• We have updated the guidelines regarding posting political content: please see the stickied thread on Website Issues.

The Teaching Of Creationism

Creationist exams comparable to international A-levels, says Naric
ICCE teaches that Loch Ness monster disproves evolution and apartheid benefited South Africa
Jessica Shepherd The Guardian, Friday 31 July 2009

Exams for which pupils are expected to believe that the Loch Ness monster disproves evolution have been deemed equivalent to international A-levels by a UK government agency. FFS!

The National Recognition Information Centre (Naric) in Cheltenham, which advises universities and employers on the rigour of lesser-known qualifications, has ruled that the International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE) is comparable to courses such as international A-levels, the Times Education Supplement has found.

Teenagers studying for the certificate, which is taught in about 50 private Christian schools in the UK, spend half their time learning from evangelical US textbooks. The curriculum is based on the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme, which describes its ideology as "Christian fundamentalist".

Jonny Scaramanga, who was a pupil at a school in Bath that used the textbooks, has complained to Naric that the books tell pupils that the Loch Ness monster "appears to be a plesiosaur" and helps to disprove evolution. :roll:

The textbooks also state that apartheid helped South Africa because segregated schools "made it possible for each group to maintain and pass on their culture and heritage to their children".

One of the textbooks tells pupils: "Have you heard of the 'Loch Ness Monster' in Scotland? 'Nessie,' for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.

"Could a fish have developed into a dinosaur? As astonishing as it may seem, many evolutionists theorize that fish evolved into amphibians and amphibians into reptiles. This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. No transitional fossils have been or ever will be discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsmen fashioned them all."

Naric, which is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has said the ICCE is equivalent to the advanced certificate of Cambridge International exam board's international A-levels.

Tim Buttress, Naric's spokesman, told the TES its remit did not cover the curriculum's content. WTF? :evil:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/200 ... o-a-levels
Noah's Ark Zoo in creationist row
The British Humanist Association has urged tourist boards to stop promoting the Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in Somerset because it advocates creationist ideas.
Published: 1:02PM BST 27 Aug 2009

The BHA says the farm in Wraxall undermines the teaching of science due to its religious stance.

Signs describe how the ''three great people groups'' could be descended from the three sons of Bible ark builder Noah.

Another says animals hunt and kill food because ''man rebelled against God''. :? :shock:

A spokeswoman for the zoo said they viewed the natural world as a product of both God and evolution.

Their website also explicitly rejects Darwinism, describing it as ''flawed'', and claims scientists are afraid to talk about ''design'' in the natural world.

Creationism is the religious belief that all life, the Earth and the universe were created by God.

The BHA has written to the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), North Somerset Council, Visit Britain and South West England in a bid to ''stop promoting the zoo''.

BHA director of education and public affairs Andrew Copson said: ''We believe Noah's Ark Farm Zoo misleads the public by not being open about its Creationist agenda in its promotional activities and by advancing misunderstandings of the natural world.

''We have therefore asked the South West England and Visit Britain tourist boards to stop promoting the zoo.

''As they are public bodies we believe it is inappropriate that they should support establishments that seek to urge religious or ideological beliefs upon people in these ways.

''As Noah's Ark Farm Zoo threatens the public understanding of the natural world we have asked the local authority, who issues the zoo with its licence, to ensure that the zoo's education practices are in line with relevant Government and other guidelines.''

Noah's Ark, originally a diary farm, opened in 1999 and now has more than 100 animals and attracts 120,000 people every year, including members of school parties.

Noah's Ark research assistant Jon Woodwood said: ''To say that we are not upfront with our beliefs is unfounded - the name Noah's Ark is the first indicator. ;)

''Our education policy is purely based around the National Curriculum.

''We are offering our visitors the chance to look at the evolution/creation debate.

''As it is a free country, that is within our right. Contrary to a small minority of people's claims we do not teach false science.

''This is clearly shown within the zoo, with one exhibition talking about Darwin and another offering another point of view.

''We are slightly different from popular Creationism and hold a view that the natural world around us is the product of both God and evolution.

''Although technically Creationists, we do not hold the stereotypical Creationist views that the world was created 6,000 years ago and there is no evolution.

''Out of 120,000 visitors we get approximately 10 complaints a year regarding this topic.

"Clearly the public do not share the British Humanist view point.''

British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums director Miranda Stevenson said: ''I find it extraordinary that an organisation that I thought promotes free thinking appears to want censorship.''

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... t-row.html

The Guardian's version of this story also includes this:
The BHA said the zoo farm, run by husband and wife Anthony and Christina Bush, seeks to discredit scientific facts such as radio carbon dating, the fossil record and the speed of light. :? :shock:
The Noah's Ark Zoo is still proving controversial:

The zoo that believes in Noah's Ark: Creationist attraction is approved for school trips
By Laura Clark
Last updated at 12:50 AM on 31st July 2010

A zoo that promotes creationism and believes that the story of Noah’s Ark is supported by science has become an approved school trip destination.

The move has provoked a war of words between the Christians who run Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm and those who believe it will expose children to ‘dogma’.

Visitors to the attraction are invited to question the traditional view of evolution and consider instead ‘the case for a Creator’ – with information boards challenging established science such as fossil records, carbon dating and the speed of light.
Critics say the decision to award it a Government kitemark is ‘entirely inappropriate’.

But bosses at the family-run zoo, in Wraxall, near Bristol, insist that workshops for children merely cover the national science curriculum and do not include discussion of religion.

They admit that youngsters visiting the centre are free to go to an area where posters and charts advance its religious beliefs.

James Gray, education officer at the British Humanist Association, condemned the award of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom ‘quality badge’ – a scheme devised by the last government.

He told the Times Educational Supplement: ‘It is entirely inappropriate that it should support an establishment that advances creationism and seeks to discredit a wide variety of established scientific facts that challenge their religious views.’

‘Teachers and parents look to the council for assurance that children will experience high quality educational visits that meet the relevant government guidelines.
‘Awarding this zoo a quality badge risks exposing hundreds of children to anti-scientific dogma.’

But a spokesman for the zoo, run by trained priest Anthony Bush and his wife Christina, said: ‘Our religious element is simply not forced on or taught to children in workshops at Noah’s Ark and thus we believe the BHA are misguided in their criticism.’

The centre insists it does not subscribe to the popular creationist view that the world was created 6,000 years ago. Instead it believes the earth is older and fossils tell the story of species reproducing after Noah’s flood.
The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom said it checks venues thoroughly and that children should experience a range of viewpoints that challenge their minds.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z0vFMIYp2r
Michael Gove 'crystal clear' creationism is not science
Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has confirmed that creationism will not be taught in free schools because it is "at odds with scientific fact".
8:08AM GMT 22 Mar 2011

The Department of Education responded to a letter of concern from the British Centre for Science Education (BCSE), which is worried by applications from Christian groups to run free schools.
It fears that schools might be exploited by groups seeking to promote a literal interpretation of the Bible at the expense of science classes.
However, the Department of Education confirmed that Mr Gove is "crystal clear that teaching creationism is at odds with scientific fact".

Free schools can be set up by charities, universities, businesses, educational groups, teachers and groups of parents. With an increased freedom of curriculum there have been concerns that scientific subjects might be neglected.
As with independent schools free school teachers will not need formal teaching qualifications.

Mr Gove said at a free school conference in January that he would consider applications from creationist groups on a case-by-case basis.

The BCSE expressed in writing its "extreme concern" about groups such as Christian School Trust who have made up to five applications to run free schools.
It has had a proposal to run one primary school in Hampstead accepted which it describes as having a "distinctive Christian ethos that permeates every aspect of school life".

The Everyday Champions Church, in Newark, Nottinghamshire, submitted its proposal for a 652-place school in January. It claims that the parents of more than 660 children have signed up to attend the school.
The Church's leader Gareth Morgan told the BBC: "Creationism will be embodied as a belief at Everyday Champions Academy, but will not be taught in the sciences. Similarly, evolution will be taught as a theory. We believe children should have a broad knowledge of all theories in order that they can make informed choice."

In July last year Mr Gove acknowledged there were concerns about "inappropriate faith groups using this legislation to push their own agenda." He told MPs on the cross-party Commons education committee that his department was working to ensure there were no "extremist groups taking over schools".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/ed ... ience.html
Scientists and humanists fear creationist teaching is set to creep into more classrooms
By Andrew Williams
Thursday, 7 April 2011

Last summer the British Humanist Association co-ordinated a letter from scientists and educators to Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, urging him to specifically include the teaching of evolution in the primary schools curriculum. The Department of Education's reply indicated that this would be too prescriptive. However it went on to discuss creationism and intelligent design (ID), saying that, because they are not scientific, they do not form part of the national curriculum and should not be taught in science class.

The BHA was concerned that this reply did not go far enough. And so it was with particular concern that Andrew Copson, its chief executive, received the news recently that Everyday Champions Church – an evangelical Christian church with creationist views – had applied to set up a free school.

Mr Copson told me: "We fear that schools that are able to opt out of the national curriculum, such as the new free schools, will be able teach a range of untruths, such as creationism, even in science class. And because the Government has refused to say that it will ensure evolution is taught at primary level, these schools won't even have to teach evolution at all. It really is a scandal that in a time of austerity, taxpayers' money will be wasted on funding free schools which provide such confused scientific teaching."

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.

However Michael Reiss, professor of science education at the Institute of Education, London, supports the BHA's stance. "Any topic needs to be taught to the appropriate level," he says. "No one will try to teach the precise details of natural selection and inheritance at primary level. You build on what people already know, such as about dinosaurs. For instance, you tell them that the scientific consensus is that the world is extremely old and that has given time for species to evolve."

Dr Behe, though, makes a more serious allegation about any future requirement to teach evolution in primary classes: "It shows that certain people have an agenda to get children to think like them, to indoctrinate them on their side. And to prejudice young minds to one side before they're capable of understanding is the opposite of education."

Philip Bell, the chief executive of Creation Ministries International (UK/Europe), makes the same point. He goes on to say that when we consider the facts on which science is based, we do so from a worldview point. If we approach, say, the fossil record or DNA from the viewpoint that God created the world in the way literally set out in the Bible with a global flood centuries later, the science stands up.
Even so, he sees evolution as a vital topic, which is relevant to politics, medicine and the economy. He has no qualms about teaching it so long as it is done "warts and all".

This reflects what Pastor Morgan of Everyday Champions Church states that his proposed free school would do. He says that creationism will not be taught in science class, and that evolution will be taught but only as a theory. He explains: "We believe children should have a broad knowledge of all theories in order that they can make informed choices."

Evolutionists agree that Darwinism is a theory, but only in the scientific sense of that word: meaning that it provides a powerful, useful and predictive explanation of a whole range of supporting scientific facts. In that sense, "theory" means much more than in the non-scientific context when the word is often used to mean little more than a hunch.

Besides, evolution is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community. In the words of the USA National Academy of Sciences: "It is no longer possible to sustain scientifically the view that living things we see today did not evolve from earlier forms or that the human species was not produced by the same evolutionary mechanisms that apply to the rest of the living world."

And so, although ID and creationism may not be taught as part of the science curriculum, the question arises as to whether they should be taught at all. According to Professor Reiss: "Secondary school RE teachers are often particularly good at dealing with students when issues can be addressed from a range of very different worldviews including those of ID proponents." Even so, he acknowledges that "at school level, the depth of knowledge you need to examine the standard claims made by proponents of ID is generally that of the first year of sixth-form biology or beyond".

Dr Behe believes that although the scientific community is presently allergic to ID, this will change after a generation or two. "As scientists retire," he says, "the ones who are very antagonistic to ID will be replaced by those other scientists who have grown up hearing and wondering about it. And so I think that the atmosphere will change."

His prediction illustrates why the education of children has become a battleground between ideologies, and why applications to set up free schools by organisations such as Everyday Champions Church will continue to remain in the spotlight.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/educa ... 64294.html
Scientists demand tougher guidelines on teaching of creationism in schools
Sir David Attenborough among those accusing 'fundamentalists' of seeking to portray creationism as scientific theory in class
Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent The Guardian, Monday 19 September 2011 Article history

Prominent scientists, including Sir David Attenborough and Richard Dawkins, have called on the government to toughen its guidance on the promotion of creationism in classrooms, accusing "religious fundamentalists" of portraying it as scientific theory in publicly funded schools.

A group of 30 scientists have signed a statement saying it is "unacceptable" to teach creationism and intelligent design, whether it happens in science lessons or not. The statement claims two organisations, Truth in Science and Creation Ministries International are "touring the UK and presenting themselves as scientists and their creationist views as science".
"Creationism and intelligent design are not scientific theories, but they are portrayed as scientific theories by some religious fundamentalists who attempt to have their views promoted in publicly funded schools," the scientists say.
"There should be enforceable statutory guidance that they may not be presented as scientific theories in any publicly funded school of whatever type."

The scientists claim organisations such as Truth in Science are encouraging teachers to incorporate intelligent design into their science teaching.
"Truth in Science has sent free resources to all secondary heads of science and to school librarians around the country that seek to undermine the theory of evolution and have intelligent design ideas portrayed as credible scientific viewpoints. Speakers from Creation Ministries International are touring the UK, presenting themselves as scientists and their creationist views as science at a number of schools."
Free schools and academies were not obliged to teach the national curriculum and so were "under no obligation to teach evolution at all," it added.

Truth in Science denied advocating the teaching of creationism in schools. "We wish to highlight the scientific weaknesses of neo-Darwinism and to encourage a more critical approach to the teaching of evolution in schools and universities," it said in a statement.

Creation Ministries International was unavailable for comment.

The statement appears on a website, Evolution not Creationism, aimed at driving out creationism and intelligent design from classrooms and marks the latest attempt to reinforce evolution teaching in classrooms. Professor Richard Dawkins, president of the Royal Society Sir Paul Nurse, neurobiologist Professor Colin Blakemore and theoretical physicist Jim Al-Khalili are among the other signatories.

Although teaching evolution is not compulsory in primary schools, many already introduce some aspects in classes. The proposal to add it to the national curriculum "accepted by Labour in 2009" was dropped last year by the coalition and is currently being reviewed by the Department for Education.

The Department for Education said: "The education secretary was crystal clear in opposition and now in government that teaching creationism as scientific fact is wrong. He will not accept any academy or free school proposal which plans to teach creationism in the science curriculum or as an alternative to accepted scientific theories.
"Academies and free schools must have a broad and balanced curriculum. Ofsted takes a strict line with inspecting this. We expect to see evolution and its foundation topics fully included in any science curriculum."

Earlier this month Dawkins argued that children should learn about evolution from the age of five.
Speaking in support of the statement, Dawkins said: "We need to stop calling evolution a theory. In the ordinary language sense of the word it is a fact. It is as solidly demonstrated as any fact in science."

Last year Michael Reiss, professor of education at the Institute of Science Education and an Anglican priest, told the Guardian that while it was "important" for organisations that did not accept the theory of evolution to be "allowed to exist and to proclaim their message" in a free society, the arguments against the theory of evolution were invalid.
He said: "In a school setting this means that while teachers of science are perfectly at liberty to address creationist and ID issues, should they so wish, students must not be given the impression that there is a scientific controversy over whether the Earth is very old (about 4.6bn years old) or whether all species descend from very simple common ancestors."

He was responding to the launch of the Centre for Intelligent Design which aims to promote public understanding of intelligent design and its implications.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/201 ... sm-schools
Muslim faith schools teach 'alien rubbish' says Dawkins

Richard Dawkins says for many students the Koran always wins in any disagreement with science

Related Stories

The free schools set to open in 2011
Who are the British creationists?
Call for creationism in science

Muslim faith schools fill children's heads with "alien rubbish" as they continue to teach them creationism is true, atheist Richard Dawkins has said.

In the Times Educational Supplement (TES), the Oxford author said they had a "pernicious influence".

The Muslim Council of Britain said it was unreasonable to expect schools not to teach fundamental theories of faith.

The Department for Education said creationism "should not be taught as scientific fact".

Professor Dawkins told the TES he had concerns with all faith schools, but Muslim ones worried him the most.

The author of The God Delusion, emeritus fellow of New College and evolutionary biologist, said young people were being taught that the world was only 6,000 years old.

The effect of this was "utterly deplorable" and could affect the way young people thought right up until their university years, he said.

Start Quote

I don't believe any religious teaching prevents people from being creative and independent in their thinking”

Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra
Muslim Council of Britain

"Occasionally, my colleagues lecturing in universities lament having undergraduate students walk out of their classes when they talk about evolution - this is almost entirely Muslims," he said.

But Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, from the Muslim Council of Britain, said: "Faith schools are by and large established to enforce the religious teachings of our lives, and the theory of creation is one of the cornerstones of our faith.

"To expect faith schools not to teach this kind of religious teaching is unreasonable, but I also think it is important for faith schools to teach science to children as well so they are aware of modern day findings and can use the information to ask further questions and strengthen their faith.

"I don't believe any religious teaching prevents people from being creative and independent in their thinking."

A MCB spokesman added: "The results of Muslim faith schools in England in maths and science show a strong compatibility between the Muslim faith and scientific learning."

The chairman of Muslims4UK, Inayat Bunglawala, said it was "important faith groups came to terms with evolution" and taught it in a fair manner.

"I don't think students growing up today are served well by being taught this way by religious leaders.

Richard Dawkins's new book is intended to teach children to replace myth with science
"It's symbolic and it makes no sense to take it so literally - it will only serve to undermine the faith of students when the two schools of thought could be understood side by side."

Naomi Phillips, from the British Humanist Association, said: "There are a number of problems that go throughout faith schools but I wouldn't say it's just Muslim schools, it's also Christian schools too."

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "All schools must teach a broad and balanced curriculum, and creationism should not be taught as scientific fact.

"Evolution first appears as a concept in the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3."

Naomi Phillips said however more needed to be done to ensure this.

"We've been encouraged certainly by the government saying very strongly that they don't think creationism should be taught in schools, but what we need to see now is real statutory measures, make guidance against teaching creationism."
Richard Dawkins celebrates a victory over creationists
Free schools that teach 'intelligent design' as science will lose funding
Jamie Doward The Observer, Sunday 15 January 2012

Leading scientists and naturalists, including Professor Richard Dawkins and Sir David Attenborough, are claiming a victory over the creationist movement after the government ratified measures that will bar anti-evolution groups from teaching creationism in science classes.

The Department for Education has revised its model funding agreement, allowing the education secretary to withdraw cash from schools that fail to meet strict criteria relating to what they teach. Under the new agreement, funding will be withdrawn for any free school that teaches what it claims are "evidence-based views or theories" that run "contrary to established scientific and/or historical evidence and explanations".

The British Humanist Association (BHA), which has led a campaign against creationism – the movement that denies Darwinian evolution and claims that the Earth and all its life was created by God – described the move as "highly significant" and predicted that it would have implications for other faith groups looking to run schools.

Dawkins, who was one of the leading lights in the campaign, welcomed confirmation that creationists would not receive funding to run free schools if they sought to portray their views as science. "I welcome all moves to ensure that creationism is not taught as fact in schools," he said. "Government rules on this are extremely welcome, but they need to be properly enforced."

Free schools, which are state-funded and run by local people or organisations, do not need to follow the national curriculum. Scientific groups have expressed concerns that their spread will see a reduction in the teaching of evolution in the classroom.

Several creationist groups have expressed an interest in opening schools in towns and cities across England, including Bedford, Barnsley, Sheffield and Nottingham. Critics say they seek to promote creationism, or the doctrine of "intelligent design", as a scientific theory rather than as a myth or metaphor.

One creationist organisation, Truth in Science, which encourages teachers to incorporate intelligent design into their science teaching, has sent free resources to all secondary schools and sixth-form colleges.

A BHA campaign, called "Teach evolution, not creationism", saw 30 leading scientists and educators call on the government to introduce statutory guidance against the teaching of creationism. The group said if the government would not support the call, an explicit amendment to the wording of the funding agreement could have the same effect. Last week the Department for Education confirmed it had amended the agreement, although a spokesman denied it was the result of pressure from scientists. He said the revision made good on a pledge regarding the teaching of creationism given when the education secretary, Michael Gove, was in opposition. "We will not accept any academy or free school proposal which plans to teach creationism in the science curriculum or as an alternative to accepted scientific theories," the spokesman said, adding that "all free school proposals will be subject to due diligence checks by the department's specialist team".

The revised funding agreement has been seized upon by anti-creationists who are pressing for wider concessions from the government.
"It is clear that some faith schools are ignoring the regulations and are continuing to teach myth as though it were science," Dawkins said. "Evolution is fact, supported by evidence from a host of scientific disciplines, and we do a great disservice to our young people if we fail to teach it properly. "

A spokeswoman for the BHA said: "The government's new wording is quite wide and in practice could prevent those who promote extreme religious or particular spiritual or pseudoscientific approaches from including them as part of the school curriculum as science or as evidence-based."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/201 ... ent-design
I've never understood why a Christian would want to teach creationism in science classes. If you truly believe in God then surely you don't need to worry about what the scientists are up to?
The problem is those scheming scientists might undermine the faith of the little ones.
No modern true Christian thinks the Creation story is to be taken literally, it's simply symbology, metaphor, analogy etc.
Now if only you could get people to agree on who the "true christians" are.
It's all too easy (and some people on here are far too willing) for us to fall into the journalistic trap of seeing this as 'Christians vs Scientists.'

Creationists are only a small minority of Christians, make sure when reading these newspaper articles you keep that in mind.

Also; the title: 'Dawkins celebrates victory over creationists.' is like me saying i;m celebrating victory over the slug I just trod on when taking out the bins this morning.

Dawkins et al are just feeding these nutters and giving them a greater reason d'etre.
Most Christians aren't. (Christians). Far too many of them value the Old Testament above the Word of Christ. This is patently muddle headed, to say the least, after all the clue is in the name - _Christ_ian.

Its not a question of whether or not Christ actually existed or actually said thise things. If you are going to call yourself a Christian you presumably believe he was there and did say those things - quite important ones like 'love your neighbour','judge not that ye be judged','let he who is without sin cast the first stone', etc. etc. Which begs the question of just why so many 'Christians' in history have judged, fought, killed, persecuted, abused...

But I suspect most followers of most religions only have a hazy idea of what they actually believe, and are thus easily manipulated by people with evil motives who claim (with varying degrees of sincerity) to be operating in the name of whatever God they follow.
Cochise said:
Most Christians aren't. (Christians)....many 'Christians' in history have judged, fought, killed, persecuted, abused...

Right, anybody can call themselves a Christian and even go to church, but that doesn't make them one..:)


Well, exactly. The bloke in the helmet may well think he is a Christian, the other bloke was just being cynical. I don't know his personal religious views, no doubt they are documented somewhere, but he certainly encouraged both atheism and paganism when it suited him - no doubt to have multple camps ready to play off against each other.

That sort of hypocricy is by no means confined to conventional religion. The US campaign for 'democracy' as understood by Bush pere et fils, for example.

Anyway, getting wayyy off topic.
However it does seem interesting that according to Wayfarer a true Christian is someone who believes the Bible isn't true. Incidentally, does anyone know what the Amish teach their school kids?
Xanatic_ said:
However it does seem interesting that according to Wayfarer a true Christian is someone who believes the Bible isn't true..

Get on that naughty step this instant for putting words in my mouth!
Like I said, parts of the Bible are not meant to be taken literally; for example the talking 'serpent' in Eden was a symbol for Satan.
Likewise the Creation story was put into simplified symbolic form, as possibly was the Noah's Ark tale etc; maybe it can be discussed in due course in a religious thread.
The fact is none of us can see the big pic Jesus as Jesus said-"You hardly believe me when I tell you earthly things,so how would you believe me if I told you heavenly things?" (John 3:12)

Incidentally as a matter of interest, if any Fortean members have got kids who ask you whether God created the universe and life and everything, or whether it simply came into existence on its own without him, how do you answer them?
(I never married or had kids so i'm free of that responsibility)..:)
Waymarker said:
Likewise the Creation story was put into simplified symbolic form, as possibly was the Noah's Ark tale etc; maybe it can be discussed in due course in a religious thread.
There are maybe a dozen threads on the bible already, so check them out before starting a 'new' discussion!
There's rather a neat 'phantom face' above Corporal Schickelgruber in the first picture. Just north-east of the cross.
Ind. Senators Vote for Creationism
http://the-scientist.com/2012/01/27/ind ... eationism/
A committee in the Indiana state legislature OKs a bill aimed at getting creationism into public school science classes.
By Bob Grant | January 27, 2012

Link this Stumble Tweet this

By a margin of 8-2, the Indiana State Senate’s Education Committee passed a bill designed to insert the teaching of “creation science” alongside evolutionary theory in public school science classrooms. Senate Bill 89, which the Republican-dominated committee passed last week, would give schools the freedom to decide if they wanted to allow “the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life,” one of which is creationism.

According to The Times of Northwest Indiana, scientists and religious leaders in the state oppose the bill. “Creation science is not science,” Purdue University professor of science education John Staver told the committee. “It is unquestionably a statement of a specific religion.” Reverend Charles Allen, head of Grace Unlimited, an Indianapolis campus ministry, concurred, telling the committee that he would prefer students to be taught religion in a comparative manner rather than trying to “smuggle it in” to a science course.

Staver added that passage of the bill would likely stir up lengthy and expensive legal challenges in the state. “All that the citizens of Indiana are going to get from this bill are wasted legal efforts, lawyer fees, and penalties,” he told the Senate committee, according to the Columbus, Indiana, newspaper The Republic.

And Staver’s prediction may already be coming true. Indiana’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union released a statement arguing that teaching creationism in public schools is unconstitutional. “The idea that somehow our state legislature can trump the Constitution just doesn’t make sense,” the ACLU of Indiana’s head lawyer Ken Falk said in the statement. “When lawmakers propose legislation they clearly know will end up in the courts, it wastes valuable time and resources, disrespects the legislative process, and confuses an already complicated issue.”

The bill will now be considered by the full Indiana Senate, which, according to the Chicago Tribune, has until this Wednesday to win approval.
I don't think teaching creationism as part of religious studies is a problem, its teaching it as science that is absurd. And that's true even if you believe in it - how would 'science' be relevant to the actions of an all-powerful being who could create the universe out of nothing in 7 days?

Strange people, these fundies.
Teaching evolution key to free school funding deal
By Judith Burns
BBC News education reporter

Scientists have raised concerns that rules on teaching evolution "are not tight enough"

Failing to teach evolution by natural selection in science lessons could lead to new free schools losing their funding under government changes.

The new rules state that from 2013, all free schools in England must teach evolution as a "comprehensive and coherent scientific theory".

The move follows scientists' concerns that free schools run by creationists might avoid teaching evolution.

Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, said he was "delighted".

Sir Paul told BBC News the previous rules on free schools and the teaching of evolution versus creationism had been "not tight enough".

'Creationist myth'
He said that although the previous rules had confined creationism to religious education lessons, "the Royal Society identified a potential issue that schools could have avoided teaching evolution by natural selection in science lessons or dealt with it in a such a perfunctory way, that the main experience for students was the creationist myth".

So far 79 free schools have opened in England with 118 more due to open in 2013 and beyond. They are funded directly by central government but unlike other state-funded schools are run by groups of parents, teachers, charities and religious groups and do not have to abide by the national curriculum.

The new rules mean if a free school is found to be acting in breach of its funding agreement - for example, teaching creationism as a scientific fact or not teaching evolution - the Department for Education will take "swift action which could result in the termination of that funding agreement".

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

The development of the theory of evolution is an excellent example of how science works and there is a clear consensus within the scientific community regarding both its validity and importance ”

Sir Paul Nurse
President, Royal Society
In a letter to the Royal Society, the Schools Minister, Lord Hill, said: "While we have always been clear that we expect to see evolution included in schools' science curricula, this new clause will provide more explicit reassurance that free schools will have to meet that expectation."

Sir Paul Nurse said: "The new clause in the funding agreement should ensure that all pupils at free schools have the opportunity to learn about evolution as an extensively evidenced theory and one of the most fundamentally important tenets of modern biology.

"The development of the theory of evolution is an excellent example of how science works and there is a clear consensus within the scientific community regarding both its validity and importance."

A spokesman for the Department for Education said that the new clause would apply to the Grindon Hall Christian school in Sunderland and two others that this year became the focus of concerns about the teaching of creationism in free schools. ...
Cochise said:
I don't think teaching creationism as part of religious studies is a problem, its teaching it as science that is absurd. And that's true even if you believe in it - how would 'science' be relevant to the actions of an all-powerful being who could create the universe out of nothing in 7 days?

Strange people, these fundies.

Come to that, why just teach the Christian Creation myth? Others from other cultures are surely equally valid and should also be included from the Samoan...
Then Tagaloa said to the Rock, "Be thou split up." Then was brought forth Papa-ta'oto (lying rock); after that, Papa-sosolo (creep-ing rock); then Papa-lau-a'au (reef rock); then Papa-'ano-'ano (thick rock); then Papa-'ele (clay rock); then Papa-tu (standing rock); then Papa-'amu-'amu (coral rock) and his children.

...to the Hopi...
First Spider Woman took some earth and mixed it with saliva to make two beings. Over them she sang the Creation Song, and they came to life. She instructed one of them, Poqanghoya, to go across the earth and solidify it. She instructed the other, Palongawhoya, to send out sound to resonate through the earth, so that the earth vibrated with the energy of the Creator. Poqanghoya and Palongawhoya were dispatched to the poles of the earth to keep it rotating.

How are they any less relevant or less important to the faith school curriculum? Or does it simply come down to a choice based on who won the most wars and who has the most money?
jimv1 said:
Come to that, why just teach the Christian Creation myth? Others from other cultures are surely equally valid and should also be included from the Samoan...
...to the Hopi...

Wasn't that the reason the Flying Spaghetti Monster was invented - to force the Kansas School Board to teach that as well?
I don't have any problem with the others being taught as well. The point is religion is not science. Multiple contradictory explanations are allowed to exist.

Although actually what is striking about creation explanations is their broad similarity and kind of logic. None of them say a bunch of stuff exploded out of nowhere for no reason. I mean, who'd believe that? :twisted:
Cochise said:
I don't know his personal religious views, no doubt they are documented somewhere, but he certainly encouraged both atheism and paganism when it suited him.

Hitler never promoted or encouraged atheism. On the contrary, he discriminated atheists, banning atheistic societies. And he was himself a creationist :
http://stevencarrwork.blogspot.fr/2006/ ... onist.html

As for his personal religious religious views, they are unclear, but there is no serious doubt that he was a theist, with a mystical inclination. Not strictly speaking a traditional Christian, although he may have been close to German Christianism, at least in the 20s. In his private and public talks, he often said that he believed that he had been chosen by God or the Providence (which for him probably meant the same).
He also condemned Catholicism and encouraged Himmler's denial of Christianity for the SS, even though he is on record as thinking Himmler's Norse/Germanic pseudo-religion was nonsense he thought it would bind his personal bodyguard closer to him.

If you look for consistency in Hitler's views on anything other than his own right to be Fuhrer you are misunderstanding the man. He was entirely capable of changing his mind entirely and denying that he'd changed it if it suited his purpose - or even, on rare occasions, making a great show of having been wrong due to some evil person / race misleading him so they could then be removed. If his current enemy was an atheist he would condemn atheists.

Basically, anyone who believes there is a greater good that justifies bad acts - to avoid quoting the cliché exactly - is heading down the same road as the Corporal.
Does half of America really believe Noah saved all the animals in his ark?
By Peter Foster Last updated: February 11th, 2014

Can it really be true? Depending on which polling organisation you prefer, between a third and a half of Americans believe in so-called "young earth creationism".

This is the idea that the humans were created within the last 6,000-10,000 years and that all the animals on earth were rescued by Noah and his ark – including the dinosaurs – which according to one strand of the theory, were squeezed onto the ark as babies or adolescents, to make room.
Viewed scientifically, this is, of course, childish nonsense.

And yet a Pew poll says that 33 per cent of Americans believe that humans "have existed in their present form since the beginning of time", while Gallup finds that 46 per cent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form "at one time within the last 10,000 years".

I've always been suspicious of these numbers and a recent trip to Virginia to meet with both young secularists and evangelicals at Liberty University (the bible school founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell which espouses creationism) has made me doubly so.

You can read all about the trip here, but what was startling was the idea, advanced by several of the interviewees, that lots of people brought up in that world didn't actually believe in this kind of literalism – even though officially, they said that they did.

This was explained by phrases such as: a) it was expected of them by the church b) it was the line of least resistance c) they didn't want to be ostracised by friends and family d) they didn't feel it was really that important either way.

Pollsters call this the "halo effect", and it can be seen, for example, in the gap between the numbers of Americans who say that they go to church and the number who actually do, which can be measured by all sorts of underhand methods, not least counting the cars in the car park on a Sunday. 8)

According to this article by an Evangelical website, regular church attendance is actually observed by about 20 per cent of Americans, which is only half the official pollsters' figure of 40 per cent. It's a big discrepancy, and I'm willing to bet it is mirrored to a significant degree in these creationist polls.

At Liberty University, where there is a Creation Hall espousing the doctrine, there was palpable awkwardness at times among some of those having to defend the scientifically indefensible.

Should defending one's faith, require one to defend the kind of cod science on display at Liberty, such as the "fact" that all species of horse, donkey and zebra are "all descended from an original pair of horses that were on Noah's ark", or that the comparative lack of evolution in sharks and the coelacanth "fossil fish" disprove Darwin's theory?

Well, that's exactly what institutions like Liberty University and the Evangelical church do demand, even when officially they say that they "teach both sides", which is not really true, as Kevin Roose, the Brown student who spent a semester at Liberty explained in his brilliant (and sympathetic) undercover memoir The Unlikely Disciple.

One Liberty man, who was reluctant even to show us the Creation Hall, tried to diminish its importance, apparently wanting to avoid conflating or confusing it with the profundity of his own religious faith – "it's not a big deal, it's not something we think about that much" – which I took as code for: "it's not something you should judge us on, and certainly not judge the validity of our faith in Jesus Christ."

I suspect this explains a lot of the polling. Believing in creationism is for many a statement of tribal identity before a statement of actual belief.

This might explain why, according to another poll recently quoted by The Economist the number of Republicans who believed in biological evolution actually fell from 54 per cent in 2009 to 43 per cent today – a change that perhaps tracks the surge of identity politics over that period.

And if you watched the recent Creation debate between Ken Ham, the Christian author who started a Creation Museum and Billy Nye, telly scientist and CEO of the Planetary Society, you can see how divisive and tribal this debate has become.

It was just a dialogue of the deaf that mirrors and echoes the emptiness of political discourse in the US today, where both sides have retreated to their trenches to lob ideological mortar shells at each other, with their hands clamped firmly over their ears.

I daren't say that there aren't Americans who really do believe all the animals were saved by Noah in his ark, but I'd also suggest that those "beliefs" don't quite amount, in practice, to what both sides of this debate – evangelicals who wish to vehemently defend the faith, and atheists who equally vehemently wish to trash it – would have you believe.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peter ... n-his-ark/
When I look at discussions on the new Darren Aronofski's movie Noah, well, there is no shortage of posters who really believe that the Biblical description of Noah's flood is genuine, or at least who claim to believe that. And they are quite vehement at that.