Saturday, 4 August 2007

A brief history of Creationism in British Schools

From here;

April 2003: Richard Dawkins attacks plans announced by the Vardy Foundation (on Radio 4’s Today programme on 28/4/03) to open a further six schools teaching a creationist version of the origin of life, in addition to Emmanuel College, Gateshead. Education Guardian

September 2003: King's Academy in Middlesbrough opens its doors. Formed from a partnership between the Department for Education and the Wearside-based Vardy Foundation it is a sister facility to Gateshead's Emmanuel College, which follows a "creationism" curriculum. BBC.

December 2003: The Guardian organises a conference on ‘Creationism: Science versus faith in schools’.


June 2004: British Humanist Association circulate briefing document to MPs and peers on creationist academies

August 2004: President George Bush tells reporters that "both sides ought to be properly taught ... so people can understand what the debate is about." Time.

October 2004: Local campaigners in Conisbrough, near Doncaster, persuade their LEA to reject a proposed takeover of Northcliffe School by the Vardy Foundation (to be later known as the Emmanuel Schools Foundation) – a considerable triumph for local campaigning and democracy. BBC


January 2005: Lord Taverne asks in the House of Lords "whether the national curriculum will exclude the teaching of creationism in schools." Hansard.

February 2005: UK - Newcastle City Council urged to replace West Gate Community College with an Emmanuel School Foundation academy, and that Sunderland City Council was being lobbied to set up a Christian academy. BBC

US - Dover School board, Pennsylvania proposes teaching an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution in class, called Intelligent Design.

August 2005: Guardian/ICM Poll suggests that two thirds of UK oppose state aided faith schools. The Guardian

September 2005: US - Parents of Dover School mount first US legal against the school board’s decision to incorporate Intelligent Design into school science.

UK- Trinity Academy opens in Doncaster replacing Thorne Grammar School. A part funded city academy it is the third school to be operated by the Christian fundamentalist Vardy Foundation (now the Emmanuel School Foundation).

December 20, 2005: Kitzmiller -v- Dover. In one of the biggest courtroom clashes between faith and evolution since the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, a federal judge barred a Pennsylvania public school district Tuesday from teaching “intelligent design” in biology class, saying the concept is creationism in disguise. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones delivered a stinging attack on the Dover Area School Board, saying its first-in-the-nation decision in October 2004 to insert intelligent design into the science curriculum violates the constitutional separation of church and state. The ruling was a major setback to the US intelligent design movement. Trial Transcripts

Judge bans intelligent design from US science lessons. Education Guardian


February 2006: US scientists enlist teachers in battle against creationists Education Guardian

March 2006: Archbishop of Canterbury criticised teaching of creationism saying that the theory ‘is a kind of category mistake’. The Guardian

Consternation as the OCR Examination Board announces the inclusion of creationist theory in their ‘Gateway Science’ specification for biology GCSE due out in September.

April 2006: Leading scientists of the UK’s Royal Society issue statement saying that creationism 'no place in schools.' Royal Society Statement

National Union of Teachers, warn that religious fundamentalists are gaining control of state schools - predominantly through the government's city academy programme. Education Guardian

Australian creationist John Mackay begins UK lecture tour. Observer Guardian

May 2006: Vatican astronomer, Guy J. Consolmagno, denounces creationism as a “kind of paganism.” The Scotsman

August 2006: Fears grow as there are signs that the Pope is considering aligning his church more closely with the theory of "intelligent design" taught in some US schools. The Guardian

September 2006: UK anti-evolutionists, ‘Truth in Science’ seek to lure parents with new website and teachers by sending out creationist material to school science staff. Design Attack on School Science

October 2006: UK publication of hugely influential book ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins and the inauguration of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

November 2006: Tony Blair accused of complacency on classroom creationism as he dismissed concerns about creationism in schools, saying they were often "hugely exaggerated". Ekklesia

Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason will subsidise books, pamphlets and DVDs for teachers to fight what the professor describes as the "educational scandal" that has seen the rise of "irrational ideas". Education Guardian

US - Museum of Creationism opens in Kentucky. The Telegraph

Department for Education and Skills (DfES) rejects creationist infiltration of science teaching by creationist group ‘Truth in Science’. British Humanist Association

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