Saturday, September 30, 2006

 

'Intelligent Design' attack on UK school science (BBC)

From BBC News UK: Parents are being encouraged to challenge their children's science teachers over what they are explaining as the origins of life.

An organisation called Truth in Science has also sent resource packs to all UK secondary school science departments.

It promotes the idea of intelligent design - that there was an intelligence behind the creation of the universe.

Humanists (1) and a Christian think tank (2) want the government to tell teachers to keep 'a wholly scientific perspective'.

The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) in England has said it does not endorse the resources sent out by Truth in Science.

It said the fossil record was evidence for evolution.

Continued at "'Intelligent Design' attack on UK school science"

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Also reported by the Times Educational Supplement (TES): "Science heads become targets"

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From the 'About Truth in Science' webpage:

Truth in Science is a Limited Company, run by a Board of Directors who are advised by a Council of Reference and a Scientific Panel. These are listed below with brief descriptions. It should be noted that other organisations which individuals represent may not necessarily hold the same position as Truth in Science on some issues.

Board of Directors

Andy McIntosh

Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory at the University of Leeds and author of over 100 research papers. Prof. McIntosh's research includes biomimetics where natural mechanisms are studied with a view to using them for engineering applications. He has written numerous articles concerning the debate over Origins.

Willis B. Metcalfe

(Acting Chairman) A businessman with a long career in agriculture and publishing evangelical Christian literature in several languages.

John Perfect

A teacher with almost four decades of experience in the public and private sectors.

Maurice Roberts

Minister of the Inverness congregation of the Free Church of Scotland (continuing). Rev. Roberts is well known as a conference speaker in many countries around the world and was formerly a school classics teacher.

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(1) The British Humanist Association: "'Truth in Science': far from true"

From the 'About the BHA' webpage:

The British Humanist Association (BHA) represents the interests of the large and growing population of ethically concerned but non-religious people in the UK - helping to set the agenda for debate. Committed to human rights, democracy, equality and mutual respect, the BHA works for an open and inclusive society with freedom of belief and speech, and for an end to the privileged position of religion - and Christianity in particular - in law, education, broadcasting and wherever else it occurs.

The BHA is renowned for its humanist funerals, weddings, baby-namings and other non-religious ceremonies. These meet a very real need in the community, and the rapidly growing demand for high quality ceremonies keeps our network of trained and accredited officiants extremely busy.

We also help humanists and other non-religious people to gain confidence in their beliefs (see Humanism) and build a foundation from which to live their lives with integrity. The BHA supports networks for families, teachers and others to share ideas and experience and provide mutual support. Local humanist groups provide opportunities for humanists to meet like-minded people for lectures, discussions and social activities. We lobby for the inclusion of Humanism in the school curriculum so that all pupils have the opportunity to learn about it, and provide educational resources for schools and students of all ages. Our contribution to improvements in religious education is widely recognised.

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(2) Ekklesia: "Government says creationism is off the agenda in UK school science"

From the 'About Ekklesia' webpage:

Ekklesia is a not-for-profit thinktank which promotes progressive theological ideas in public life.

In April 2005 it was ranked by the Independent newspaper as one of the top 20 British thinktanks

In September 2006 Ekklesia.co.uk became the highest ranked religious web site in the UK according to official Alexa/Amazon rankings.

An initiative of the Anvil Trust, Ekklesia provides a daily news briefing service, regular public comment, conferences, consultancy and workshops in a range of areas combining both practical and theoretical knowledge to encourage the expression of a radical theological perspective.

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