Creating a Stir by Phillip E. Johnson

Creating a Stir

On September 12, 2008, The London TimesOnline published a story headlined “Leading Scientist Urges Teaching of Creationism in Schools.” The article summarized the alarming situation thus: “Creationism should be taught in science classes as a legitimate point of view, according to the Royal Society, putting the august science body on a collision course with the Government.” This, the article declared, was because

national curriculum guidelines state that creationism has no place in science lessons. The Government says that if it is raised by students, teachers should discuss how creationism differs from evolution, say that it is not scientific theory and that further discussion should be saved for religious classes.

What had actually happened was this: Michael Reiss, the Royal Society’s Director of Education, as well as a biologist and an ordained clergyman in the Church of England, gave a speech at a science festival in which he commented on what he thought should be done when objections to the theory of evolution are made by pupils who believe in the literal account of God creating the universe and all living things as related in the Bible or the Koran. It would be self-defeating, Reiss opined, to dismiss these pupils’ views as wrong or misguided. It would be better, he said, to treat creationism as a worldview.

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Phillip E. Johnson is Professor of Law (emeritus) at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of Darwin on Trial, The Wedge of Truth, The Right Questions (InterVarsity Press), and other books challenging the naturalistic assumptions that dominate modern culture. He is a contributing editor of Touchstone.

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