Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Vardy Schools and Creationism

Peter Vardy was on Radio 4 this morning. He denied that creationism was being taught in any of the schools he has funded. They are not, he said, teaching anything “wild and wacky”. He said that he believes in “a creator God” but denied that he is a creationist in the commonly understood sense of the word. But in the past the Guardian has reported that Emmanuel College at Gateshead has hosted a creationist conference and that “senior staff have given a series of lectures at the college urging teachers to promote biblical fundamentalism and giving tips and techniques making pupils doubt the theory of evolution” (9/3/02). The Chairman of the Board of Governors at Emmanuel in Mr. N.J. McQuoid, the author, alongside John Burn, of “Christianity and the School Curriculum” published in 1995 by The Christian Institute. Under the heading “Science” (sic) the article states that “…attempts to reconcile evolutionary theory with the Biblical account of creation strain and distort scripture…” It describes the theory of evolution as “a faith position”, and says “schools should also teach the creation theory as literally depicted in Genesis…”, and that “Both creation and evolution provide ways of explaining the past that are beyond direct examination and verification. Ultimately both Creation and Evolution are faith positions”. Just to remind ourselves: this is under the heading “Science”. The article contains many other horrors of which my favourite, under “Literature” is the observation that there are too few teachers “committed to Biblical Christianity” (Yep, that’s what we should be looking for in teachers of literature). If you have the stomach for it, the whole thing can be read here:
Rod Liddle’s recent Dispatches programme on Channel 4, which contained interviews with former students, also provided evidence that creationism was being smuggled into the school curriculum. The Government is covertly encouraging this, or at least turning a blind eye. Backbencher Barry Sheerman says he visited one of Peter Vardy’s schools, and saw no evidence of creationism being taught. This is the same Barry Sheerman who not so long ago said he had seen no evidence of sleaze since 1997 (see my post of March 11) He obviously walks around with his eyes closed and, God help us, he is the Chairman of the Commons Select Committee on Education and Skills.
On creeping creationism in schools The British Humanist association web-site is invaluable:


Post a Comment

<< Home