Current Issues in Creationism in the UK
"...the aims of the creation "scientists" are clear-- all of their "research", their "technical journals", their "debates", their attempts to have creation "science" introduced into the school system, are nothing more than an attempt to proselytize people to their fundamentalist religious view." Lenny Flank
The overwhelming issue facing BCSE is the extent to which creationism is being sneaked into pure and applied science and subjects that use them. We remain unconvinced that there are sufficient checks and balances to prevent this.
The fundamentalists have a strategy of Infiltration of creationism into schools that is explained (and best explained) in their own words (Click onto Infiltration).
One state school in Lancashire, Millfield, appears, early this year (2006), to have invited a team of four high profile extreme fundamentalist creationist into the school to teach for a whole week. The plan was only dropped after the Religious Education department decided that the beliefs were extremist.
We are aware that fundamentalist creationists are being invited into state schools without the knowledge of parents or local education authorities. There appear to be no checks to prevent these people teaching their pseudo-science in science classes.
It is also believed that a number of state financed schools have been recruiting science staff based on their fundamentalist religious beliefs. Those beliefs completely contradict the accepted understanding of science.
Currently available information also seems to suggest that fundamentalist teachers are telling pupils that they must lie to pass their science exams. They are telling the pupils that the requirements of the National Curriculum require them to answer questions in biology on Evolutionary Theory which the teacher is telling them are wrong for religious reasons.
Whilst the government has stated that creationism should not be taught as science in schools, our analysis of the National Curriculum and understanding of the examination system and regulation of schools suggest that there remain major loopholes being exploited by fundamentalist creationists working in state schools.
Moreover, current government policies allow academy schools to convert to faith schools which allows them to legally recruit staff according to their religious beliefs, restrict entry and become overtly religious. This is a dangerous precedent.
Our research indicates, so far, that the issue of teaching creationism as science in state schools is a significant problem in England north of a line from the Severn to the Wash and in Northern Ireland. There is a separate report on the regional aspects in the section of this site on geography.
However, creationist activists are proselytising in Southern England and we are concerned that the objective is to get creationism into state schools there as well.
The issue has now become a significant problem for leading universities. (name witheld for legal reasons) University is introducing compulsory courses for undergraduates in genetics and biological sciences to show that creationism, and its thinly disguised identical twin, intelligent design, are wholly unscientific. Leicester University has likewise introduced similar compulsory work for its undergraduates.
It is also of great concern to us that a tiny number of activist creationist academics in British universities have been lobbying the government to allow teaching of creationism in state schools and have also been visting state schools to proselytise their creationist views.
We conclude that the fundamentalists see replacement of mainstream science education with their religious pseudo science as a major strategic objective. They are well organised and financed and are extensively using American expertise. Our research shows that whilst there are several nominally independent creationist organisations in the UK, their most prominent members work closely together both in lobbying and proselytising.
It also is clear that fundamentalists are active in other organisations that both lobby the goverment and/or are involved in bringing creationism into the classroom.
Whilst the number of active creationists in the UK is small, their influence is out of all proportion to their numbers. We believe that they are now a major threat to education in the UK.
If there is a problem with creationism in science education in your area and you want to do something about it, go to our page Your School for advice.