Science classes are one thing, religious education or comparative religion is another thing, or perhaps two other things.

The government has cleared the way for a form of creationism to be taught in Britain’s schools as part of the religious syllabus. Lord Adonis, an education minister, is to issue guidelines within two months for the teaching of “intelligent design” (ID), a theory being promoted by the religious right in America…Adonis said in a parliamentary answer: “Intelligent design can be explored in religious education as part of developing an understanding of different beliefs.”…The theory has gained a foothold in the American state school system, sparking legal challenges from secular groups seeking to oust it from science teaching.

From science teaching. Not from comparative religion teaching, from science teaching. It makes a difference which class we’re talking about. At least it ought to.

Although Adonis stopped short of permitting the teaching of intelligent design in science lessons, one of the key lobby groups behind the theory, Truth in Science, hailed his statement as a significant breakthrough…Andrew McIntosh, a professor of engineering at Leeds university who heads Truth in Science, said: “We believe that evolutionary theory should be taught in a critical manner, and some space must be given to credible alternative theories, such as intelligent design.”

Credible alternative theories such as intelligent design? It’s not all that credible, really. It’s more credible than young earth creationism, but that’s not saying much.

The lobby group says its ultimate aim is to pressure schools to teach ID in science lessons as a challenge to Darwinism. It says it has the support of about 70 heads of science across Britain, who want ID to be introduced in the national curriculum as part of science.

Does it say how many ‘heads of science’ across Britain it has the opposition of? I bet it’s more than 70.

It has emerged that 12 prominent academics wrote to Tony Blair and Alan Johnson, the education secretary, last month arguing that ID should be taught as part of science on the national curriculum. They included Antony Flew, formerly professor of philosophy at Reading University…

That’s sad. See Raymond Bradley’s article on ‘Intelligent Design or Natural Design’ for more.

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