Bronze-level articleCreationism in the United Kingdom

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Although the US is usually regarded as a hotbed of creationist ideas, the rise of creationism in the UK is also of concern. The scale of creationism and the problem it poses is still debatable - Ben Goldacre specifically left out any mention of creationism in Bad Science because he claimed it wasn't an issue, but Richard Dawkins (naturally) has raised concerns about it, showing uncritical teaching of creationism in Islamic faith schools in his Channel 4 documentary Faith School Menace?.

On the other hand, scepticism and atheism are also important in the UK ("We don't do God"[1]) and Sceptics in the Pub meetings are usually a lot more fun than going to church.

The Bank of England’s £10 note has a portrait of Charles Darwin on it, and this is reflected in the relatively low numbers of creationists in the UK. There is very little creationism advocacy in goverment, except in Northern Ireland.

Contents

[edit] Creationist organisations

There are a number of British creationist organisations, although none are as well-funded or glitzy as their US counterparts.

[edit] Truth in Science

See main article Truth in Science.

Truth in science[2] is more towards the ID end of the spectrum and it advocates the Discovery Institute's wedge strategy of "teach the controversy".

Although it claims that it wants an even-handed approach to be taken in respect of the imagined "controversy", its completely impartial FAQ [3] includes the completely non-biased question: "If Darwinism is flawed, why do so many scientists still believe it?" This is a reasonably good example of its impartiality.

[edit] Creation Science Movement

"CSM prayerfully trusts in God to provide all the finances so we do not ask directly for donations, but rely upon God's faithfulness"

The Creation Science Movement are full-on wacky creationists.[4] The CSM claims to be the oldest creationist organisation in the world, having grown out of the "Evolution Protest Movement" that was founded in 1932.

Their statement of faith includes:[5]

  • The Bible is the written Word of God. It is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs. It is the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
  • The account of origins presented in Genesis is a simple but factual presentation of actual events and therefore provides a reliable framework for scientific research into the question of the origin and history of life
  • The great flood of Genesis was an actual historic event, worldwide in its extent and effect

Their objectives are:

  • To show that the Scriptures, and in particular those that bear on Creation, are reliable.
  • To lecture on Creation Science at universities, schools and churches.
  • To publish and distribute the journal 'Creation', pamphlets, books, DVDs, video, CDs/audio tapes demonstrating that the biblical account of special Creation is supported by true science.

The movement seems quite amateurish compared to the likes of Answers in Genesis, with a web-based FAQ that appears cobbled together mostly from lists of creationist arguments that even creationists don't like using. Such as answering the question "what evidence is there for creation" with "there's no evidence to disprove creation!"[6]

[edit] Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

File:NHA.jpg
I ain't no monkey! The zoo farm's creationist underbelly.

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm[7] is a tourist attraction and stealth creationism pusher located in North Somerset. It has won several awards for its education about animals and as an attraction (and by most accounts it appears to be a good educational resource for conservation), but has been seriously criticised for being a partially closeted young-Earth creationist organisation.[8]

Compared to those "loonie American creationists",[9] the Farm isn't explicit about how "young" the Earth is, although its owner has stated 100,000 years. This figure is still very "young" in comparison to established geology, which it criticises heavily[10] but not quite the 6000 years of the Ussher chronology. The Zoo Farm is still a big believer in the dichotomy of microevolution and macroevolution, as well as gap theory and a firm belief in a Biblical flood.[11] It is however careful about how up front it is with these beliefs, presumably as it does not want to scare off potential visitors by being too weird.

In 2009 it came under investigation for having dodgy links to the Great British Circus (a controversial group because of its continued use of live animals) and for breaking numerous regulations imposed by both the government and societies of which the zoo was a member. In true British fashion you can be as nutty as you like when you teach kids but you can't mistreat animals.

[edit] Genesis Expo

They describe themselves as "the biggest Creation Museum in the UK" and are located in Portsmouth and are run by the above-mentioned Creation Science Movement. They claim to cover such topics as:

  • The impossibility of life forming from chemicals.
  • Chinese calligraphy refers back to Genesis.
  • The present day forms remain unchanged from their fossil counterparts.
  • Geological sediments are laid down rapidly.
  • A study of genetics shows that all humanity came from one man and one woman. [12]

Oh and they have a clutch of REAL fossilised dinosaur eggs. [13]

[edit] Centre for intelligent design

Glasgow-based ID group. [14] Looks like a cheap Discovery Institute clone with extensive references to Michael Behe. They have some rather intrusive terms and conditions. [15]

Its goals are pure Wedge Document.

  • promote the professional investigation and public debate of Intelligent Design
  • challenge, on the scientific evidence, the neo-Darwinian claim that the development of life is purely the result of undirected forces
  • encourage consideration of the wider implications of Intelligent Design.

According to their website it is directed by Alastair Noble. Their president is Prof Norman Nevin OBE, Emeritus Professor of Medical Genetics, Queens University, Belfast and their vice-president is Dr David Galloway, Vice President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow, Scotland.[16]

[edit] The Caleb Foundation

See main article Caleb Foundation.

The Caleb foundation are Irish creationists. [17] If their homepage correctly reflects their technical ability and scientific knowledge, then they would seem to pose little threat to our children. However, they actually have the ear of many Unionist members of Parliament in Northern Ireland, who then push creationism as hard as they can get away with.

[edit] The Norwich Reformed Church

See main article Alan Clifford.

Although controversial primarily for its anti-Islamic stance, Alan Clifford's Norwich Reformed Church is also a creationist outfit, as can be seen in its leaflet "Devious Dawkins, or Creation Not Evolution".[18]

[edit] Fighting the good fight

Fortunately there are a number of organisations who object to this madness.

[edit] The Council of Europe

See main article Council of Europe 2007 resolution on the teaching of creationism

The council of Europe strongly objects to the teaching of creationism as science.

[edit] British Centre for Science Education

See main article British Centre for Science Education

BCSE is an organisation which fights for the use of real science.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

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