171: I ACCUSE #8: “State schools teach creationism!”

“Welcome to Zingcreed, the totally unique Christian/Atheist blog. It is my personal polemic on religion and the world. I hope you get something from it!” Peter Turner M.A., M.Sc.


I’m a retired biology teacher and the pseudo science of creationism is one of my areas of expertise. I built up a small private library of books produced by Christians who believed this stuff, and I used to read extracts out to my sixth form evolution classes to see if they could spot the errors, or should I say the lies.

It was thus with some astonishment that I read a newspaper headline last year (i) saying that creationism might soon feature in British schools’ curricula, and that this was with the blessing of Michael Gove, the education secretary in the coalition government. How could he possibly condone the teaching of lies in our science labs? Naturally, the churches were behind it – some Christians are so intellectually dishonest! (And ignorant too: I’ve yet to meet an opponent of evolution who could explain Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection.)

Under the headline “Gove approves 3 free schools to be run by groups with creationist views”, the article says the schools appear to be backing down from the assertion on their websites that creationism will be taught. They are breaching DfE guidelines, but have been acting as though they didn’t exist.

on 23/7/2012, I decided to write to the Minister as follows.

“Dear Mr Gove,
‘Teaching Children Lies’

I am writing as a retired biology teacher to protest most strongly against the teaching of creationism. The Guardian reported on 18th instant that you have approved 3 free schools to be run by groups with creationist views.

May I urge you to reconsider?

This pseudo science was invented by a small group of American evangelicals who felt their faith was under threat from Darwinism. This may be understandable in that country’s context, but not over here. If they are given the green light, who will be next? Flat earthers? Astrologists?

As a former research scientist myself, I must say it feels pretty insulting that all the hard work done on evolution over the years by many of my fellow British scientists should be dismissed by these cranks.

In the words of Richard Dawkins, a New College Oxford, biologist like myself, it’s a case of ‘teaching children lies’.

Yours faithfully

Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.”

I did not get a reply.


“The Guardian” 18/7/12 p.2.


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