"Intelligent design" unwelcome in British classrooms


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. Although the government had already stated that the Truth in Science materials were inappropriate for science classes, there was widespread concern that its disclaimers were insufficient.

The Guardian also reported that the Nobel laureate John Sulston denounced creationism in a recent lecture at the British Museum, quoting him as saying, "[Pupils] are somehow being told these agendas are alternative ways of looking at things. They are not at all ... One is science -- a rational thought process which will carry us forward into the indefinite future. The other is a cop-out and they should not be juxtaposed in science lessons." Sulston is the latest in a string of British scientists to have condemned the incursions of "intelligent design" in public education, along with Lord Rees (the curent president of the Royal Society), Lord May (Rees's predecessor), Lewis Wolpert, and Richard Dawkins.