British ‘Creationism’ Educator Quits

Science • Views: 1,606

The Church of England minister who suggested allowing creationism to be discussed (not taught) in British science classes has resigned, apparently at the bidding of the Royal Society.

Professor Michael Reiss has quit as director of education at the Royal Society following the controversy over his recent comments on creationism.

Last week Prof Reiss - a Church of England minister - said creationism should be discussed in science lessons if pupils raised the issue. He was criticised by other scientists - though misquoted as saying creationism should be “taught” in science classes.

The society said some of his comments had been “open to misinterpretation”. This had damaged its reputation.

“As a result, Professor Reiss and the Royal Society have agreed that, in the best interests of the society, he will step down immediately as director of education - a part-time post he held on secondment,” it said in a statement. “He is to return, full time, to his position as professor of science education at the Institute of Education.”

One reason why creationism is on the rise in Britain: the influx of Islamic immigrants, who join creationists in rejecting most of modern science.

One such school that teaches creationism as a science is the respected Islamic Karimia Institute in Nottingham.

“We teach what it says in the Koran, that God created Adam and Eve, and from them came the rest of humanity,” says institute director Dr Musharraf Hussain. “We do not teach that man is descended from a lower animal - we say that God created the different species on their own.”

And just as the US-based Discovery Institute has joined forces with creationists in Turkey, groups in Britain are also welcoming the anti-scientific influence of fundamentalist Islam:

This shared belief in the origins of man - and the universe - is uniting unlikely bedfellows in the anti-evolution cause.

The Rev Greg Haslam, who preaches the creationist Christian creed to his 400-strong congregation at Westminster Chapel in London, welcomes the determination of Muslims to impart a religious-based view of the world.

“Science does not have to be taught in conflict with faith or religion,” he says. “I believe the current debate over creationism versus evolution is beginning to draw more and people over to our side of the argument.

“The materialist explanation of the creation has nothing to offer - if we came from nothing and go into nothing, then that encourages people to lead reckless and materialistic lifestyles. Evolution is a world-view that leads to futility. It’s no wonder people are dissatisfied with it.”

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