‘Misleading’ Creationism Question in UK Teacher Exam

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Even testing to see if pupils know what creationists say is too much, declare evolutionists in an outcry over a GCSE exam question.

The GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education, a test in subject competency for U.K. secondary school students) in question was prepared by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance. The controversy in the U.K. concerns a question that required examinees on June 22 to match four “theories of how new species of plants and animals have developed” with the sentence that best described them.

The four theories presented were creationism, intelligent design, Darwinism, and Lamarckism. The correct sentence describing creationism read, “Fossils of all the different kinds of animals appear suddenly in the rocks, with no evidence of ancestors.” Intelligent design was said to be based on the “complicated way in which cells work.”

According to critics, the problem was both that creationism and intelligent design appear to have been placed on an equal level with Darwinism, and that they were all described as “theories.” One such critic was University of Sussex education lecturer James Williams, who said, “This gives an unwarranted high profile to creationism and intelligent design as ideas of equal status with tested scientific theories.”

An AQA spokesman answered, “Merely asking a question about creationism and intelligent design does not imply support for these ideas. Neither idea is included in our specification and AQA does not support the teaching of these ideas as scientific.” However, the AQA acknowledged the confusion over the word “theory,” called the question “misleading,” and promised not to include similar questions in future tests.

The entire outcry reminds us of the controversy ignited last year when Michael Reiss, then Royal Society director of education in the U.K., merely stated that if creation is brought up by a student, teachers shouldn’t shoot it down without explanation. “I think a better way forward is to say to them, ‘Look, I simply want to present you with the scientific understanding of the history of the universe and how animals and plants and other organisms evolved,’” he had said, clearly not endorsing creation. Yet he was summarily forced to resign.

Evolutionists want no mention or discussion of creation or intelligent design whatsoever.

The picture given by both outcries is clear: evolutionists want no mention or discussion of creation or intelligent design whatsoever, even if the sole purpose is to explain what evolutionists find wrong with creation. This attitude seems strange considering the high percentage of creationists among the general population, a fact that causes evolutionists continual consternation. If Darwinian evolution is so clearly accurate and creation is so clearly in error, why should evolutionists be afraid of teaching students the difference and ensuring they understand the debate? Instead, given the culture of censorship, it makes the message of creation all the more potent when students hear the Genesis message and realize they were never given a fair understanding of what creationists actually believe.

In related news, the same James Williams quoted above has urged evolution indoctrination begin in primary school, reports The Argus.1 “Misconceptions set in primary school will be very difficult, if not impossible, to correct over ten years later,” he said, attacking such television programs as The Flintstones and Barney that feature human–dinosaur interaction (in the evolutionary worldview, dinosaurs died out about 65 millions years before modern humans appeared). Does Williams assume that rather than having good scientific reasons for accepting creation, all creationists have merely been brainwashed by children’s television shows?

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Footnotes

  1. Emily Walker, “‘We Need to Counter God in the Classroom’ Say Lecturer,” The Argus, July 5, 2009, http://www.theargus.co.uk/search/4475686._We_need_to_counter_God_in_the_classroom__say_lecturer/.

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