TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creationism

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TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creationism

Postby cathy » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:46 pm

From Fridays TES
http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6266963

Mainly about the three new proposed creationists schools. But I particularly like this line
Faith schools need to join the discussion on the side of sensible science, or find themselves tarnished by their more extremist cousins.

Which I think applies equally to all christian/muslim groups. Including things like the evangelical alliance!! Too few of them are speaking out.

the full article says
If you don't Adam and Eve it, say so
comment | Published in TES magazine on 10 August, 2012 | By: James Williams

Comment:
Last Updated:14 August, 2012
Section:comment
..Faith schools must speak out against extreme creationist views, says James Williams

The latest wave of free schools sanctioned by Michael Gove and published last month includes some surprises. At least three - Exemplar-Newark Business Academy, Grindon Hall Christian School and another school in Sevenoaks, Kent - have been accused of planning to teach creationism.

The Department for Education is clear that neither creationism nor intelligent design can be taught as a scientific alternative to evolution. All the approved schools have said that they won't teach creationism in science, but the three mentioned above say they will in RE and in assemblies. Grindon Hall has previously been accused of wanting to teach creationism as a valid scientific alternative to evolution, a sop to the American creationist movement's call to "teach the controversy". It seems that the schools will be sticking to the letter of the DfE's guidance but not the spirit.

Creationists often use intelligent design as the alternative in this "controversy". What they fail to see is that what they cite as an alternative to evolution has no evidence to support its central tenet, that things science cannot yet explain can only be the result of an "intelligent agent". It is not a scientific controversy and science often has a way of explaining the unexplainable, given time, resources and technological advances.

At this point, many readers might expect me to launch into a polemic on the failings of faith schools, arguing that religion has no place in the curriculum. But my stance is somewhat different: I believe that mainstream faith schools need to enter the debate.

Evangelical creationists pose a threat to mainstream religion and mainstream faith schools. A reading of creationist materials - which propose a young Earth (less than 10,000 years old), separate acts of creation, a "history" of dinosaurs and humans coexisting in the Garden of Eden, an acceptance of giants (the Nephilim), men living for hundreds of years, and talking serpents - serves only to deliver a false impression that many Christians hold such strange ideas. All Christians are liable to be tarnished with the brush of Biblical literalism, whereas the vast majority can accept the evidence from science that evolution is the best explanation of how life developed and diversified during its 3.5 billion-year history. Many scientists are Christians and many others, from a variety of faiths, reconcile their beliefs with an acceptance of scientific evidence.

Although the free schools have stated that they won't teach creationism in science, that misses the point in a spectacular way. It is not where creationism is taught but how it is taught - and, more importantly, how well evolution is taught. If the whole ethos of a school is based on the premise that creationism is "true" and evolution "false", the fact that it is delivered in RE is immaterial. If the intent is to undermine the teaching of evolution or to spread bogus ideas about scientific "controversy", it will deliver to impressionable children a false picture of science and how robust evolution theory is.

As a Fellow of the Society of Biology, I know it is concerned that the DfE should devolve state funding to schools where there is an intention to teach any form of creationism, a direct violation of good, basic biological science. There is also concern about the degree of scrutiny that free school applications face when there is an open admission that they intend to flout the guidance on the teaching of evolution, creationism and intelligent design. Schools are not the place to fight a war on science and impose a minority evangelical ideology on impressionable children. That the DfE is funding such indoctrination is nothing short of scandalous. That their guidance can be circumvented in such a simple fashion is deplorable.

Faith schools need to join the discussion on the side of sensible science, or find themselves tarnished by their more extremist cousins.

James Williams is a lecturer in science education at the University of Sussex's School of Education and Social Work.

.

I've underlined some very interesting bits! But it is useful that it is the first piece I've seen in a while that separates christianity and normal faith schools from creationist loon ones and is therefore possibly a very useful veiwpoint.
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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby cathy » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:05 pm

Apparently there is a Michael Gove is an idiot facebook page. I may well have to join facebook to join it. I just hope in 30 years time when he needs a new hip or heart/brain (well not a NEW heart/brain) he gets someone from one of his creationist loon free schools doing it. Considering the controversy of whether to operate or sing a psalm whilst swinging some magic man making mud over it. :evil: :evil: :evil: having learnt nothing but drivel during their educations.

By the time idiot Gove is gone, so will education and the future of this country!!. Still at least the kids will be good at phonics - so we'll have lost any word with complex vowel sounds :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby Roger Stanyard » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:14 pm

cathy wrote:From Fridays TES
http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?story ... .....James Williams is a lecturer in science education at the University of Sussex's School of Education and Social Work.



James is very good and to the point. He's one of the best and most effective anti-creationists in the UK. IIRC he has been a teacher.
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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby cathy » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:25 pm

It was a good article and recognised all the right points. he was the one on the Sunday morning thing, against pastor loony who wanted to teach creationism wasn't he?

Unlike idiot Gove. And just cos I can this is my newest favourite quote of the day about him. Seeing as how I'm not at work with the best quotes about how stupid Gove is competition to take part in.
The tories are so incompetent as to be unfit to be in government. And no one epitomises this better than Michael Gove, Education Secretary and a Class A idiot.

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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby Brian Jordan » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:48 pm

cathy wrote:
The tories are so incompetent as to be unfit to be in government. And no one epitomises this better than Michael Gove, Education Secretary and a Class A idiot.
Sadly, I'm afraid it applies to all political parties. Most of them seem to have someone like Gove, too - though not necessarily running education.
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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby Michael » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:02 pm

Sadly I totally agree with the article. Bishops and archdeacons are unwilling to speak out about it , though it is happening undertheir noses in Anglican faith schools
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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby a_haworthroberts » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:17 pm

cathy wrote:It was a good article and recognised all the right points. he was the one on the Sunday morning thing, against pastor loony who wanted to teach creationism wasn't he?

Unlike idiot Gove. And just cos I can this is my newest favourite quote of the day about him. Seeing as how I'm not at work with the best quotes about how stupid Gove is competition to take part in.
The tories are so incompetent as to be unfit to be in government. And no one epitomises this better than Michael Gove, Education Secretary and a Class A idiot.




I think Williams appeared on skype on the BBC programme. The James in the studio was James O'Brien. (If I'm thinking of the right programme.)
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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby Brian Jordan » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:03 pm

a_haworthroberts wrote:I think Williams appeared on skype on the BBC programme. The James in the studio was James O'Brien. (If I'm thinking of the right programme.)
I think you're right Ashley, IIRC.
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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby cathy » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:21 am

think Williams appeared on skype on the BBC programme
Yeah it was the Sype guy I was referring to. The other one was a journalist but very good.

Sadly I totally agree with the article. Bishops and archdeacons are unwilling to speak out about it , though it is happening undertheir noses in Anglican faith schools
And me!!! I can't understand why at all.

They need to be speaking out publicly AGAINST the new creationist free schools. If only to distance their own faith schools from it! And so do the RC church to distance their own faith schools.

The number of times you hear folk on the Dawkins forum accusing all faith schools of being creationist is ridiculous. But if the relevant normal Christians in positiions of power and influence don't stand up as a body and personally get rid of those misconceptions themselves for wishy washy inclusivity reasons, they will persist. And if christians with power and influence don't stand up against creationist free schools they have nobody but themselves to blame when things go pear shaped for their own schools. Gormless Gove and his tory pals won't be in forever, and creationist free schools may well finally turn the tide of support for faith schools per se!!

If genuine bishops and archdeacons would just present a united front in actually speaking out against and warning against such schools it might hold more sway with gormless Gove than scientists or anyone else. I'm sure he thinks they are just over reacting, they're not.

Plus it would alert parents, who've see some of the existing faith schools getting good results and extropolated, to the fact these are not normal faith schools!!! These are nothing like their local RC or CofE nice oversubscribed school, run as a school by normal people. Don't forget that Marc has already said existing faith schools were not extreme nor creationist enough for him to send his kids to, bet Gareth Morgans take on education would be tho. There is a difference and the bishops are probalby the best people point that out. If only to warn the parents and protect children.

Grindon Hall has got funding - it's too late for those poor kids. But Exemplar hasn't yet. The Bishops need to start speaking out soon from both the Anglican and RC side. Don't they ever hold cross theology talks? On issues they can unite on rather than can't. Perhaps if it were put to them as protecting the reputation of the faith school concept for the existing schools rather than anti creationist loon schools? Would that make them more proactive. Cos the new atheists will use the creationist loon schools to discredit the whole lot if they don't act soon.
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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby cathy » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:36 pm

Well you learn something every day. It would appear that arch critic of faith schools and maker of the Faith School Menace Richard Dawkins sent his daughter to a Catholic school :shock: :shock: Or at least his daughter attended a catholic school.

I never knew that! Tho as the mum with the catholic birth cert I do know atheist dads aren't quite as fierce in their atheism when the only good local primary is a faith one.

Just very surprised at that news.
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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby a_haworthroberts » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:05 pm

Who told you that, Cathy? (I quick google turned up nothing much.)
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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby cathy » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:01 pm

A friend said it was on the wikkpeadia page about him, which it is bizarrely
www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins
Personal lifeOn 19 August 1967, Dawkins married fellow ethologist Marian Stamp in Annestown, County Waterford, Ireland;[25] they divorced in 1984. Later that same year, on 1 June, he married Eve Barham (19 August 1951[26]–28 February 1999), a Catholic, in Oxford. They had a daughter, Juliet Emma Dawkins (born 1984, Oxford), who was sent to a Catholic school.[26] Dawkins and Barham also divorced[27] and she later died of cancer.[28][29] In 1992, he married actress Lalla Ward[27] in Kensington and Chelsea, London.[26] Dawkins met her through their mutual friend Douglas Adams,[30] who had worked with her on the BBC's Doctor Who.

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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby Brian Jordan » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:31 am

cathy wrote:A friend said it was on the wikkpeadia page about him, which it is bizarrely
http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins
Personal lifeOn 19 August 1967, Dawkins married fellow ethologist Marian Stamp in Annestown, County Waterford, Ireland;[25] they divorced in 1984. Later that same year, on 1 June, he married Eve Barham (19 August 1951[26]–28 February 1999), a Catholic, in Oxford. They had a daughter, Juliet Emma Dawkins (born 1984, Oxford), who was sent to a Catholic school.[26] Dawkins and Barham also divorced[27] and she later died of cancer.[28][29] In 1992, he married actress Lalla Ward[27] in Kensington and Chelsea, London.[26] Dawkins met her through their mutual friend Douglas Adams,[30] who had worked with her on the BBC's Doctor Who.

My my, someone has been digging. While it may well be true, it's not exactly verified. Reference [26] says
^ a b c "Births, Marriages and Deaths, England and Wales 1984–2006". Findmypast.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
which doesn't appear to have records of children's schooling.
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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby jon_12091 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:14 pm

That little gem will conflict some fundamentalist protestants! Whats worse, being an atheist or having been married to a "catholic"?
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Re: TES calls on faith schools to speak out against creation

Postby cathy » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:27 am

That little gem will conflict some fundamentalist protestants! Whats worse, being an atheist or having been married to a "catholic"?

whats more surprising is that he's now married to someone who was one of Doctor Whos assistants :shock: In the old Doctor Who's not the newer ones. Who'd have thought that.
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