"Religion is a hypothesis about the world: the hypothesis that things are the way they are, at least in part, because of supernatural entities or forces acting on the natural world. And there's no good reason to treat it any differently from any other hypothesis. Which includes pointing out its flaws and inconsistencies, asking its adherents to back it up with solid evidence, making jokes about it when it's just being silly, offering arguments and evidence for our own competing hypotheses...and trying to persuade people out of it if we think it's mistaken. It's persuasion. It's the marketplace of ideas. Why should religion get a free ride"

Greta Christina

Monday, 7 February 2011

Church plans to teach "creationism" in Free School

It was inevitable that sooner or later some religious organisation would confirm my fears over the coalition’s Free School project. Here it is in the form of the Everyday Champions Church, based in Newark, Nottinghamshire, who have made an application to open a free school in which evolution will be taught “as a theory”.
Although their Pastor Gareth Morgan says...
'Creationism will be embodied as a belief at the Everyday Champions Academy but will not be taught in the sciences.
their website says
'values of the Christian faith will be the foundation of the school philosophy…We believe that the Bible is God's Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our every day lives.'
In which case it is difficult to see how the science will not be undermined by other areas of the curriculum.
I probably need not point out (but I will) that the very fact that they say evolution will be taught “as a theory” already shows a total lack of understanding about the scientific method. A theory in science is the highest status any explanation of the universe achieves. There is no graduation to “fact” or “law”, because science always allows for new evidence to modify a given theory. It is just as sensible to talk about a theory of gravity as it is about a theory of evolution.
Besides, the “theory” in The Theory of Evolution, following Darwin, is not a theory about whether life evolves, but how it does it.
The failure of the Everyday Champions Church to understand such fundemental scientific concepts should automatically disqualify them from being allowed anywhere near children's education.
Micheal Gove has consistently made assurances that children will be protected from extremist views in Free Schools and the best way he can demonstrate this is to quickly and publicly refuse this application, if only to dissuade other purveyors of neolithic superstitions from attempting the same.

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