The BBC reports that a question on creationism in the GCSE biology examination has been scrapped following complaints. Here's an extract from the news article:
The article also notes that "candidates were expected to have some understanding of [creationism]". Indeed, how are evolutionary theories to be fully appreciated if they are not contrasted against something? (Ideally, they would be contrasted against each other, but that's too advanced a topic for high school students).
But there's a grave error here that isn't covered by the BBC article: talk about "the Bible's theory of creation" is entirely misleading, since the book of Genesis provides an account of creation, not a theory. Most Christians interpret the opening chapters of Genesis allegorically. It is creation scientists (i.e. Young Earth Creationists) who deploy scripture as the foundation for their theory (i.e. explanatory principle), first proposed in the 1960s, although of course natural theology goes back far further.
As a current affairs subject, I contend that the topic of creationism (and in particular, the clash between proponents of this view and staunch defenders of evolutionary theories) is relevant in the science classroom, although only as a minor side topic. Furthermore, it makes more sense here than in a high school
religious studies class, which may cover origin beliefs but not the
creation science movement, which is a science or philosophy
I continue to support Professor Reese's claim that teachers should be allowed to (briefly) discuss creationism when a student comes from a family which holds these beliefs. Shouldn't we be encouraging debate in our classrooms, rather than stiffling it by asserting dogmatic claims as to the boundaries of science?