Update from Scotland

11.12.2014

Flag-map of Scotland via Wikimedia Commons

The Public Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament heard testimony supporting the proposed ban on teaching creationism as scientifically credible in Scotland's public schools on November 11, 2014, according to the Press Association (November 11, 2014). The committee agreed to write to the Scottish government, the Educational Institute of Scotland, the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association and the Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland to receive their views on the matter.

As NCSE previously reported, the petition, filed by the Scottish Secular Society, asks (PDF) the parliament "to bar the presentation in Scottish publicly funded schools of separate creation and of Young Earth doctrines as viable alternatives to the established science of evolution, common descent, and deep time," adding, "Nothing in this request precludes the discussion of such doctrines in their proper place, as part of the study of ideas, neither does it nor can it infringe on individual freedom of belief."

Among the organizations submitting written testimony was NCSE, which in a November 7, 2014, letter (PDF) expressed its support for the proposed ban, citing the statements from scientific and educational organizations contained in Voices for Evolution as well as case law from legal cases in the United States. The letter also argued, "Simply devolving the question of how to address evolution and creationism to individual teachers is not satisfactory," in light of reports of creationist encroachments on science education in Scotland.