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Fellow scientists were equally scornful.

“Creationism is based on faith and has nothing to do with science, and it should not be taught in science classes,” Lewis Wolpert, a biologist at London´s University College Medical School told journalists.

“There is no evidence for a creator,” Mr. Wolpert said, “and creationism explains nothing.”

John Fry, a physics professor at the University of Liverpool, was just as scathing. “Science lessons are not the appropriate place to discuss creationism, which is a world view in total denial of any form of scientific evidence.”

Even the Church of England, which once instructed him in the priesthood at age 29 and still keeps him on as an ordained minister, gave the professor´s creationism campaign the thumbs down.

“Creationism should not be taught as a scientifically based theory,” said a church spokesman, although he conceded that it “could be included in discussion of the development of scientific ideas down the ages …”

As for the Church of England, also known as the Anglican Church, it said it owes Darwin some sort of apology.

The Rev. Malcolm Brown, who heads the church’s public affairs department, issued a statement to mark Darwin’s bicentenary and the 150th anniversary of the seminal work “On the Origin of Species,” both of which fall next year.

Mr. Brown said the Church of England should say it is sorry for misunderstanding him at the time he released his findings and, “by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand [Darwin] still,” the Associated Press reported.

Still, Mr. Reiss argued that “an increasing percentage of children [in Britain] come from families that do not accept the scientific version of the history of the universe and the evolution of the species.”

His path, to crack the classroom door to let in creationism, is the sensible one, the professor insists. Otherwise, “what are we to do with those children?”