Creation Science Education in Britain
Although there is an abundance of resources for the study of Creation Science generally, the resources for use in schools are difficult to find, not because they don't exist, but because they have not been properly catalogued.
Note: Since I wrote this article, Emmanuel College in Gateshead has pointed out that, according to the National Curriculum, schools are expected to teach pupils about how scientific controversies can arise from different ways of interpreting data, and Darwin's theory of evolution is given as a specific example. They believe that "the scientific evidences in the Creation/Evolution debate, amongst other things, must form part of all pupils' education in England and Wales." See their press release.
The Culture of Evolution
We live in a culture of evolution, where phrases such as "millions of years ago" are commonplace and go unchallenged. Children grow up on it, from TV and their school books. Anne Robinson, on her TV quiz show, says "How long ago did the dinosaurs become extinct?", and gives you three possible answers. If you don't say "65 million years ago", you are out - GOODBYE.
I visited a local junior school to look at their library books and found 14 books about rocks, fossils and dinosaurs, all claiming with absolute certainty that they knew what was happening millions or even billions of years ago. None of them attempted to prove it, or even give any substantive evidence, probably for one of the following reasons:
I couldn't find one book that challenged evolution or the supposedly long age of the earth, or even a book that suggested it was only theory and not fact.
Unless the children are given an alternative point of view, while they are in the infant or junior school, they will be thoroughly indoctrinated by the time they go to the comprehensive school.
Creation Science teaching is available in churches, or at least in some of them, but the vast majority of children will never be reached unless we can get the available resources into the schools.
The two major suppliers of Creation Science resources in Britain are:
From these two organisations, you can find almost anything you want, in terms of books, magazines and videos, to convince yourself, your church and your friends that creation is true and evolution is false. However, it's a completely different story when you are trying to find resources of use in schools.
The rules of education require that teachers have to follow the National Curriculum, set out by the Department of Education, or at the comprehensive level they have to follow a syllabus set out by an examining board. They can stray into other areas provided they cover the required subject matter, and are allowed to give a diversity of views.
One thing they cannot do is attempt to impose a belief system on their students. For example:
A study of belief systems has to be limited to a study of what these systems actually are, so that the students are able to make up their own minds.
The resources available from the two organisations mentioned above, (CSM and AIG) are scientific and religious. Science and religion are often mixed on an ad-hoc basis, and this can be justified for a general audience on the grounds that they are presenting a total world-view and not are not attempting to divide God and his creation into departments.
However, this makes some of the resources inappropriate for schools. For example, a science book might show evidence for design, and then launch into a sermon about how great is our God, and how we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). This would be out of context in the science class, and even in the religious education class it would be unacceptable if it continued to the point of becoming overtly evangelistic.
How is it possible for a teacher to order books from CSM or AIG, for use in class? With great difficulty, because neither of them are currently able to supply a catalogue listing only the resources that observe the rules of education. You have to take pot luck. Order three books and possibly one of them might be suitable for use in schools, but you can't do your purchasing that way out of school funds.
I have also been in touch with Lion Publishing. They produce Christian books for use in schools, but it isn't obvious how many of them give a clear Creationist message. Go to their web page and enter Creation in the search field, and you get a list of books, but there isn't enough information about them. Some of them might be giving a compromise position between creation and evolution. I may yet hear from Lion Publishing, as it's early days yet since I made my enquiry.
I have no doubt that suitable resources must be out there somewhere. What we need is a group of teachers, who know the requirements of education, and can make up an educational catalogue by going through the entire stock at CSM and AIG. Obviously not many teachers would have time for this, as they have got enough to do already, but possibly we might be able to find a few teachers who have recently retired. If anyone is interested, please mail me.
In spite of the lack of resources, there are some teachers, including non-Christians, who are challenging the current status quo on evolution. There are also some students who are championing the cause.
Many schools in Britain are able to welcome visiting speakers on all sorts of subjects. I understand there are a few people giving talks on Creation Science, but I am still in the process of tracking them down. If anyone can help, please send me a mail message.
I would also like to see some workshops set up, so that people who are already educated in Creation Science can learn how to teach it to children of different age groups.
See also: Creation Science and Creation History.
Updated March 2002
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