Friday, 6 March 2015

Creationism in Schools

Image courtesy of Mystic Politics

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. [Genesis 1:1-2 NIVUK]

Now Genesis is one of the most fascinating books of the Bible. yet to put it next to A Brief History of Time or On the Origin of Species is erroneous to begin with. For a start, it was written in around 1400BC and it was impossible for anyone to be giving an account of their experience. Additionally, it is widely accepted to be written in a poetic form that dominated much writing of this time. Added to this, early Hebrew writing did not often follow chronological form as today's writing does; it was block logic rather than step logic. Other later poetry was often grounded in history, but that does not mean that the creation story was too. There is whole books written on Genesis exegesis and I will stop here. 

Image courtesy of Schools Week

As Durham Free School closed, some damming evidence was discovered and shared by Schools Week [See <here>]. It appeared that on at least one occasions creationism was being taught in a science lesson; illegal and against their funding agreement. 

Quite rightly, creationism is not part of the science National Curriculum. It has a place in education, but this may be in the RE classroom looking at the variety of beliefs about creation. There is great diversity in all faiths, and this should be fully investigated. Indeed the new GCSE RE will further cover different traditions within faiths. 

Sadly, this story will be used as evidence of the 'danger' of having people of faith teaching in schools and in particular science. It also brings Genesis into an artificial battleground, the arena of "Science versus Religion". I have blogged about this before <here> and I fear it also gives ammunition to those who would close all faith schools in an instant.

There are lots of good people of faith teaching in both faith and non-faith schools, they do an excellent job. This is an isolated incident, so please don't judge us all.

No comments:

Post a Comment