Michael Reiss, a priest, a biologist and the Royal Society’s director of eduation, says he ‘feels’ that ‘creationism is best seen by science teachers not as a misconception but as a world view.’
But a world view can be a misconception, and often is. The two are not contradictory or mutually exclusive. That is in fact a problem with a lot of world views: they are based on misconceptions.
Other scientists, fortunately, disagree with Reiss.
Professor Reiss, a biologist, was speaking at the British Association’s Festival of Science in Liverpool. Other scientists were vociferous in their response, saying that creationism should remain entirely within the sphere of religious education. Professor Lewis Wolpert, of University College Medical School, said: “Creationism is based on faith and has nothing to do with science, and it should not be taught in science classes. It is based on religious beliefs and any discussion should be in religious studies.” Dr John Fry, a physicist at the University of Liverpool, said: “Science lessons are not the appropriate place to discuss creationism, which is a world view in total denial of any form of scientific evidence. Creationism doesn’t challenge science: it denies it!”
The Independent takes a ‘this side that side’ view, as if it were running for office.
Proponents of evolution believe species change by a process of random genetic mutations. They believe the world is 13-14 billion years old. Creationists, in contrast, believe that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, and that its existence is the result of one of the processes described in religious texts like the Bible.
It’s not a matter of each side ‘believing’ things in exactly the same sense, and shouldn’t be presented as such. One side has grounds for the ‘belief’ and the other side doesn’t, so it’s misleading to use the same word for both unless that is pointed out.