science education

Coffee!! Mother of all creationism-in-the-schools scares in Britain

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In the land that gave us Shakespeare and Isaac Newton, all is well in the schools.

Encouraging signs are stuff like: A girl is suspended for wearing a crucifix but Sikh religious gear is permitted; national public observances are ignored to avoid conflict with the timetable routine; vile anti-Hindu propaganda and unprovoked beatings at some schools. Parents, of course, respond to all this by such moves as expressing outrage over a school ban on tight pants.

Of course, spectacular academic results have accompanied these developments: Scores lowerΒ than Estonia (Sorry, Estonia, Tere tulemast! You in fact do much more with much less.)

But into this atmosphere of calm and orderly application to the great disciplines of learning, followed by the thrill of achievement, suddenly, shudder!! [cue frite muzak “Insidious creationism”] enters the … creationist!:

Scientists and humanists fear creationist teaching is set to creep into more classrooms. The writer asked Lehigh biochemist Mchael Behe about their campaign to get government action on the problem:

Dr Michael Behe is the biologist whose theory of Irreducible Complexity forms the supposed scientific basis of ID. I asked him about the consensus in many quarters that it is not scientific. While genially admitting that I had “hit a nerve”, he defended its credentials as a science. “Science is just using physical evidence and reasoning to come to a conclusion about nature,” he says. “The definition of science is supposed to help us investigate nature and if it of itself becomes a barrier, it won’t serve a useful purpose.”The BHA intends to lobby the Government to include a requirement specifically to teach evolution in the English and Welsh primary curriculum from September 2012. Dr Behe believes that this is “a silly idea” because, he says, primary children are too young to grasp difficult concepts of evolution.

– Andrew Williams, 7 April 2011, Independent

Yes, Mike Behe, it would be a silly idea if it were really intended as education. But it is in fact a way of allowing the kiddies to know what they better not wonder about,let alone doubt, if they know what is good for them.

The article does not clarify that biochemist Mike Behe, interviewed, is not in fact a creationist; he believes that nature unfolds from the Big Bang by design, though not creation. However, because St .Stephen Jay Gould once called him a “creationist” (when Behe told him about the hundred-year-old Haeckel embryo fake), the definition of creationism must now expand to include the view that no creation is necessary.

Creationists may not make things any better Britside. But if they:

– don’t practice blatant religious hatred and discrimination,
– don’t ignore important public observances for trivial reasons
– refrain from beating people for no particular reason, and
– tell clueless parents that someone must discourage skankwear for schoolgirls (and what a shame that it isn’t the girls’ own folks … ),

they would be a definite improvement over much of the current lot.

But then the British humanists would have to concentrate on actual issues which is, you may be sure, a bridge too far for them. πŸ˜‰

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