than it was ten years ago? Really, what else could it mean? Oops! :o

  8. Jason,

    I know all this “creationism” and “designer” drivel can be frustrating, but just be patient, stay the course, and talk sense to those who will listen.

  9. OK so kids are going to hear about ID at school. Who is going to teach it and what will they say? If the “establishment” writes the script, it won’t be ID that is taught but a parody of ID. This may immunize people against ever considering ID, much as Scripture lessons in some schools seems to do.

  10. idnet.com.au

    That is why Illustra Media has these wonderful videos so that ID gets taught right. That would be the best way to do it as we have an accurate idea of what is taught. Almost perfect quality control. Woohoo!

    Sal

  11. Do we think primary school students will watch UMOL?

    An English educator was quoted as saying about UMOL “I can’t show the kids this. The will obviously be convinced!”

  12. idnet.com.au

    I’m afraid you raise a valid point. All we can hope for is the kids will stand up and get in the face of the teachers who try to indoctrinate them. Seems to work quite well in America — see : New Tactic in Evolution Debate

    Nearly 30 years of teaching evolution in Kansas has taught Brad Williamson to expect resistance, but even this veteran of the trenches now has his work cut out for him when students raise their hands.

    That’s because critics of Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection are equipping families with books, DVDs, and a list of “10 questions to ask your biology teacher.”

    The intent is to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of students as to the veracity of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

    The result is a climate that makes biology class tougher to teach. Some teachers say class time is now wasted on questions that are not science-based. Others say the increasingly charged atmosphere has simply forced them to work harder to find ways to skirt controversy.
    ….
    Salina (Kansas) High School Central. When evolution comes up, students tune out: “They’ll put their heads on their desks and pretend they don’t hear a word you say.”
    ….
    they’re more outspoken…. They’ll say, ‘I don’t believe a word you’re saying.’ ”

    Kinda heart warming to see these kids refuse Darwinist indoctrination. I can only hope we’ll see the same amount of courage and determination over in the UK for students to receive a fair hearing of the truth.

  13. I know all this “creationism” and “designer” drivel can be frustrating, but just be patient, stay the course, and talk sense to those who will listen.

    My preference is to go on a hostile site, give my opinions, catch some flack, and respectfully defend my points. Problem is, it may go on for days, and I lose time for other pursuits.

    But I do it not so much to change the mind of the debater, but for the lurkers. I know of instances when I repeatedly stressed certain points on talk.origins, like proposing a particular metaphorical example for instance, and later heard it repeated by others there or elsewhere.

    An evidence that this occurs is that lately, we hear more materialist proponents mentioning the ‘spaghetti monster’ than in the past. That’s pretty obviously due to Dawkins’ increase in speaking engagements lately. Granted, Dawkins gets more exposure than most of us do, but the same principle applies, and that is (repeat this class),

    Make the arguments, correct the false premises, and someday, enjoy seeing major shifts in prevailing world views. We’re starting to see it now. And remember, don’t just preach to the choir, but to the skeptics, as well.

  14. An English educator was quoted as saying about UMOL, “I can’t show the kids this. They will obviously be convinced!”

    I think this is a key point about the fear of ID being considered in the public schools, whether in science class or not. Darwinists have had a monopoly on influencing young minds for a long time, and they don’t want to give this up. When the evidence for ID is presented in a clear, concise, logical way — especially with the superb visuals contained in UMOL that make some otherwise abstract concepts easy to grasp — a powerful inference to design is almost inescapable.

    This scares the pants off the high priests of Darwinism. Their only hope is misrepresentation and censorship, and they know it.

  15. Gil,

    Some of us have privately getting Unlocking the Mystery of Life (UMOL) into the hands of high school teachers in Virginia just so they learn what ID is. This is perfectly legal to give to teachers (not students).

    The reaction has been, UMOL is “too slick”. They had no commentary on its actual substance. Too funny.

    We’ve been distributing copies of Privileged Planet too. I think we’ve won some of the teachers over to the “Dark Side”.

    There are ways to get UMOL in the hands of thousands of public school children legally. An important route is through the churches and informal networks which the government can’t police. Isn’t the 1st amendment wonderful!

    If Illustra can sell it bulk to some of the distribution centers for around $5 a piece, it might be possible to get it in the hands of tens of thousands of students in the USA.

    It can be shown in the sunday schools and home schools and private schools. I’ve been giving copies to professors of religion, and their showing it in their classes.

    Just think of all the copies of UMOL that will be floating around in Dover and Cobb county in not too long.

    An English educator was quoted as saying about UMOL, “I can’t show the kids this. They will obviously be convinced!”

    Dang right. The truth is hard to run from.

  16. which contradicts Darwinian evolutionary theory, the basis of modern biology.

    NO COMMENT.

  17. OK so kids are going to hear about ID at school. Who is going to teach it and what will they say? If the “establishment” writes the script, it won’t be ID that is taught but a parody of ID.

    Not to worry. First of all, it is going to be taught in the religious studies program, so the resistance won’t be that great on the part of the teachers. True, it doesn’t belong in the religion section, that is a sort of backhanded slap at ID, but no matter, the tide has turned, and will run out fast. They are putting it there because the Darwinists say that is where it belongs, so be it. It’ll be like a running competition between two different subjects. If they do too poor a job of presenting it, at least a few students will make noise. The disagreements will spark student interest. All in all, it sounds like a lot of fun will be had.

  18. Just think, the Darwinists could have prevented all of this by just presenting a bit of the “overwhelming evidence” for blind watchmaker evolution. Such a simple thing to do.

  19. I guess I don’t share the optimism of those on this thread. There are a number of reasons that Darwinism is taught in the public schools to the exclusion of ID. Probably last on the list is that Darwinists want to indoctrinate kids in the fine points of atheism. First on the list of reasons why Darwin is taught in the public schools is that Darwinism is non-controversial and thus easy to teach. Don’t laugh. My first wife was a teacher and I can tell you that there is an incredible diversity of beliefs in the classroom, from Jehova’s Witnesses, to Mormoms, to Christian Scientists, to Roman Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Muslims, Jews, you name it. You guys may think there is a common thread that binds all these belief systems together, and maybe there is technically. But I can tell you, the minute you inject even a modicum of spiritualism into the educational setting, or even hint at spiritualism, you’ve just stepped on somebody’s toes (and it’s not just the pierced atheist in the back of the room). Parents of all faiths will come unglued. Believe me, parents will lose their cool if ID is taught in the public schools. People in this country do not want God discussed in the classroom for obvious reasons. I will go out on a limb and suggest that Darwin has kept the peace in the classroom. Sure, there are kids who will argue with the teacher about evolution and that’s good. But just wait until the Jehova’s Witness gets into it with the Evangelical over the beginning of life and, of course, the end of life as we know it. Even though ID doesn’t assume God as the designer, that’s certainly the implication and God help the biology teacher who has to negotiate that one. It will never happen.

    And that’s the truth, as Judith used to say if anyone remembers her anymore.

  20. Of course the key phrase is:

    “as part of the religious syllabus”

    i.e. not as science.

    It will be interesting to see what the guidelines are. I suspect they will be along the lines of – “explain that this is what some people believe”.

  21. #14,15

    Some of us have privately getting Unlocking the Mystery of Life (UMOL) into the hands of high school teachers in Virginia just so they learn what ID is. This is perfectly legal to give to teachers (not students).

    Sal, I’m not from USA so perhaps I’ve missed something; but why shouldn’t be legal to give students UMOL (or PP) at schools? I thought it would be sufficient that this is actually done during non-science lessons (in order to meet Jones’ statement). What am I missing?

    If Illustra can sell it bulk to some of the distribution centers for around $5 a piece, it might be possible to get it in the hands of tens of thousands of students in the USA.

    But let see the problem from a worlwide view. Has Illustra plans for translating UMOL to other western languages such as Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish?

  22. Barret1 in #19. I think you missed the point of the article that says ID will be taught as part of the “religious syllabus”. I assume that the religious syllabus describes what “people believe”, not “what is true about spiritual realm”. No Mormon student is going to be offended if his protestant school teacher teaches that Joseph Smith founded the Mormon church, and no Muslim will be offended if taught by the same teacher that Ramadan involves fasting. A class can be descriptive without the course material taking a position for or against.

  23. To Kairos,

    It would be perfectly legal to show “Unlocking…” and “TPP” in a public school during school time.

    I have been letting people borrrow my copies to help me implement that plan- to go to local high schools and see if we can get an assembly of students to watch the videos.

  24. Barrett1:
    Even though ID doesn’t assume God as the designer, that’s certainly the implication and God help the biology teacher who has to negotiate that one.

    Umm, although that may be an inference one may draw, it certainly is not an implication (that the designer is “God”).

    And I would say that the people who infer that have been indoctrinated to do so- that is hear “God” when they hear ID.

    Thankfully education cures the ignorance borne of indoctrination. And once ID is presented in schools, in any classroom, it will migrate to its proper place in the science classrooms.

    And that is why the anti-IDists will fight (in the USA anyway) to keep ID out of schools, period.

  25. I’ve missed something; but why shouldn’t be legal to give students UMOL (or PP) at schools?

    There is the formal law and then some major grey areas. If a teacher gave the kids this material it might be considered an attempt at conversion by some parents, and the parents might file a complaint or lawsuit, and even if the courts found the teacher innocent, the teacher’s job comes in jeopardy. It’s not just the law, but primarily how the parents respond. For example in some districts, the law is regularly circumvented or school standards ignored when there are near unanimous majorities of pro-ID pro-Creation Science parent/teacher associations. In other districts, the law gets circumvented by the Darwinists, and constitutional rights of pro-ID kids are regularly abridged or ignored or otherwise infringed on…

    The legal alternatives are equal access principles where students distribute the videos to other students on school grounds. This can be done on non-class room hours or even classroom hours provided a number of conditions are met.

    In Virginia, we’re just getting spooled up to fully exploit the church and sunday school route, home school, private school route. We are looking for donors, but Viriginia churches have lots of money. (Sheesh, McLean Bible alone meets in a 90 million dollar complex)….

    If the kids become especially enthusiastic, they’ll start spreading the word and possibly help in the distribution.

    Given that some parents are hell-bent on having their kids indoctrinated with Darwinism, I really wouldn’t want to offend or step in the way of their determination to do so. It’s not my business and much as I dislike what they’re doing, I respect their rights to make Darwinists of their kids. Thus if the distributions ever begin on school grounds, it would have to be in friendly way and only to kids who really want the material. But we’re not even there yet…

  26. Has Illustra plans for translating UMOL to other western languages such as Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish?

    Tom Woodward (of Darwin Strikes Back) informs me it has been translated into 26 languages including Chinese. He is encouraging me to distribute copies to the large number of international students on the college campus. Sheesh, there ain’t enough hours in the day!

  27. 27
    EndoplasmicMessenger

    Scordova,

    My daughters go to a private school near George Mason, just west on Braddock. They recently had a presentation on Creationism. I didn’t attend so I can’t give any details. I wonder if you or anyone from the IDEA Club would be interested in give a presentation on Intelligent Design? I would guess that they would be open to a slightly different point of view.

  28. Thanks Sal,

    it seems to me that anyway there are more and more possibilities to allow students to access ID stuff.

    Tom Woodward (of Darwin Strikes Back) informs me it has been translated into 26 languages including Chinese. He is encouraging me to distribute copies to the large number of international students on the college campus. Sheesh, there ain’t enough hours in the day!

    Great news!
    Could you kindly provide some information of how to have access to them?

    Is it available any site for downloading like it is possible for theapologiaproject?

  29. Kairos,

    The number I gave you was from an informal conversation I had with Tom at a DI function in June, 2006. I believe the number 26 is in the ballpark of active projects, but apparently not all have been fully completed.

    Here is the latest as far as what’s available or soon to be released:

    See: Illustra Media Languages.

    Cambodian, Chinese, Czech, Polish, Russian, Slovakian, Spanish, Thai

    :-)

  30. EndoplamsicMessenger,

    I think something can be arranged. I have the e-mail address for you that you provided when you registered at Uncommon Descent. I’ll try to be in touch with you today.

    Sal

  31. Barrett1

    “Believe me, parents will lose their cool if ID is taught in the public schools. People in this country do not want God discussed in the classroom for obvious reasons. I will go out on a limb and suggest that Darwin has kept the peace in the classroom.”

    This illistrates the point about what will be taught when ID is permitted in school and who will teach it.

    ID theory is simply that some evidence (particulay types of patterns) strongly points to intelligence being involved in biological history and development. ID does not bring God into the classroom.

    Presumably religion is discussed in the context of social and political history. Is the Ireland conflict banned from school? Are students unable to discuss the Israel question and why US supports Israel? Is it not mentioned that hitler killed Jews?

    ID will not create problems for teaches with religious conflict. ID, presented fairly, may possibly enable theistic children to maintain a sense of dignity in the biology class where their perspectives have been ridiculed for so long. It may also enable those from atheistic backgrounds to think for themselves.

    The “peace” that Darwin imposes in the US classroom is a tyrantial peace where there is no dissent allowed.

  32. 32

    ^
    “ID will not create problems for teaches with religious conflict.”

    Two words: Remember Dover

  33. Roland:
    Two words: Remember Dover

    The Dover decision would have been different with a school board that
    A) was not religiously motivated and
    B) actually knew something about ID.

  34. Barret1,

    “First on the list of reasons why Darwin is taught in the public schools is that Darwinism is non-controversial and thus easy to teach. ”

    Your statement is wrong, reality contradicts you. It should sound like “First on the list of reasons why ONLY Darwin is taught…”

    Darwin is non-controversial ?… Easy to teach ?… How about “is Darwin true or not” ?… Shouldn’t that be the first reason – the truth behind a theory – when adding it in curricula’s ?!… How about some proofs ?… How about presenting the multitude of the problems of that theory ?… Common, guys, do you live in a parallel universe ?!?!?

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