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Intelligent Design comes to Blighty

More welcome than we'd have hoped

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More from that lovely bunch of people who we like to think of as creationists-with-a-website. Yes, the Intelligent Designers are back. Having had their bottoms soundly birched in the US, they are now determined to "educate" England's schoolkids about their utterly unscientific counter "theory" to evolution.

For those who have missed all the fun, Intelligent Design holds that life on earth is too complex to have evolved on its own, without an intelligent entity guiding its path. This intelligent entity is not specified as being God, largely because of the US insistence on the separation of church and state, but it is hard to think of another candidate for the job.

The Guardian reports that the group Truth in Science has sent out "information packs" to all the heads of science at secondary schools in the country. Almost 90 sent feedback to the organisation, with 59 responding positively, saying they thought the pack, which includes a DVD and printed teaching materials, would be a useful teaching aid.

One of those who welcomed the unscientific teaching pack was Nick Cowan, head of chemistry at Bluecoat school in Liverpool. He told The Guardian: "Just because it takes a negative look at Darwinism doesn't mean it is not science. I think to critique Darwinism is quite appropriate."

It certainly is sensible and desirable to debate Darwinism, the theory of evolution and the merits of the notion of survival of the fittest. The question is, is it relevant to bring pseudo-religious philosophies into the science classroom?

Lib Dem MP Phil Willis certainly doesn't think so. He said he is flabbergasted that any science teacher would give the creationist theory any credence. "Treating it as an alternative centralist theory alongside Darwinism in science lessons is deeply worrying," he told the Graun.

The idea also runs counter to government policy. Jim Knight, a minister at the Department for Education and Skills said in written answers to questions that: "Neither intelligent design nor creationism are recognised scientific theories and they are not included in the science curriculum, the Truth in Science information pack is therefore not an appropriate resource to support the science curriculum." ®

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