UK Atheists Push to Censor Academic Freedom


An atheist group is petitioning the British government to issue policy to censor academic freedom and push evolution-only indoctrination on primary school students in the United Kingdom.

Celebrity scientists such as David Attenborough and Richard Dawkins have joined the British Humanist Association (BHA) in the campaign, alleging that organizations like Truth in Science and Creation Ministries International (CMI) "are encouraging teachers to incorporate 'intelligent design' into their science teaching."1

Students in the UK are not forced to learn about evolution until the age of 14 or 15. But the campaign supporters want teachers to teach evolution at both the primary and secondary level in all publicly funded schools.

Meanwhile, Truth in Science maintained that it "has never advocated the teaching of creationism in science lessons in schools. It has consistently advocated, promoted and distributed materials that encourage a more critical approach to the teaching of Evolution as an important component of science education, allowing individuals to follow the evidence wherever it leads."2

CMI commented:

There's no doubt that such a regime of indoctrination [as demanded by the BHA] would ensure that very few would leave school knowing that considerable dissent about evolution exists among scientists, or that many of the top evolutionary scientists admit that they have no idea how inanimate matter could have evolved into living organisms.3

The BHA coordinated the campaign with the help of several other organizations that are committed to keeping under wraps important facts about Charles Darwin's theory of evolutionary descent with modification, such as that it is incapable of being verified through testable, repeatable scientific observations,4 and that it contradicts both the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics.5

While the British government under former Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued guidance that creation science should not be taught to students in publicly funded schools, the measure was never made statutory. If BHA and its supporters have their way, anyone who questions the scientific validity of Darwin's theory could be punished under the law.

But there is plenty about the theory to question. From soft dinosaur tissue and fossil feather pigment discoveries6 to scientists finding more useful—and vital—functions in "junk" DNA,7 observable scientific investigations by (supposedly) non-partisan entities are raising more questions for evolution. And isn't that the role of good science? To ask questions and try to find the answers "wherever the evidence leads"?

The BHA's campaign is yet another political effort to quash scientific inquiry, and thus innovation, for the sake of outdated philosophical preferences.

References

  1. Creationism and 'intelligent design.' Position statement from the website of Teach evolution, not creationism! Joint statement on creationism and evolution in schools. Posted on evolutionnotcreationism.org.uk, accessed September 23, 2011.
  2. What is there to Fear? Truth in Science News Blog. Posted on truthinscience.org.uk September 21, 2011, accessed September 23, 2011.
  3. Statham, D. Heavyweights move to ban creation. Creation Ministries International. Posted on creation.com September 21, 2011, access September 23, 2011.
  4. Gish, D. 1995. The Nature of Science and of Theories on Origins. Acts & Facts. 24 (4).
  5. The First Law of Thermodynamics, also known as the Law of Conservation of Energy, holds that "energy cannot be created or destroyed." Therefore, natural forces alone could not have brought about the physical universe. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, also known as the Law of Increased Entropy, maintains that "energy cannot be completely recycled" to its original state of organization. Evolution requires the exact opposite—a natural, undirected increase in organization. See Turk, A. et al. 1975. Ecosystems, Energy, Population. Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders Company, 186, 189.
  6. Fresh Tissues Show That Fossils Are Recent. Institute for Creation Research. Posted on icr.org, accessed September 23, 2011.
  7. DNA Was Created as a Reservoir for the Information of Life. Institute for Creation Research. Posted on icr.org, accessed September 23, 2011.

* Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on September 28, 2011.