NEWS & VIEWS
Creation Update is our quarterly full-colour, 4-page magazine containing news and articles on creation/evolution. It is sent out on a donation basis. On this page are some items from the latest issue, No. 109
Independent Christian Schools are facing the threat of Government censorship over the teaching of origins. A Government Consultation paper, The independent school standards: advice for independent schools*, includes the following statement: “Independent schools may teach creationism as part of a belief system but it should not be presented as having a similar or superior evidence base to scientific theories.”
For a number of years Government-funded free schools and academies have been banned from teaching any alternative to evolution in science classes. Funding agreements state that these schools “must provide for the teaching of evolution as a comprehensive, coherent and extensively evidenced theory,” and they must not teach “any doctrine or theory which holds that natural biological processes cannot account for the history, diversity, and complexity of life on earth and therefore rejects the scientific theory of evolution.” Discussion of beliefs about the origins of life, including creationism, may be included “in Religious Education, as long as it is not presented as a valid alternative to established scientific theory.”
At present, independent schools have the freedom to teach science from an evidence-based design perspective. However, in the last few years some Christian and Jewish schools have been bullied by Ofsted over this aspect of the running of the school. The proposed changes would amount to censorship of any serious objections to evolution, denying students the opportunity to evaluate the evidence and indoctrinating them with a secular agenda.
This is an unacceptable attack on academic freedom, and parts of the Government statement quoted above are simply untrue. Evolution is not “a comprehensive, coherent and extensively evidenced theory”, and hundreds of scientists say they are “skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutations and natural selection to account for the complexity of life.” (See www.dissentfromdarwin.org)
*Have your say: take part in the consultation. Visit our website www.crt.org.uk and click on ‘Independent Schools Consultation.’ (Deadline: 5th June 2018)
CREATION MINISTRY IN INDONESIAN UNIVERSITIES & SCHOOLS
Professor Andy McIntosh spent 8 days in Indonesia in March. He spent the first week in Jakarta, where he spoke to teachers and trainee teachers at a Christian school and university. He reported: “The Christian church has considerable freedom in Jakarta and ironically Christian education seems to be much more allowed than in the UK, but the church has the same issues concerning origins and other issues on Biblical Authority.” He then travelled to Bandung with his Indonesian host Dicky Sudrajad, where he spoke at a Sunday morning youth service. The following day he spoke to a number of teachers at Bintang Mulia Christian School. After the main talk a further hour was spent on questions about other origin-related issues. Those present were very keen to learn more, and many of the resources were purchased.
On Tuesday the 20th Andy did two repeated sessions on “Has Science killed God?” to around 70 students and then 100+ students respectively, at the Banung Institute of Science and Technology.
The last meeting was at Hok im Tong church in Bandung. where Andy spoke on Noah’s Ark and the Flood. He wrote: “I felt a great freedom to really challenge the church to believe what God has said and that this was the key to revival.”
Is astrobiology pseudoscience?
Speculation about extra-terrestrial life is rife, and has given rise to a new science called “astrobiology.” According to the Collins English Dictionary, it is “the branch of biology that investigates the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.” Vast sums of money are being devoted to the search for life on other planets, and hundreds of articles about this are published every year. Yet the number of worlds beyond Earth where life has been discovered is zero. What happens when you take “bio” out of this fake science called Astrobiology? It becomes a pseudoscience.