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Demand for a ban on teaching creationism in Welsh schools

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Apparently, a new curriculum doesn’t explicitly ban creationism:

“The new science and technology area of learning and experience doesn’t explicitly prohibit presenting creationism and other pseudoscientific theories as evidence-based and evolution is only mentioned once (and only at secondary level at that),” the letter said.

“Pupils should be introduced to it early – certainly at primary level – as it underpins so much else.

“What’s more, without an explicit ban on teaching creationism, intelligent design and other pseudoscientific theories as evidence-based, such teaching may begin to creep into the school curriculum, when it is vital children in Wales are not exposed to pseudoscientific doctrines masquerading as science”.

Scientists want creationism teaching ban in Welsh schools” at BBC

Tradejah! Let’s have a ban on teaching Darwinism too. Oh wait — is that what’s supposed to be introduced early and often, because the “Wales Humanists coordinator” and “Humanists UK” want it?

Darwinism is an obvious intrusion of religion into the school system. A different religion from what many people follow, but still a religion. Otherwise, why would humanists care so much?

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23 Replies to “Demand for a ban on teaching creationism in Welsh schools

  1. 1
    EDTA says:

    Are they going to ban the teaching of astrology and witchcraft too?

  2. 2
    chris haynes says:

    If they won’t teach Creationism, what can they possibly teach about the origin of life? Surely they cant teach that life arose in the absence of Divine Intervention in naturalistic processes involving chemical reactions. I mean, all scientific empirical evidence rules that idea out. In fact, the world’s top scientists have tried for generations to demonstrate such reactions and their efforts have resulted in total failure.

    , cientists .

  3. 3
    Brother Brian says:

    I don’t have any problem with teaching creationism in school as long as it is not in the science class and that they also teach the other creation myths. Learning about different religions and their stories and traditions is important to a successful society.

  4. 4
    ET says:

    And I don’t have any problem with teaching evolutionism* in school as long as it is not in the science class and that they also teach the other creation myths. Learning about different religions and their stories and traditions is important to a successful society.

    * “Blind watchmaker” thesis: the idea that all organisms have descended from common ancestors solely through an unguided, unintelligent, purposeless, material processes such as natural selection acting on random variations or mutations; that the mechanisms of natural selection, random variation and mutation, and perhaps other similarly naturalistic mechanisms, are completely sufficient to account for the appearance of design in living organisms.

  5. 5
    chris haynes says:

    Surprise surprise,
    Our nice Atheist friends dodged the question again.

    I had asked what can one teaches about origin of life theory, other than Creationism.
    No answer.

    If the top atheist scientists have an evidence based account on how life began from chemical reactions, would somebody tell us what it is? But please, this is about chemistry. So no speculation, but a description of the specific reactions involved with an actual demonstration..

  6. 6
    vmahuna says:

    Peace & joy. I think there is a HUGE philosophical difference between teaching the general idea that a “designer” MAY have caused the appearance, in a perfectly orderly simple-to-complex kinda way over billions of years, of Life on Earth (and the construction of Earth itself), and the horrid stupid Christian Fundamentalist drivel about insisting that the mythological tales written in Genesis are literally true. Teaching Genesis is in fact “teaching Religion”.
    And “teaching religion” was prohibited in PUBLIC-FUNDED schools BECAUSE it was teaching ONLY Protestant Fundamentalism. This why the Catholic church in the US started their own, separate parochial (“parish-based”) school system in the early 19th century.
    What the prohibition on teaching Creation is attempting to avoid is a RETURN to a situation where “public” schools are in fact PROTESTANT schools. (And any Protestant parent who wishes to send his or her children to an explicitly “Christian” school can do that, whilst paying taxes for the Public schools they don’t use and paying tuition for the school they like.)
    I think the test should be: OK, so in Week 1, we’re going to have a nice Navajo man come in and explain what the Navajo people believe about the appearance of Life on Earth. And then the next week we’ll have a nice Buddhist lady. And then a Catholic priest, and then sometime around week 10, we’ll have a Fundamentalist come in…

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    Brother Brian@ 3

    I don’t have any problem with teaching creationism in school as long as it is not in the science class and that they also teach the other creation myths. Learning about different religions and their stories and traditions is important to a successful society

    Amen, Brother!

    I see no reason why ID or creationism should not be discussed in the science class as long as it is only to illustrate how they do not currently rise to the standards of scientific theories.

    On the question of origins, students should be taught that there are many questions for which science does not yet have good answers, the origins of life and the universe and everything being three of them. That’s why we still do science. There are many religious beliefs about such matters but they are not scientific explanations.

    Creationist beliefs should be taught in religious education classes so long as students are exposed to the whole range of them. Some faiths will object to this because they believe their children should only learn about their own faith but I would answer that learning about other religions does not compel you to believe in them nor should it necessarily undermine your own beliefs.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    seversky:

    I see no reason why ID or creationism should not be discussed in the science class as long as it is only to illustrate how they do not currently rise to the standards of scientific theories.

    And yet if the students are allowed to compare what is considered scientific they would see that ID exceeds that. Go figure.

    On the question of origins, students should be taught that there are many questions for which science does not yet have good answers, the origins of life and the universe and everything being three of them.

    We know enough about the OoL to eliminate nature doing it.

  9. 9

    …do not currently rise to the standards of scientific theories.

    Yes, and then you can show how science solved perhaps the most fundamental problem of all — the measurement problem — and then ask the students if science requires measurement! That should get them thinking critically, right?

    By the way Sev, how did science solve the measurement problem?

  10. 10
    chris haynes says:

    Yet?

    You wrote
    On the question of origins, students should be taught that there are many questions for which science does not YET have good answers, the origins of life and the universe and everything being three of them”

    The word yet is saying that one day science will have answers. For which you have no evidence.
    Certainly such unsupported speculation has no place in a science class.

    Lets teach the facts.
    Science does not have answers regarding the origins of life and the universe. Their efforts to find such answers have failed

  11. 11
    Brother Brian says:

    CH

    I had asked what can one teaches about origin of life theory, other than Creationism.
    No answer.

    Teach them about the scientific attempts to understand a natural origin of life and then teach them about the hundreds of other origins stories out there. Things like Cheonjiwang Bonpuri, Enûma Eliš, Genesis creation, Jamshid, Kumulipo, Pangu, Sumerian, Unkulunkulu, Raven, Tungusic, Väinämöinen, Mandé, Serer, Viracocha, Ainu, M?ori and Kukulkan, to name just a few.

  12. 12

    .
    Yes yes, just don’t teach them that a symbol system and a set of interpretive constraints were famously predicted to be the fundamental physical and organizational requirements of open-ended self-replication, which was then fully confirmed by experiment. Teach them anything but the actual history and science surrounding the issue. Surely don’t teach them what semantic closure implies at the origin of life.

  13. 13
    ET says:

    Brother Brain:

    Teach them about the scientific attempts to understand a natural origin of life…

    And how they have all FAILed, miserably. Then teach them there isn’t any way nature could have produced life.

  14. 14
    ET says:

    Symbol? What “symbol”? The tRNAs link up to specific amino acids via known chemical processes. And it just so happens that they also have a match on the other end for mRNA codons. They link up also by known chemical processes. And the catalyst is just a ribozyme. Crank those out in my sleep.

    So you see, it’s all chemistry and physics.

    See, I could assume an evolutionary persona and post on Peaceful Science just for the fun of it. Their arguments are easy to mimic. It’s mostly equivocation, bluffing and posturing. Mix in the standard dodge and evade, and with support of the others, you “win”.

  15. 15
    chris haynes says:

    Great idea!!

    “Teach them about 1) the scientific attempts to understand a natural origin of life and 2) then teach them about the hundreds of other origins stories out there”

    Yes, teach them about all those scientific attempts to understand a natural origin of life, more importantly, the attempts to find some evidence supporting naturalistic chemical origin of life, that involved four generations of gurus milking NSF grants. And teach them about the total failure to get any such evidence.
    Yes, do teach them that.

    And how, at any time since about 1940, when a scientist postulated that it is possible to make something with chemical reactions, he’d be expected to demonstrate it, or he got laughed at. Yes, teach them that too.

    And finally teach them that the only alternative to the discredited naturalistic origin of life theory is a supernaturalistic origin of life theory. AKA Creationism. And thus by the logic of dichotomy, Creationism is now the settled science. Yes, teach them that.

    Now, its you who wants to teach them about the different allegorical accounts of Creationism. “Things like Cheonjiwang Bonpuri, Enûma Eliš, Genesis creation, Jamshid, Kumulipo, Pangu, Sumerian, Unkulunkulu, Raven, Tungusic, Väinämöinen, Mandé, Serer, Viracocha, Ainu, M?ori and Kukulkan, to name just a few” Well. I disagree. Myself, for a science class, I’d stick with scientific empirical evidence. It tells us that life must have originate supernatualisticly, but as the event was unwitnessed, it doesn’t belong in a science class, because science has no competency to participate in the discussion.

  16. 16
    EvilSnack says:

    Pupils should be introduced to it early—certainly at primary level—as it underpins so much else.

    Evolution doesn’t underpin anything except the effort to rip the first two chapters out of Genesis, for the purpose of being able to say, “I can’t use that book—it’s torn.”

  17. 17
    MatSpirit says:

    Upright: “Yes yes, just don’t teach them that a symbol system and a set of interpretive constraints were famously predicted to be the fundamental physical and organizational requirements of open-ended self-replication, which was then fully confirmed by experiment.”

    Could you expand on this a bit? What were the famous physical and organizational requirements of open-ended self-replication? Who predicted them and where can I read where he predicted them?

    Thanks

  18. 18

    .
    Matt, we’ve already been down this road, and frankly I can’t see the point in doing it yet again. You are the guy who thinks the cell (in that imagined period before proteins were specified by genes) just stretched out existing functional proteins and directly copied them into new proteins, Lickity-split!

    Now let’s copy a protein the way cells had to make copies before DNA … we’ll have to do the job manually.

    I’ve already stretched the protein out so you can get at it easily.

    Step 1) See what the topmost amino acid is. Let’s say it’s lysine.

    Step 2) Select a lysine molecule out of your jar of assorted amino acids and plunk it down

    Who can argue with that? (Except for perhaps Peirce, and Turing, and Von Neumann, and Crick, and Brenner, and Pattee, and every OoL researcher who doesn’t habitually envision a system even more complex than the one already in need of an explanation).

    In any case, John von Neumann (following Alan Turing) successfully predicted that any autonomous open-ended self-replicator would require a system of heritable specification — one which would include an encoded quisient (rate-independent) description, separate from the dynamic (rate-dependent) construction it controlled. This system would need to operate as part of a dissipative process which would cause the description to be read, and the necessary interpretive constraints to be actualized, specifying the end product of the system (among alternatives). That system was experimentally confirmed by Watson, Crick, Brenner, Hoagland, Zamecnik, Nirenberg, and others. None of this is even controversial. It is not controversial that the medium of DNA is rate-independent, or that the translation machinery is a rate-dependent dissipative process. It is not controversial that the system requires both a) the medium to be read, and b) the aaRS constraints to be actualized through the transfer RNA. It is not controversial that the reading of codons is independent of the establishment of the code. It is not controversial that the gene system requires complimentary descriptions due to this necessary discontinuity. None of this in question, and neither is von Neumann’s analysis given in lectures (such as the Hixon Symposium in 1948) and elsewhere.

    Based on previous encounters with you, I know you will object to all his regardless of the recorded history. Tell it to Brenner.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    CH, long time no see. How are you? KF

  21. 21
    MatSpirit says:

    Upright, good to hear from you again. Could you tell me which message you were quoting me from? The search function here is a little crude and I couldn’t find it.

    The point I was trying to make, then and now, is that for a simple enough cell, such as the first living thing would have been, you don’t need a separate, encoded store of data describing what you’re trying to copy. You can get your information directly from whatever you’re trying to copy.

    Here’s a YouTube video that illustrates my point: https://youtu.be/HHXlhJlPqKg

    This is a video about Culver Props, a mom and pop propellor factory that makes wooden airplane propellers. They’ve been around a long time and have a very good reputation.

    The whole video is worth watching, but I’d like to recommend the section that starts at 22:50. This shows the room that contains the “DNA” of the factory. It’s not full of blueprints coded in ink on paper with encoded descriptions of the propellers Culver manufactures. Instead, it consists of actual propellers (actually half propellers to save space) and they are placed in a machine that duplicates them using a very simple mechanical setup. No DNA, no RNA and no coding system at all. Just a simple mechanical system that follows contours on the original prop and saws duplicate contours on the new one. This is a well known and much used system for copying something on a lathe.

    When you’re thinking of the first living thing, forget DNA and codes. Think of something that directly copies the original molecule and you’ll be on the right track.

    I accidentally copied this to an old thread. Sorry.

  22. 22
    SmartAZ says:

    Just to be sure everybody knows, religion is made up by men telling each other what to believe and/or what they have to do to be acceptable.

  23. 23

    .

    The point I was trying to make, then and now, is that for a simple enough cell, such as the first living thing would have been…

    You are assuming your conclusion, Matt. Not only are you assuming your conclusion, you are doing so against our universal evidence to the contrary. Not only are you assuming your conclusion against universal evidence to the contrary, but it also appears that no amount of collateral science has any impact on your thinking (such as modern minimal cell experiments, or the already-confirmed logical basis of autonomous self-replication, or even the simple fact that your model provides no insights whatsoever into any of the genuine issues surrounding the OoL). And as if these things are not enough, there also remains the simple fact that the only reason you cling to this idea (of directly-templated proteins) is to avoid the actual complexity found in the cellular translation system. Unfortunately, the model you are selling is at least as complex, if not even more complex, than the translation system you’re trying to avoid. So, not only are you assuming your conclusions against universal evidence; and not only are you forced to ignore all the collateral evidence that points to critical problems with your beliefs, but you gain absolutely nothing (but rhetoric) by believing them. What is there really to say to someone like that?

    You can get your information directly from whatever you’re trying to copy…

    –facepalm–

    Like I already said Matt, there is no need in us going through any of this again. I think your answer is just so damn obvious to you that you are left to wonder why no one else gets it.

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