Monday, November 13, 2006

Why are they Enemies?

An article from 'The Guardian' entitled 'Enemies of Science' was critical of Tony Blair's government and detailed some reasons why. It is authored by Alok Jha. I've focused on one paragraph of the article which I've broken into two parts for the purpose of providing commentary. The passage appears in italics.

Furthermore, scientists are becoming concerned at the rise of creationism in the British education system. The geneticist Steve Jones, who has lectured on evolution at schools for 20 years, says that he now regularly meets pupils who claim to believe in creationism.

Shocking huh? One of the difficulties with assessing a statement like this is the use of the term creationism. What does the writer mean by it? He probably conflates this with a belief in young earth creation. However there are non-YEC Bible believers and non-Christians who consider themselves creationists too. What exactly is the objection?

The creationist interpretation of fossil evidence is even encouraged in the new GCSE Gateway to Science curriculum. In August, a survey of British university students found that a third believed in either creationism or intelligent design.

A third believe in creationism or intelligent design. So what? How does this impede their capacity to learn chemistry, physics, mathematics...? Would the author have thought a survey, indicating that a third of the students believed that science supported their atheist beliefs, alarming? I doubt it.

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