UK Government Clarifies That Creationism Cannot be Taught as Valid Science in Publicly-Funded Schools June 19, 2014

UK Government Clarifies That Creationism Cannot be Taught as Valid Science in Publicly-Funded Schools

Tucked away in new UK government regulations guiding all publicly-funded schools is a welcome reminder that Creationism isn’t science — and legally cannot be taught as such.

That’s not how it works

[Clauses in the Funding Agreement] explicitly require that pupils are taught about the theory of evolution, and prevent academy trusts from teaching ‘creationism’ as scientific fact.

The parties acknowledge that Creationism, in this sense, is rejected by most mainstream Churches and religious traditions, including the major providers of state funded schools such as the [Anglican] [Catholic] Churches, as well as the scientific community. It does not accord with the scientific consensus or the very large body of established scientific evidence; nor does it accurately and consistently employ the scientific method, and as such it should not be presented to pupils at the Academy as a scientific theory.

The parties further recognise that the requirement on every academy and free school to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, in any case prevents the teaching of creationism as evidence based theory in any academy or free school.

To be clear, Creationism can be discussed in the classroom. But not as valid science. (As mythology? Sure.)

The British Humanist Association’s Head of Public Affairs, Pavan Dhaliwal, celebrated the clarification:

“In 2011 our ‘Teach evolution, not creationism‘ campaign called for enforceable rules saying that creationism cannot be presented as a valid scientific theory in any publicly-funded school. Now the Government has extended such an explicit rule to all new Academies and Free Schools and made it clear that it believes that existing rules mean that no Academy or Free School can teach pseudoscience… We congratulate the Government on its robust stance on this issue.

Meanwhile, as io9 points out, a bill currently being discussed in Missouri would warn parents anytime evolution is taught so they could pull their kids from the classroom.

Because facts are distressing.

The UK government maintains that this wasn’t a rule change, merely a clarification of a policy they’ve held for a long time:

“It is already the case that all state schools, including academies, are prohibited from teaching creationism as scientific fact. That has not changed,” a spokesperson said.

“The funding agreements for academies and free schools have been restructured into one document and drafted in plain English, as part of an ongoing process of simplification.”

It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when your standards are written by people who trust scientists instead of nonsense-peddlers like Ken Ham.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Jack for the link)

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