Michael Gove vs Creationism

From the BBC:

Shadow Children’s Secretary Michael Gove…told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show he wanted to give state schools the same “freedom” as fee-paying schools to set their own curriculums, which he claimed would boost the chances of pupils from poorer backgrounds reaching top universities.

…And he stressed that he did not want to see schools teaching “creationism”, which rejects scientific explanations for life on earth in favour of religious beliefs.

“To my mind you cannot have a school which teaches creationism and one thing that we will make absolutely clear is that you cannot have schools which are set up, which teach people things which are clearly at variance with what we know to be scientific fact.”

That would mean a rejection of Accelerated Christian Education – a US-based Creationist syllabus adopted by around fifty independent Christian schools in the UK. However, at least one school using ACE has been praised by senior Conservatives: in 2006 I noted that the Tabernacle School in Kensington has Iain Duncan Smith as its patron, and that it had been endorsed by David Willetts (then Shadow Education Secretary) as providing ” a high quality education to children outside of the state system and for lower income parents”.

The teaching of creationism at the school has also been praised in a piece published by the Social Affairs Unit, which sniffed that

Darwin’s theory… is a heresy, a heresy of Anglicanism so Anglican in flavour as to have become the Official Faith of England. Tabernacle School is better off without it.

The Social Affairs Unit has published other attacks on evolutionary biology, such as this 2005 piece by Myles Harris (there’s a take-down from PZ Myers here).

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