New guidelines have been issued by the British Government on how monies given by the Department for Education should be spent only on schools that teach evolution in science lessons. These rules apply to the new so-called Free Schools, which are operated by individuals, co-operatives of parents, non-profit companies and religious organizations. Radical atheists have been determined to tie the hands of Free Schools, which are operated by evangelical churches and organizations. Writing in the Guardian newspaper, Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association, stated:
News that the government will mandate every new free school “to make provision for the teaching of evolution as a comprehensive, coherent and extensively evidenced theory” is the furthest a British government has ever gone to counter the threat of pseudoscientific creationist beliefs being taught in our state schools.1
Two issues occur to me regarding this news.
1. Government and Advisers are working on false presuppositions.
The British Government’s guidelines describe evolution as “a comprehensive, coherent and extensively evidenced theory.” This ministry and others have consistently pointed out, without refutation, that the observational, laboratory-based evidence for evolution simply does not exist. The fact that a large number of scientists have accepted a historical construct, which extrapolates conjectures back into the past, does not constitute evidence. Moreover, the word “theory,” in scientific language, describes “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.”2 No experiment has been conducted, which causes molecules-to-man evolution to take place. Indeed, the number of holes that have been shown to be an essential part of the theory of evolution illustrates that in no way can it be described as a comprehensive or coherent theory. The comment from Britain’s Department for Education is, therefore, based on an a priori acceptance of evolution.
Copson describes creationism as “pseudoscience.” The term “pseudoscience” is obviously pejorative, and implies that no evidence exists for the study thus labeled. In that case, it would make more sense to label evolution as pseudoscience, for the reasons described above. Indeed, rather than referring to evolution, we should refer to evolutionism, as it is a belief structure, rather than an evidence-based science. Conversely, this ministry and many others have consistently shown that, although scientific evidence does not prove a one-off event to have occurred in the past—whether it be the abiogenesis of a cell, or the creation week—the available evidence is always consistent with the Bible’s account of origins.
2. The British Government Is Displaying Religious Bias.
On this issue, we can also see that the Government’s advisors also have false presuppositions. One wonders why the Government believes that submissions from the British Humanist Association should have any validity on the subject of science, given that their views are contrary to the views of the overwhelming majority of pioneering scientists of the modern era: People such as Newton, Pasteur, Lister, Kepler, Galileo, Priestley, Kelvin and Faraday were all men who believed the Bible to be true. The British Humanist Association is not neutral on the subject of science. If the views of other belief groups in Britain are to be ignored, why has a special place been made for the uninformed opinions of the British Humanist Association? Has the BHA replaced the Church of England as the established faith of the nation?
There was a time when British politicians, like William Wilberforce, who campaigned for the abolition of slavery, derived their politics directly from their foundational belief in God, and in His word, the Bible. Britain’s second most senior politician—the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague—is the author of a detailed and critically acclaimed biography of William Wilberforce, and knows this point to be true. Yet issues of faith do not seem to inform the political opinions of any of Britain’s ruling class today; indeed, much evidence suggests that they deliberately work against God’s word, if the momentum from all three major parties to introduce same-sex marriage is any indication.
Good Science Education
I have stated this before, but it is worth stating again: Good science education requires students to be taught how to criticize ideas scientifically, and to be allowed and encouraged to do so. These guidelines prevent students from criticizing evolution and prevent teachers and schools from training students to do so. The guidelines are, therefore, profoundly anti-scientific. This attitude to science education in Britain will lead to further scientific illiteracy among Britain’s next generation of school graduates.