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Education – Head teacher pilloried

March 2016

A head teacher who tweeted that ‘evolution was just a theory’ has been lambasted across the social media, with even Richard Dawkins getting in on the act.

The story, which first appeared in local Yorkshire paper Accrington observer, reported that St Andrew’s CE Primary head teacher Christina Wilkinson had responded to a tweet from a fellow head teacher, who had written an article on evolution.

She had tweeted from her personal account, ‘Evolution is not a fact. That’s why it’s called a theory! There’s more evidence that the Bible is true’.

The story quickly went viral — perhaps a scoop for the Accrington observer reporter, but the public shaming of a Church of England schoolteacher.

Self-publicist Mr Dawkins was quick to jump on the bandwagon, claiming Ms Wilkinson had no grounds for using the word ‘theory’. Other commentators called for her to ‘step down’, alleging that ‘teaching fairy tales’ was akin to ‘child abuse’.

Local councillor Ken Moss, Hyndburn council’s cabinet member for education, said, ‘While there are many unanswered questions regarding human evolution, I don’t think we should be promoting religious texts as more factually accurate than hundreds of years of detailed scientific study’.

Quoted in the Accrington observer, a Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education spokesperson said, ‘In relation to what should be taught, as a diocese we state all schools should teach the full national curriculum, which includes “adaptation of plants and animals and that adaption may lead to evolution”.’

Unsurprisingly and very sadly, there was no public comment in support of Ms Wilkinson from the Church of England. Evolution is no more than a scientific theory, however loudly its proponents shout — and a theory full of holes, at that!

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