Thank you, Cofty. How very ironic that the USA, not at all pro-Islamic as countries go, should find itself on the same side as two Moslem countries when it comes to teaching creationism!
The Teaching of Evolution in UK Schools Mandatory
"Is it also an issue in Islamic schools?"
Yes it is, at least here in the UK, and with Jewish schools. All 'faith' schools, really.
Dawkins did a programme(s?) on 'faith schools in the UK some time ago for UK Channel 4 TV (I think) which I found quite worrying. Despite government oversight of the curriculum there was (he found) unwarranted bias in teaching.
Not in any schools I've ever heard of here though.
Just as well, then, that all of that will have to stop now that the Government has stepped in on the issue. One good thing that this coalition has done, at least, then!
"This would IMHO be difficult to do in the U.S. for private or religious schools, given the constitutional freedom of speech and religious freedom issues."
This is something I find difficult to understand - due, no doubt, to my imperfect understanding of the US constitution. I understand the right to 'free speech' and I think I have knowledge of the historical 'separation of Church and State'. But I thought that the latter meant that anyone can practice any religion they want but that governmental obligations were or should be entirely a-religious.
If the education of children is a government requirement (federal and/or state) in whatever form it takes (including 'home-schooling') doesn't that mean that the curriculum should be a-religious to comply with the constitution? Even if other, additional, 'religious' schooling is permissible as an 'extra'?
Does the constitution also guarantee a freedom FROM religion of whatever brand?
It is so sad that people actually want them to teach intelligent design in public schools. Of course, it has to be a certain version of intelligent design. The Christian kind, not the Hindu version because that would just be absurd.
Joe Grundy,Iagree with you.
Land I would have thought it an obligation on any government to ensure the best possible teaching in all schools on all subjects. It is just ridiculous not to teach the most up to date advances in science, allowing for what a particular age of child can grasp. That should be a base standard, a minimum requirement.
Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, said: "The development of the theory of evolution is an excellent example of how science works and there is a clear consensus within the scientific community regarding both its validity and importance."
It has been a while since I went to school but certainly what I was taught about evolution, that it was a slow and gradual adaptation, has been significantly modified by the ideas of Gould on punctuated equilibrium. I would agree with Nurse that the development of the theory of evolution is an excellent example of how science works because the theory has had to change as more facts came to light. So in educating the young the best that can be said is that in light of what we now know this is the dominant theory which explains how it came about. This may change in the future when new facts come to light, and that is the scientific method. But there are other theories, including that of intelligent design, which should also be presented if there is evidence to support it.
A good education needs to present a number of hypotheses and teach students how to think and reason, not to tell them what the conclusions of their thinking and reasoning must be.
The issue in the U.S. (as I understand it) would arise in privately funded schools - religious or otherwise. Free speech rights would pretty much prevent such a ruling there.
And, of course, we have not even mentioned the increasing popularity of "home schooling" among the primative fundamentalists to avoid the public school system on this issue.
My point above was that it is not just a problem with the christian fundamentalists - as stated, Islamic and Jewish groups have been known to do this as well.
Thanks James - this is what I don't understand. Given that education is a government-mandated requirement federal or state), how can it incorporate religious beliefs?
But there are other theories, including that of intelligent design, which should also be presented if there is evidence to support it.
Since Intelligent dsign is NOT a theory and there is absolutely NO evidence to support it, let's keep it out of the class room shall we ?