Royal Society backs teaching unions in attack on creationism

Yesterday, both the teachers unions and the Royal Society attacked the teaching of creationism in schools. As expected, teachers voted to ban government funding of state schools at their annual conference in Gateshead, while last night Steve Jones, an award-winning geneticist, delivered a Royal Society lecture entitled Why Creationism is Wrong and Evolution is Right. Professor Jones, author of, among other works, Almost Like a Whale: The Origin of Species Updated and The Single Helix, said that suggesting that creationism and evolution be given equal weight in education was "rather like starting genetics lectures by discussing the theory that babies are brought by storks." He continued: "I like the quotation from Darwin, 'ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge; it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. Science has proof without certainty, creationists – certainty without proof." David Rosevear, of the Creation Science Movement, was quoted in The Guardian as saying he was not surprised by the Royal Society's move. "It is an atheistic faith position," he said, seeming to me to validate everything Professor Jones said. "Atheism is as much a religion as the Church of England and they pursue it with real vigour." Clearly neither evolutionary science, nor the scientific approach as a whole, can be compared to faith. In Richard Dawkins' words:" There's all the difference in the world between a belief that one is prepared to defend by quoting evidence and logic and a belief that is supported by nothing more than tradition, authority, or revelation." (read his lecture on this subject).  


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