November 30, 2012

UK considering cutting all funding to schools that don't teach evolution

Failing to teach evolution by natural selection in science lessons could lead to new free schools losing their funding under government changes.
The new rules state that from 2013, all free schools in England must teach evolution as a "comprehensive and coherent scientific theory".
The move follows scientists' concerns that free schools run by creationists might avoid teaching evolution.
Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, said he was "delighted".
Sir Paul told the previous rules on free schools and the teaching of evolution versus creationism had been "not tight enough".
'Creationist myth'
He said that although the previous rules had confined creationism to religious education lessons, "the Royal Society identified a potential issue that schools could have avoided teaching evolution by natural selection in science lessons or dealt with it in a such a perfunctory way, that the main experience for students was the creationist myth".
So far 79 free schools have opened in England with 118 more due to open in 2013 and beyond. They are funded directly by central government but unlike other state-funded schools are run by groups of parents, teachers, charities and religious groups and do not have to abide by the national curriculum.
The new rules mean if a free school is found to be acting in breach of its funding agreement - for example, teaching creationism as a scientific fact or not teaching evolution - the Department for Education will take "swift action which could result in the termination of that funding agreement".

Start Quote

The development of the theory of evolution is an excellent example of how science works and there is a clear consensus within the scientific community regarding both its validity and importance ”
Sir Paul NursePresident, Royal Society
In a letter to the Royal Society, the Schools Minister, Lord Hill, said: "While we have always been clear that we expect to see evolution included in schools' science curricula, this new clause will provide more explicit reassurance that free schools will have to meet that expectation."
Sir Paul Nurse said: "The new clause in the funding agreement should ensure that all pupils at free schools have the opportunity to learn about evolution as an extensively evidenced theory and one of the most fundamentally important tenets of modern biology.
A spokesman for the Department for Education said that the new clause would apply to the Grindon Hall Christian school in Sunderland and two others that this year became the focus of concerns about the teaching of creationism in free schools.
Grindon Hall, which was independent, reopened as a free school in September. The two others approved by ministers are not due to open until 2013.
In July the principal of Grindon Hall said that creationism would never be taught in science lessons.
'Additional safeguards'
Rachel Wolf, director of the New Schools Network, which provides advice and support for groups who want to set up free schools, welcomed the funding agreement changes but said that the existing rules meant free schools already had to teach evolution in science lessons.
"To my knowledge free schools have always had to teach evolution in science, but it is great that the government has reaffirmed its commitment to this," she said.
Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association, organisers of a Teach Evolution not Creationism campaign, said: "A requirement to teach evolution in free schools is an excellent additional safeguard against state-funded creationist schools and must be welcomed.
"However, we continue to be concerned about the three free schools recently approved which are supportive of teaching creationism as science and which we must worry will continue to find ways to circumvent a ban in practice."
Dr Berry Billingsley who leads a Reading University project on how secondary schools handle questions that bridge science and religion cautioned against an oversimplified debate.
"Evolution is a fantastic theory and explains so much about how humans come to be here. It is backed up by evidence and supported by the vast majority of scientists in the biological sciences. Many of those scientists also believe that the Universe is here because of God.
"The importance of studying evolution is indeed the first thing to be said but children also need opportunities somewhere in the timetable to explore the 'Big Questions', which our research shows they want to consider and it is often the science lesson that stirs up those questions."
Paul Bate, of the European Educators Christian Association, agreed schools should teach a broad and balanced curriculum: "Science and religion need each other in this debate. Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists of all time said, 'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.'"


  1. Thank God for that.

    1. I meant, Thank God for the pro evolutionary ruling.

      Or thank the tooth fairy if you like, but it is good to see the UK remaining somewhat sane in the face of the madness that is being foisted on the world by sometimes well-meaning and always misguided religious types.

      Mandate the teaching of one fantasy that has no scientific evidence (creationism) and what is next - equal opportunity would require that all fairy tales have equal time. Shiva, giant turtles carrying the world, Zeus, Buddha, Dudism, Flying spaghetti Monster ... there's no end to it.

      As for teaching any form of religion in school - yes, of course, it is part of understanding history and the modern world. Let kids know the basic beliefs of all the major religions and how they have caused purveyors of religion to feel justified in imposing torture, murder, genocide, totalitarianism and so forth over the centuries, and how such beliefs continue to cause people to be oppressed, imprisoned and killed to this day.

  2. And the problem would be???

    Christian education is an oxymoron, with the emphasis on moron.

    1. "Vafanculo" - u have just showed how intelligent u are. "Vafanculo" to ur imaginary friend, idiot....

  3. how is that different from the church forcing people to believe that the earth is flat and that it is the centre of the universe! No divergent views could be presented or debated openly!!??

  4. EVOLUTION, like ditching the royal family and that huge herd of drones and halting the attacks on the U.S. before we as a nation wake up to it. Then, it will be too late to talk down the rage. Conning Mossad agents to drive explosives around Manhattan on 9-11-2001 fooled a few, but not nearly enough. Inbreeding makes you stupid.

  5. Who ordered the destruction of the Fukushima plant?

  6. Funny thing about the evolution theory is that the INTERMEDIARY FORMS (half wing of a bird, half reptile leg) are NOT advantageous (half wing is good for nothing) so SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST THEORY doesn't hold water many fossilized HALF n' HALVES have we found? Half mammal, half bat, half herring half reptile, half dinosaur half mammal? NONE. NOT ONE. There should be AT LEAST millions upon millions of these INTERMEDIARY FORMS that are supposed to lead to the development of new species. Instead, we find 50million year old bat fossils, 150million year old herring fossils, dragonflies etc. SAME AS OF THOSE TODAY. UNCHANGED. No intermediary form in sight.

    No, the materialistic, satan promoters want to deny God as the Creator so they don't have to be accountable for their misdeeds and arrogance - bowing down in submission with humility to the Merciful Lord of the Words that Created us in order to test us with our righteous acts.

    1. "Half mammal, half bat"

      Bats are mammals.

  7. Why do "they" demand evolution be taught and believed in, and then castigate "racism" which is the LOGICAL and RATIONAL derivative of evolution?

  8. This is great news. Spiritual agendas have no place in the realm of science. Explain the phenomenon of human vestigiality. Would it make sense for God to plan to build some of his creatures with parts they have no use for,(appendix, tailbone, wisdom teeth, etc.). Natural Selection does provide the best explanation.

  9. What else is taught in 'Free' schools? That some people are 'chosen' or 'real' human beings whereas the rest of us are beasts? That England should become an Islamic republic under Sharia law? That race is a social construct and there is no association between intellectual and behavioural characteristics and perceived differences in physical characteristics? That Mrs Thatcher was the most evil person ever to have lived apart from Adolf Hitler etc?

    If parents wish their children to fail biology exams, perhaps that's a relatively minor matter?

  10. The Government has no place in stepping into this sort of issue. It is a matter for the local communities and School Governors to deal with. All that is required is for curricula to be within the law e.g. no incitement. Who would trust the Government with a child's education?

  11. No way could RNA, mtDNA or DNA - a code for building proteins, each with a very strict sequence of amino acids (up to 20 different amino acids for a human, with over 30,000 being the longest sequence for a particular human protein) - have been spontaneously assembled by a mainstream-alleged non-intelligent entity known as Nature, regardless of how much time there was available. Which came first - chicken or egg; protein or DNA? Creating and building a code and the means to read the code requires serious planning. Ergo there is super-intelligence in the Universe and an universal information stream emanating from somewhere which can update DNA. This invalidates Darwin's hogwash (one specie cannot evolve into another by non-intelligent natural selection - what changes the DNA? The probability of many random beneficial changes occurring simultaneously or in incremental steps by accident is statistically impossible) and kicks Herr Professore Dick Dawkins (methinks he doth protest too much) into touch.

    Ponder this: If the Universe is eternal then a DNA package will be assembled that is exactly the same as the package I was born with. With a similar environment of loving nurture, I will occur time and again on this planet or, if DNA is ubiquitous, on any other hospitable one. And so will you. This is not a high probability. It is inevitable.

    So, see you around, guys and gals. Now and again. Forever.