[UPDATED] David Attenborough joins campaign against creationism in schools
By NICK COLLINS - THE TELEGRAPH
Added: Mon, 19 Sep 2011 10:48:25 UTC
UPDATE: RICHARD SPOKE ABOUT THIS ON BBC RADIO 4's PM PROGRAMME THIS EVENING, MONDAY 19 SEPTEMBER. IF YOU MISSED IT, YOU CAN HEAR IT BY CLICKING HERE AND SCROLLING FORWARD TO 33m 50s. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE IN THE UK TO DO THIS, AND IT WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE NEXT 7 DAYS.
Sir David Attenborough Photo: REX
The naturalist joined three Nobel laureates, the atheist Richard Dawkins and other leading scientists in calling on the government to tackle the "threat" of creationism.
Gordon Brown's government issued guidance to all schools that the subject should not be taught to pupils, but neither they nor the coalition government enshrined the recommendation in law.
In a statement on a new campaign website, the 30 scientists and campaign groups including the British Science Association demanded creationism and "intelligent design" be banned outright.
Prof Colin Blakemore, the neurobiologist, Sir Paul Nurse, the President of the Royal Society, and former Royal Society director of education Rev Prof Michael Reiss were among the signatories.
Rev Prof Reiss, who has described evolution as "God's work", resigned from his Royal Society post in 2008 after suggesting science lessons ought to include discussion of creationism.
Speaking ahead of the launch today he said: "Evolution is an extremely powerful idea that lies at the heart of biology.
"At the same time, it's a sufficiently simple concept that there's no good reason why it should be left out of the primary curriculum. If creationism is discussed, it should be made clear to pupils that it is not accepted by the scientific community."
[See also The Guardian's coverage of this issue.]
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