Creationism in UK Schools: Update (20 Mar ’09)



WE’RE getting far more use out of that Hampshire map than we ever imagined. Ten days ago we reported about Creationism in UK Schools, informing you that the Hampshire County Council was proposing to teach creationism in both science and religious education (RE) lessons.

Now, the website “This is Hampshire,” presumably the internet presence for the Hampshire Chronicle, informs us: Councillors agree to keep Creationism out of science lessons in Southampton. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

SOUTHAMPTON councillors have agreed that God should be kept out of the science classroom.

They backed a motion demanding science and religion should continue to be taught separately.

It comes as 70 Hampshire secondary schools have been issued advice on how to teach 11 to 14-year-olds creationism alongside Darwin’s theory of evolution.

We’re not really clear on whether this has been decided with finality. Let’s read on:

Hampshire County Council’s multifaith advisory panel for religious education backed guidance which suggests they could be debated as in both science and RE lessons as part of a joint syllabus.

That’s the issue. This controversy arose because creationism was proposed not only for RE, but also for science. We continue:

Southampton councillors agreed to send a message to the city’s own RE advisory panel, as well as school governors, that the two should not be mixed. Lib Dem group leader councillor Jill Baston, who proposed the debate, said she was “hoisting a warning flag”.

She said: “It’s important to know about world religions. But science and religion need to be kept separate.”

Good you you, Jil. Here’s the rest of the article:

Councillor Parvin Damani, chairman of Southampton’s Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education, said she believed in the “theory of Adam and Eve”. But she promised teachers would be involved in the debate when her panel considered it and that it was important not to “undermine people’s intelligence”.

If you can figure out what Damani is saying, please let your Curmudgeon know.

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