Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Signs of the Controversy in Canada

Transcript of today's show:

The evolution-creationism controversy is beginning to brew in Canada. Reports indicate that a growing number of science teachers are bowing to pressure from parents who want creationism or intelligent design taught in public schools. Canadian advocates of evolution theory are considering an offensive to prevent alternative theories from being taught. Meanwhile, some teachers are avoiding the controversy by excluding all theories from their lessons. But as one educator noted, this approach is hardly a solution.
[source: Toronto Star]

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from Stuart Laidlaw in the Toronto Star:
The Evolution Education Research Centre at McGill University has found that about one-third of teachers report pressure from parents to teach creationism or intelligent design, the theory that God directs the development of life, in the class as an alternative to evolution.

Most respond by teaching neither evolution nor creationism, leaving students with the impression that the two are of equal merit, he says. Others tiptoe around the issue, acknowledging that people of some faiths believe in creationism.

Either way, he says, scientific education in our schools is undermined.

Alters warns that the danger of creationist theories such as intelligent design is that whenever something can't be explained scientifically, it is credited to divine intervention – which he says effectively shuts down further inquiry, the underpinning of good science.

The situation has become such a concern to scientists that an international team of biologists has put together a new journal to help teachers prepare lesson plans on evolution.... [more]

from John Volmers, letters to the editor, Toronto Star:
Obviously any country that separates Church and State should not be teaching religious myths as being anything other than religious myths. Unfortunately, the flat-earthers who want to drag science back to the stone-age have developed a real skill for nailing themselves to a cross in front of the ever sympathetic "secular" media and making the ludicrous claim that they are being discriminated against.

from Terence Rooney, letters to the editor, Toronto Star:

Creationism does not belong in the school system as it has no scientific basis; it is merely an expression of religious belief by some Christians and others. The believers are free to expound their idea in a religious setting and in the media but not as a topic of education.

from Michael Henry, letters to the editor, Toronto Star:

Creationism is at best bad science, and at worst dishonest. People who believe in Young Earth Creationism show ignorance of science as well as biblical history. It should not be taught in schools except to discredit it.