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19 November 2011

Creation Ministries International named as a ‘threat’ to Britain’s school children

by Dominic Statham

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough (Credit Wikipedia)

In May of this year, CMI-UK’s Philip Bell addressed some pupils at a Religious Education study day at a Church of England school in Exeter. As a result, the self-styled ‘British Centre for Science Education’ (BCSE) launched its ‘Creationism In Schools Isn’t Science’ (CrISIS) campaign, supported by the National Secular Society.

This took the form of a letter to the UK Secretary of State for Education, signed by a number of prominent scientists, demanding that action be taken to prevent creationism being taught in schools as having any kind of scientific validity.

This week, the British Humanist Association (BHA) joined the party, making their bid to silence all who would seek to inform children of the scientific short comings of evolutionary theory and to present them with an alternative view of origins. Supported by a much more impressive group of scientists than those co-opted by the BCSE, the BHA has launched their ‘Teach Evolution, not Creationism!’ campaign.

Backed by over twenty Fellows of the Royal Society, including Sir David Attenborough (pictured above) and Prof Richard Dawkins, they are calling for “enforceable statutory guidance that [creationism and intelligent design] may not be presented as scientific theories in any publically funded school.”1

Desperate to quash dissent

These people are demanding that the belief in ‘molecules-to-man evolution’ be taught as scientifically proven fact, and are determined that pupils should be denied the possibility of hearing any scientific criticism of this view.

There’s no doubt that such a regime of indoctrination would ensure that very few would leave school knowing that considerable dissent about evolution exists among scientists, or that many of the top evolutionary scientists admit that they have no idea how inanimate matter could have evolved into living organisms.

The co-discoverer of DNA Francis Crick admitted, “The origin of life seems almost to be a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”2 Similarly, the top evolutionary scientist Professor Stuart Kaufman wrote, “Anyone who tells you that he or she knows how life started on earth some 3.4 billion years ago is a fool or a knave.

Nobody knows.”3 Committed evolutionist and former director of the human genome project Francis Collins wrote, “No current hypothesis comes close to explaining how … the prebiotic environment that existed on planet earth gave rise to life.”4

In fact, everything we know about science tells us that ordinary chemicals would not self-assemble to form living cells. The laws of chemistry dictate that the biopolymers required for life would break down rather than build themselves up. Moreover basic mathematical analyses make clear that, even if by some miracle they did self-assemble, it is absurd to imagine that undirected processes would cause them to have the correct form.5

Of course, informed evolutionists know all this very well—but still insist that ‘abiogenesis is a fact’.6 Why? Because they are committed to the religion of scientism, the belief that everything we see around us can and should be explained only by natural processes.

The fact that we don’t observe natural processes that appear remotely capable of producing life from non-life is irrelevant. To them, such processes must exist, or must have existed in the past, because life exists—and it’s unthinkable that a Creator God is responsible for biological life.

Such thinking makes clear that the creation/evolution debate is not about science; it is about one worldview versus another. Ironically, the faith of scientism flies in the face of scientific knowledge.

One of the prominent supporters of the BHA’s campaign is the Oxford University Neuroscientist Professor Colin Blakemore, who is quoted on the BHA website:

“The evidence for evolution as the basis of life on earth is overwhelming and we see it all around us – from the effects of selective breeding in domestic and farm animals to the continuous changes in ’flu viruses.”

Actually, all the observational evidence makes plain that, however much dogs, cows, chickens and horses are selectively bred, dogs remain dogs, cows remain cows, chickens remain chickens and horses remain horses. Moreover, whenever we study the changes which are claimed to demonstrate the evolution of flu viruses, bacteria resistant to antibiotics or insects resistant to pesticides, we are unable to find any evidence of the novelties that are required for microbe-to-man evolution.

These ‘examples of evolution’ are invariably found to arise from the use of existing genetic information or the loss of genetic information and associated loss of function. For microbe-to-man evolution, mutations would be required that increase information and function—and on an enormous scale. Such changes are conspicuous by their absence.

Media mendacity

Unfortunately, the media’s general reporting of this latest campaign is as misleading as the statements made by the scientists seeking to support the BHA and its apostles of secularism. According to the Guardian, “Speakers from Creation Ministries International are touring the UK, presenting themselves as scientists and their creationist views as science at a number of schools.”7

In fact, the majority of our speaking engagements are at churches and we visit schools only occasionally. When we do speak at schools, it is by invitation or has been instigated by someone known to the school locally and never solicited by CMI. Moreover, it is extremely rare for us to speak in a science class. It was also reported that “Creation Ministries International was unavailable for comment.”

However, since the invitation to comment was received in an e-mail on Saturday at 8.15 pm, along with notification that the article had to be finished by the following Sunday at midday, it is hardly surprising that we were unable to respond before their publication deadline; but with this article we have now done so.

On their website, the BHA proudly quote the journalist Ariane Sherine: “All children should be free to grow up in a world where they are allowed to question, doubt, think freely, and reach their own conclusions about what they believe.” Ironically, this is exactly what the BHA and its associates are fighting so hard to prevent.

This latest move by the BHA is likely to be treated much more seriously than the BCSE’s CrISIS campaign. At times like this we particularly value the support and prayers of Christian people.

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