This is ridiculous. I'm opposed to American politicians who meddle in science teaching and I'm opposed to British politicians who do the same even though I think creationism is bunk. Politicians should not be deciding what kind of science should, and should not, be taught in schools.
It's a matter of principle. It's as wrong as when American state governments banned the teaching of evolution.1
In addition, there are other reasons why this is a bad idea.
- Where do you stop? Do there also need to be laws banning the teaching of astrology, climate change denial, homeopathy, and Thatcherism? Do they need laws defining the correct history of how the traitors in the Thirteen Colonies formed an alliance with the French in order to overthrow well-meaning British governments?
- Why give creationists the ammunition to claim that they are being persecuted—especially when it's true?
- What's wrong with showing that creationism is bad science and refuting it in the classroom? Is that forbidden? Evolution is true, it doesn't need legal protection.
- Are the Brits so afraid of creationism that such a law is necessary in order to prevent creationist teachers from sneaking it into the classroom? If so, fix that problem by educating teachers.
- Was this a serious enough problem to warrant giving creationism a huge publicity boost?
- The government funding agreement notes that creationism "... should not be presented to pupils at the Academy as a scientific theory ..." Why not? I think that some parts of Intelligent Design Creationism really do count as valid scientific hypotheses, albeit bad ones. Why is the government taking a stand on the demarcation problem—especially an incorrect one?
Image Credit: Atheism and Me.
1. I'm not exactly sure who made the decision in the UK. It could be the case that "government" is just a catch phrase for decisions made by a body of science teachers and science experts. Those decisions are just implemented by the "government."