Scottish schools fuss

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Scottish schools fuss

Postby Steve660 » Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:28 am

Item in today's "Scotsman" about moves to keep creationism out of schools. Apparently it's all a sinister plot by militant atheists to keep Christianity out of schools. The usual nonsense, and being pushed by a well known Calvinist, David Robertson, who regularly pollutes the letters pages of the Scotsman. http://www.scotsman.com/news/education/ ... -1-3597863
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Re: Scottish schools fuss

Postby Steve660 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:34 am

A brisk correspondence is going on in the Scotsman letter page about creationism. Today the Rev David Robertson makes the astonishing remark that, "The fact is that in Scotland’s schools the only attempt to introduce the American-style creation/culture wars is from the secularists." So far I have fired off three letters and every one has been suppressed. Maybe someone from BCSE could respond to the mad wee free? e-mail lettersts@scotsman.com
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Re: Scottish schools fuss

Postby a_haworthroberts » Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:51 pm

I'll take a look at this link to see what people have been saying:
http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/le ... -1-3599444

Meanwhile:
http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/educat ... m-1.677322
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Re: Scottish schools fuss

Postby jon_12091 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:44 pm

Heard David Robertson preach once, along time ago, before he started finding Dawkins & militant atheists under his bed! His argument is pretty much cobblers, though superficially engaging, but then SSS seem be to claiming creationism in three schools means its 'endemic' (according to the Scotsman anyway). I don't think anyone here would claim is endemic in England & Wales and its in a damn sight more than three schools. Why the SNP (or indeed previous incumbents) have never issued an equivalent to the statements from the DoE in E&W about teaching cr*p in science lessons I don't know. As to the issue of invited speakers and chaplains, thats is a minefield, and fiddling their could very rapidly begin to look like an attempt to remove religion from schools (already a bit of potential sore point for protestants in Scotland).
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Re: Scottish schools fuss

Postby Brian Jordan » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:02 pm

One of the problems in Scotland is that various churches are allowed to appoint, unchallenged, full voting members of Education Committees. Along with the appointment of numerous school chaplains, this has allowed, for instance, prominent yecreationist and acolyte of Ken Ham, Nagy Iskander, to occupy a position of influence.
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Re: Scottish schools fuss

Postby jon_12091 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:07 pm

Probably links back to the settlment over church schools in Scotland.
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Re: Scottish schools fuss

Postby a_haworthroberts » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:00 pm

As flagged in a Paul Braterman 'mass' email:
http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6450346
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Re: Scottish schools fuss

Postby cathy » Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:42 pm

Meanwhile in England it looks like the school in the redaction row is going to abide by exam rules but just tell its students to ignore the stuff it doesn't like
https://news.tes.co.uk/b/news/2014/11/1 ... sists.aspx

Worrying news about cliques taking over governing bodies
https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6450359

Rabbi and sex questions
https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6450350

From last week the news that faith school students must study two religions. Which most do anyway.
https://news.tes.co.uk/b/news/2014/11/0 ... -gcse.aspx

So it appears that the counterpart to Jo news is good news is true. News is bad news. The lunatics are taking over :(
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Re: Scottish schools fuss

Postby Brian Jordan » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:17 pm

Meanwhile, back over the border, criticism of the SSS petition comes from rather dodgy ground. School Leaders Scotland have rejected the petition and called it "dangerous". However, it just so happens their representative who wrote the response attends a church** where not only opponent David Robinson but also creationist Alastair Noble have preached.
The SSS has responded robustly!
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/education/banning-creationism-lessons-is-dangerous-warn-headteachers.25925821
**Cartsbridge Evangelical Church. Noble is widely reported to be an elder there and has 14 sermons currently listed on their web site. Their site has pages for "documents" and "newsletters" but they are only available to members.
http://cartsbridgechurch.com/
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Scottish schools fuss: UK Centre for ID weigh in (Dr Noble)

Postby a_haworthroberts » Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:11 pm

I have just submitted the following detailed comment under Paul Braterman's blog post dated 24 Nov:

"This article is NEW:
http://www.c4id.org.uk/index.php?option ... e&Itemid=1

This is Noble's footnote 8.
http://www.nature.com/news/does-evoluti ... nk-1.16080
Laland writes: "Some of us first met to discuss these advances six years ago. In the time since, as members of an interdisciplinary team, we have worked intensively to develop a broader framework, termed the extended evolutionary synthesis1 (EES), and to flesh out its structure, assumptions and predictions. In essence, this synthesis maintains that important drivers of evolution, ones that cannot be reduced to genes, must be woven into the very fabric of evolutionary theory.
We believe that the EES will shed new light on how evolution works. We hold that organisms are constructed in development, not simply ‘programmed’ to develop by genes. Living things do not evolve to fit into pre-existing environments, but co-construct and coevolve with their environments, in the process changing the structure of ecosystems.
The number of biologists calling for change in how evolution is conceptualized is growing rapidly. Strong support comes from allied disciplines, particularly developmental biology, but also genomics, epigenetics, ecology and social science. We contend that evolutionary biology needs revision if it is to benefit fully from these other disciplines. The data supporting our position gets stronger every day."
However, Noble MISUSES this footnote to try and make a claim that is NOT justified by the 2013 comments in Nature. He claims: "More seriously, what the Government is proposing is an affront to the scientific method. Scientists have always understood their task to be the unfettered investigation of nature without imposed dogmas, and to be able to challenge any scientific hypothesis if the evidence merits it. In the area of origins, the scientific evidence certainly merits a re-think of naturalistic Darwinian evolution, as a recent paper in Nature highlighted." Thus Noble falsely suggests that the comment in Nature is saying that the whole theory of evolution needs a 're-think' because of unspecified 'scientific evidence' (and because it is based on 'naturalism'). What was proposed was a revision or broadening of the theory."
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Re: Scottish schools fuss

Postby a_haworthroberts » Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:49 pm

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Re: Scottish schools fuss

Postby jon_12091 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:27 pm

I don't get a paywall on the Herald!

This feels like the same response that was given previously. Unfortunately I get the feeling that if your inside the envelope of the current governments interests, you are laughing, otherwise it's an up hill struggle to get action. A letter to my MSP seems in order, unfortunately he's a duplicitous ***. And the list MSPs aren't much use either.
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Re: Scottish schools fuss

Postby a_haworthroberts » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:44 pm

I guess the paywall is because they can detect that I am not in Scotland?
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Re: Scottish schools fuss

Postby jon_12091 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:57 am

No idea. But slightly odd I should be able to access it free just because I'm in Scotland.
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Re: Scottish schools fuss

Postby Peter Henderson » Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:28 pm

Some comments from the NCSE on their weakly mailshot.

Apologies for the copy and paste:

Evolution and climate education update: December 19, 2014‏

Dear friends of NCSE,

Disappointing news from Scotland, but good news from Ohio and
encouraging news from Wyoming.

DISAPPOINTING NEWS FROM SCOTLAND

The Scottish government rejected the proposal to ban the teaching of
creationism in publicly funded schools in Scotland, according to the
Glasgow Herald (December 16, 2014). The head of Curriculum Unit at the
Learning Directorate told the newspaper, "I can ... confirm that there
are no plans to issue guidance to schools or education authorities to
prevent the presentation of creationism, intelligent design or similar
doctrines by teachers or school visitors. The evidence available
suggests that guidance on these matters is unnecessary."

As NCSE previously reported, the Scottish Secular Society filed a
petition with the Scottish parliament, calling for a ban on "the
presentation in Scottish publicly funded schools of separate creation
and of Young Earth doctrines as viable alternatives to the established
science of evolution, common descent, and deep time," adding, "Nothing
in this request precludes the discussion of such doctrines in their
proper place, as part of the study of ideas, neither does it nor can
it infringe on individual freedom of belief."

Part of the impetus for the petition was recent creationist incursions
into the Scottish classroom. In 2013, for example, as the Telegraph
(September 13, 2013) reported, it was discovered that a school
chaplain in East Kilbride distributed creationist literature calling
evolution a myth. The petitioners fear that such incidents may have
been just the tip of the iceberg. As the Reverend Michael Roberts told
the parliament, "It is almost impossible to determine the extent to
which such creationism has influenced classroom teaching."

The petition received a hearing before a parliamentary committee on
November 11, 2014; among the organizations submitting written
testimony was NCSE, which in a November 7, 2014, letter expressed its
support for the proposed ban. The committee agreed to write to the
Scottish government as well as the Educational Institute of Scotland,
the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association, and the Association of
Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland, to receive their views on the
matter.

The Scottish Secular Society expressed disappointment with the
government's response in a December 16, 2014, press release. "The
government's submission is not only disappointing but at the same time
short sighted and evasive, and fails to recognise the issue," Spencer
Fildes commented. "It would seem they are willing to openly endorse
the teaching and discussion of Creationism in what they call
'context'; but are unwilling to explicitly state it is forbidden even
in the science class."

For the story in the Glasgow Herald, visit:
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home ... .114739893

For the petition (PDF) and related documents, visit:
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/getti ... E01530.pdf
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/getti ... smguidance

For the story in the Telegraph, visit:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/ed ... hurch.html

For Michael Roberts's comments (PDF), visit:
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_Pu ... .10.14.pdf

For NCSE's letter (PDF), visit:
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_Pu ... .11.14.pdf

For the press release from the Scottish Secular Society, visit:
http://www.scottishsecularsociety.com/s ... -teaching/

And for NCSE's previous coverage of events outside the United States, visit:
http://ncse.com/news/international


I'd expect our lot across the Irish Sea will be looking very closely at this, and may decide to "up the anti" at some point.
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