Sunday, December 02, 2012

Schools in England to lose funding if they do not teach evolution. Excellent idea!

Courtesy of the BBC:  

Failing to teach evolution by natural selection in science lessons could lead to new free schools losing their funding under government changes. 

The new rules state that from 2013, all free schools in England must teach evolution as a "comprehensive and coherent scientific theory". 

The move follows scientists' concerns that free schools run by creationists might avoid teaching evolution. 

Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, said he was "delighted". 

Sir Paul told BBC News the previous rules on free schools and the teaching of evolution versus creationism had been "not tight enough". 

He said that although the previous rules had confined creationism to religious education lessons, "the Royal Society identified a potential issue that schools could have avoided teaching evolution by natural selection in science lessons or dealt with it in a such a perfunctory way, that the main experience for students was the creationist myth". 

So far 79 free schools have opened in England with 118 more due to open in 2013 and beyond. They are funded directly by central government but unlike other state-funded schools are run by groups of parents, teachers, charities and religious groups and do not have to abide by the national curriculum. 

The new rules mean if a free school is found to be acting in breach of its funding agreement - for example, teaching creationism as a scientific fact or not teaching evolution - the Department for Education will take "swift action which could result in the termination of that funding agreement"

Right now in several states all over this country there are charter schools, which accept state funding in the form of school vouchers (Most famously Louisiana), and which teach only a perfunctory version of evolution, or no evolution at all, in favor of stressing the completely non-scientific Creationist myth.

Personally I believe that there should NEVER be a time when a religious based curriculum is introduced into a science classroom, however if that is not possible due the vast number of idiots in our country, than at least I would like to see a law passed similar to this one in England, which insists that a comprehensive approach to evolution be taught to children, or risk losing their federal funding.

After all they are in school for education, not indoctrination.


  1. Anonymous4:49 AM

    Fine to rail against "intelligent design," but let's not shoe-horn evolution into Darwin's theory. Fossil record of the Burgess Shale suggests that natural selection was not Nature's sole route to evolution. Saying it is drives me about as crazy as Intelligent Design makes you.

    1. Leland8:05 AM

      Read it. Don't see the problem you do.

      I see a statement that there was a HUGE explosion of different life forms during that period. I see disagreement concerning the CAUSE of that explosion. I see nothing which precludes Darwinian evolution or even opens another possible path to evolution.

      Further explanation of your "problem" would help my understanding.

    2. kimosabe8:27 AM

      IMHO one of the best popular science books ever, Wonderful Life by the late paleontologist (and avid atheist) Steven Jay Gould suggests that life at the "Cambrian Explosion" erupted in MORE gross diversity than we have at present; i.e. the Burgess Shale fossils contain examples or progenitors of all phyla around today, but also several previously unknown phyla long extinct. This view too has evolved, as subsequent analysis puts some of the most bizarre Burgess life forms into commonly known phyla rather than wholly new classifications. Still, a controversial, engrossing and user-friendly read, much more so that this paragraph I just wrote.

    3. Further explanation of your "problem" would help my understanding.

      Well, here it is several hours later, and no response from Anonymous. His/her position, "let's not shoe-horn evolution into Darwin's theory" suggests a profound misunderstanding of what Darwin's theory was about. Darwin developed his theory as a proposed explanation of his factual observations of evolution. It would make as much sense to say, let's not shoe-horn falling apples and planetary orbits into Newton's gravitation.

      Present-day evolutionary theory covers a lot that Darwin could only dream of—the existence of genes, for example. "Darwin's theory" is not, and was never meant to be, inerrant scripture, so complaining that he didn't describe driving forces other than natural selection is pretty much a strawman argument.

  2. Anonymous5:14 AM

    I personally know of three teen boys in Texas who have been homeschooled by their mother to believe that evolution by natural selection is a myth and that creationism is true. They are my nephews. In my opinion this is child neglect. There ought to be a law...

    1. Anonymous10:07 AM

      She's not doing them any favors.

  3. Anonymous5:38 AM

    Republicans Go To Obama School

    At Harvard, GOP staffers sit at Axelrod's feet. “We weren't even running in the same race.”

  4. Anonymous6:19 AM

    Bobby Jindal’s school voucher program ruled unconstitutional

    1. Leland8:09 AM

      Yeah, but the A**hole is still going to continue the program and appeal the decision. It will go to SCOTUS.

      Nice to see it is starting, though. Thanks.

  5. wakeUpAmerica7:08 AM

    No picture. I tried it in Safari and Chrome.

  6. Anonymous7:13 AM

    Fox & Friends Gets Schooled By A Priest: ‘You Guys Look So Angry About This War On Christmas’

    Thanks to ALEC, Arizona High School Students Treated Like Convicts In Prison Style Lockdown

    1. Anonymous2:22 PM

      I saw that segment at the gym this a.m. The priest was a douche about it religion in the public square, too.

  7. Anonymous7:14 AM

    Man Charged with Blasphemy for Pointing out Weeping Jesus Miracle was Plumbing Problem

  8. Anonymous2:19 PM

    Let's be very careful on the terminology here. There are charter schools, and there are private schools that take state funded vouchers - like Indiana and Louisiana. In theory, the charters have some oversight by a state sponsoring entity. The private schools? Many of which are RCC or fundamentalist Xtian, no oversight AT ALL, not even in theory.


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