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Truth in Science

November 2006

Truth in Science (TiS) – an organisation promoting good science teaching – was launched on 20 September. TiS’ stated aim is to campaign for honesty and fairness in UK science classrooms in the teaching of origins.


For a very long time most teaching on this subject has been dogmatic and biased. Darwinian evolution has been presented as scientifically uncontroversial and the only credible explanation; this despite a National Curriculum statement that ‘Pupils should be taught … how scientific controversies can arise from different ways of interpreting empirical evidence (for example, Darwin’s theory of evolution)’ (National Curriculum for Key Stage 4 Science).


Few schools have taught this controversy. Many popular textbooks present Darwinism as the only scientific theory of origins and give little coverage to alternatives. But new GCSE Science specifications give a fresh opportunity to consider what is being taught; students should be given a fair and accurate presentation of alternative views.


That there are alternatives there can be no doubt. In an Ipsos MORI Poll in January for BBC’s Horizon, 41% respondents thought Intelligent Design (ID) should be taught in school science classes, and 44% creationism. An Opinionpanel Research Survey in July found 30% UK university students believe in creation or intelligent design.

DVDs

TiS has mailed Heads of Science in all 5700 UK schools teaching14-18 year olds. Each was sent two DVDs explaining Darwinian evolution and its problems and the alternative of ID. These were accompanied by a teacher’s manual.


The TiS website (www.truthinscience.org.uk) contains information on curricula and exams in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and explains opportunities for teaching alternatives to evolution. Many scientific textbooks are reviewed and critiqued, and articles examine the evidence for evolution commonly presented in schools.


TiS director Prof. Andy McIntosh of Leeds University says, ‘We hope that the information and resources being made available to teachers and parents will lead to a widespread re-­assessment of the way origins is taught in science classrooms’.


Other TiS directors are Steve Layfield, Willis B. Metcalfe, John Perfect and Rev. Maurice Roberts. The Council of Reference comprises John Blanchard, Prof. Stuart Burgess, Gerard Chrispin, Rev. George Curry, David Harding, Dr Russell Healey and Prof. Derek Linkens.

Battle joined!

Prof. David J. Tyler (Manchester University) of the Biblical Creation Society (www.biblicalcreation.org.uk) comments: ‘Truth in Science deserves our appreciation! Outrage and alarm was the media greeting for the launch of the TiS initiative … The BBC said it was an attack on science. politics.co.uk described it as – “lies lies lies”.


‘Ekklesia (described as a UK Christian think tank) and the British Humanist Association wrote a joint letter to the Government’s Education Secretary to request a high-level response to keep this material away from students.


‘Yet, the declared aim is to “promote good science education in the UK”. TiS promotes “the critical examination of Darwinism in schools, as an important component of science education”. To most normal people this is hardly an attack on science!
‘This issue is about developing a critical mind. It is about recognising that claimed evidence for evolution has no special or protected status and it needs to be appraised and ­evaluated.

Critical thinking

‘Why is it that many ­vocal leaders of the science community think that their science should sweep away the “superstition” that there is a Creator God and that he has any continuing influence in this world? … This world view is actively undermining scientific inquiry, leading to incorrect and unsupported conclusions about biological and cosmological origins.


‘This is feeding back into education, but it has to be sustained by enforcing an uncritical receptiveness of the key ideas. Those who do not succumb are exposed to the fiercest of propaganda about believing “rubbish” or “deliberately embracing scientific ignorance” …


‘We do not want to see any moves towards instituting “thought police” to protect Darwinism from critical scrutiny, because that is self-evidently ­­­anti-science.’