1/6/2007 - Education Guardian - Intelligent design has place in science lessons, says CofE
The row over teaching the theory of intelligent design in science lessons was reignited today by the Church of England's new head of education.
The Rev Jan Ainsworth, who is responsible for more than 4,600 CofE schools, said intelligent design could form part of discussions in science lessons under the heading of history of science.
Intelligent design - the argument that living species are too complex to have evolved through Darwinian natural selection and must have a "designer" - is dismissed by the vast majority of scientists.
Ms Ainsworth told the Times Educational Supplement: "While it is not something I would subscribe to, it is a recognition that there are different ways of looking at the evidence.
"You would get howls of protest from the scientific community, which would say there is absolutely no place for it in the curriculum. But you could do it in history of science," she added, pointing out that religious education lessons in CofE schools include discussions of different beliefs.
The church today hastened to play down the significance of her comments.
The long-running battle between creationists and Darwinists over teaching evolution in schools in the US - dating to the 1925 "Monkey Trial" in Tennessee - has spilled over into the UK in recent years.
Earlier this year the government instructed schools in England not to use teaching materials promoting creationism and intelligent design circulated by the privately-funded group Truth in Science.