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Pope Benedict XVI's views on evolution are back in the news, following the publication of Schoepfung und Evolution (Sankt Ulrich Verlag, 2007), the proceedings of a seminar on creation and evolution that he conducted at Castel Gandolfo, the pope's summer residence, with his former doctoral students in September 2006.
A recent article by the paleontologist Richard Fortey in the science pages of the Telegraph (January 30, 2007) is devoted to criticizing "intelligent design" creationism. Fortey's article, titled "The Ego and the ID," argues that "intelligent design" proponents succeed in the public sphere by taking advantage of the public's love of fairness and balance.
The British government's promised guidance on creationism for teachers seems to have arrived.
In the latest from the United Kingdom, the Guardian (December 7, 2006) reported that the British government is preparing to "write to schools telling them that controversial teaching materials promoting creationism should not be used in science lessons." The materials in question, which include two "intelligent design" DVDs, were sent to the science heads of every secondary school in the United Kingdom by a new creationist group styling itself Truth in Science.
Adding to the creationism sightings around the world, Reuters (November 22, 2006) ran a story on Islamic creationism in Turkey, where "[s]cientists say pious Muslims in the government, which has its roots in political Islam, are trying to push Turkish education away from its traditionally secular approach." The main source of antievolution propaganda in Turkey is Harun Yahya -- a pseudonym probably for a pool of writers, headed by Adnan Oktar -- which, as Taner Edis told Reuters, "has managed to create a media-based and
The threat of creationism in public education continues to occupy the headlines in the United Kingdom, prompted in part by a propaganda blitz on the part of a newly formed creationist organization styling itself Truth in Science. In September 2006, Truth in Science sent packets of creationist teaching material, including two "intelligent design" DVDs, to the science heads of every secondary school (of which there are about 5700) in the United Kingdom.
Although the United States remains the bastion of creationism, the rest of the world is not invulnerable. Creationism is a worldwide phenomenon, in which antievolutionary materials produced by the centers of creationism in the United States are exported overseas, either wholesale or with modifications to suit the local milieu; often there is reimportation, as creationists overseas become major players in their own right and are then welcomed by the legions of creationists in the United States.
The biochemist-turned-theologian Arthur Peacocke died on October 21, 2006, at the age of 81, according to the Telegraph's obituary (October 25, 2006). Born in 1924 in Watford, Peacocke trained at Oxford University as a biochemist, and researched the physical chemistry of DNA at the University of Birmingham and Oxford.