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Goldy's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Goldy

James Williams is...

We must tackle science ignorance

Creationism has no place in science lessons ("'One third' of teachers back lessons in creationism", 7 November). If creationism were to be taught on the same footing as other scientific theories, we would need to change our definition of science to include explanations of the world that invoke the supernatural, that are irrational and faith-based, and that are not backed by any real evidence. Then, of course, we could also teach children in science lessons how to read people's characters by feeling the bumps on their heads (phrenology) and by the shape of their noses (physiognomy), or how to tell fortunes using the stars (astrology) and to converse with the dead (spiritualism).

Evolution is a science since it explains the development and diversity of life and is backed by a considerable weight of evidence. We accept evolution as proven and true in scientific terms because of that evidence.

Fewer than one in five science teachers backed the teaching of creationism in science lessons, but for me that is still a worryingly high number of science teachers who clearly do not know how to differentiate between actual science (evolution) and pseudo-science (creationism). This is something that must be tackled, but it won't be tackled by teaching pseudo-science in science.

James D Williams

Lecturer in Science Education

University of Sussex, Brighton

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 17:51:00 UTC | #267396