Almost three out of ten specialist science teachers believe that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in school science lessons, according to a national poll of primary and secondary teachers.
The survey also reveals strong support for the views of Michael Reiss, the Royal Society's former director of education. Reiss resigned from that position in September over his views on how to include creationism in science lessons. Some 73% of science specialists endorsed his position that creationism should be "discussed" in science lessons.
However, the finding that a large minority of science teachers advocate the active teaching of creationism will dismay many scientists who believe that supernatural explanations for the origin of life and the universe have no place in science lessons at all. At the height of the row over creationism teaching, two Nobel prize winners and Fellows of the Royal Society – Sir Harry Kroto and Sir Richard Roberts – publicly called for Reiss to be sacked over his views.
Never mind that Reiss was no creationist and wanted to teach it in class so it could be shot down. One wonders what "specialist" science teachers are, since the article does not exactly say. As far as bringing up creationism just so that it can be shot down, the article continues:
The Ipsos/MORI poll also canvassed support for the more hard-line position of only mentioning creationism in the context of dismissing it. It found that 26% of all teachers and 46% of science specialists agree with the views of Prof Chris Higgins, vice-chancellor of the University of Durham, who is quoted as saying "creationism is completely unsupportable as a theory, and the only reason to mention creationism in schools is to enable teachers to demonstrate why the idea is scientific nonsense and has no basis in evidence or rational thought."
Only 46%. that may be misleading, though, because it may be that the other 54% don't want it brought up at all. This is nothing short of astounding and suggests that the problem in England is much worse than here in the United States, where the numbers are much lower. It also suggests that, like here, the teachers are being taught how to teach, rather than what they are teaching. I don't think that is going to change any time soon.