With the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth looming large, there is no end in sight to the creation-evolution debate. Nearly a third of British teachers (29 per cent) in a poll said that creationism and intelligent design should be given the same status as evolution in the classroom; 53 per cent disagreed. However, 88 per cent agreed that if pupils raised the issue in a science lesson, they should be able to discuss it. The poll of 1200 teachers was commissioned by the broadcaster Teachers’ TV.
Recently, members of the Royal Society forced the resignation of its education director, Professor Michael Reiss, after he advocated toleration of creationist views in the classroom. Prof Reiss estimated that 10 per cent of British schoolchildren came from families with creationist beliefs. Some 50 per cent of teachers in the new poll agreed with his view that excluding alternative explanations to evolution is counter-productive, and could alienate pupils from science.~ Times Online, Nov 7