Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

Evolution News and Views

English Schools Risk Failure in Science Teaching

A professor at London's Institute of Education, Michael Reiss, suggests that teachers respond vigorously to the apparently growing "creationist" tendencies of their students. He attributes some of the alarming trend to the influence of Muslim students in the UK.

The mistake here is in thinking that you can defend Darwinian theory by attacking "creationism" and by broad-brush associating intelligent design with the image of creationism. That approach will merely create a wall between teachers and students, however, and most teachers won't want to take part in that.

I agree that students should learn about Darwin's theory, and I see the difficulty that many teachers are reluctant to get into the subject because of the growing controversy. But the way to persuade them--and their students--is not to attack creationism, but to let students know more about Darwin's theory, including the scientific evidence for and against it. That is the purpose of the textbook, Explore Evolution. It doesn't get into possible implications of the theory or its alternatives. It is honest about the science on both sides.

Students and their parents will have their own ideas about the implications of the subject, whether theism, theistic evolution or atheism. The teacher can respond that they are welcome to such views, but that they are not the subject of the course.

The Darwinists, I am afraid, however, would rather have teachers teach nothing about evolution than teach the scientific evidence for and against Darwin's theory. Their agenda going in is ideological.