- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
‘Big bang’ in Britain over creationism
LONDON | One of the world´s leading biologists, who is also an ordained Anglican priest, has sparked uproar in both religious and scientific circles by campaigning to teach creationism, along with evolution and the “Big Bang” theory in science classrooms.
Creationism, an issue that has triggered furious debates in churches, schools and even courts in the United States, rejects Charles Darwin´s theory of evolution and holds that God created the universe and all that goes with it — most of all, man — in six days.
Darwin was one of the early leading lights in Britain´s august Royal Society of science, among whose most eminent present-day members is the Rev. Michael Reiss, its director of education — and now himself one of its most controversial.
Mr. Reiss has truly stirred the pot — and the fury of his fellow scientists — by proposing that creationism has the right to a place in school lessons along with the conventional theories of the evolutionary origins of man and the theory that the universe exploded from a single point billions of years ago — the Big Bang.
“My central argument,” the professor said simply in what turned out to be a stunner of an address at the British Association Festival of Science at England´s University of Liverpool, “is that creationism is best seen by a science teacher not as a misconception but as a world view.”
Anyway, the professor insisted in his speech earlier this month that his days as a biology tutor had taught him that “simply banging on about evolution and natural selection didn´t lead some pupils to change their minds at all.”
Anti-evolutionism has a long history in the United States, including the Scopes “monkey trial” of 1925, centered on the Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of Darwin´s theory in the schools of Tennessee. That ban was not repealed until 1967.
In its most popular latter-day form, creationism, retains a strong hold in deeply religious communities. In the United States, Mr. Reiss estimates, the proportion of creationist children is as much as 40 percent.
In Britain, perhaps 10 percent of students come from families with sincere creationist beliefs.
Its adherents include Republican vice-presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin, whose stance on evolution versus creationism reflects that of Mr. Reiss: “Teach both,” she said in a gubernatorial address in Alaska two years ago.
“You know, don´t be afraid of information,” Mrs. Palin said at the time. “Healthy debate is so important, and it´s so valuable in our schools.”
As recently as June 2007, a Gallup Poll published in the United States showed that 66 percent of those interviewed believed that creationism´s idea that human beings were created by God “pretty much in their present form” in the last 10,000 years was “definitely” or “probably” true.
Despite his own significant clout in the world of science, when it comes to support for teaching creationism in any form, Mr. Reiss is almost on his own.
The Royal Society greeted his remarks in Liverpool with scarcely concealed disdain: “The Royal Society,” it said in a tersely worded statement, “is opposed to creationism being taught as science.
“The society remains committed to the teaching of evolution as the best explanation for the history of life on Earth.”
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Harry Reid's visa pressure cooker
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Galaxy S4 owner claims Samsung tried to silence him after phone caught fire
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow