Creationism expanding in Europe
LONDON (Feb. 9) - After the Sunday service in Westminster Chapel [a 165-year-old evangelical church that is not affiliated with nearby Westminster Abbey, where Darwin is buried], where worshippers were exhorted to wage "the culture war" in the World War II spirit of Sir Winston Churchill, cabbie James McLean delivered his verdict on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
"Evolution is a lie, and it's being taught in schools as fact, and it's leading our kids in the wrong direction," said McLean, chatting outside the chapel. "But now people like Ken Ham are tearing evolution to pieces."
Ken Ham is the founder of Answers in Genesis, a Kentucky-based organization that is part of an ambitious effort to bring creationist theory to Britain and the rest of Europe. McLean is one of a growing number of evangelicals embracing that message -- that the true history of the Earth is told in the Bible, not Darwin's "The Origin of Species."
Europeans have long viewed the conflict between evolutionists and creationists as primarily an American phenomenon, but it has recently jumped the Atlantic Ocean with skirmishes in Italy, Germany, Poland and, notably, Britain, where Darwin was born and where he published his 1859 classic.
Darwin's defenders are fighting back. In October, the 47-nation Council of Europe, a human rights watchdog, condemned all attempts to bring creationism into Europe's schools. Bible-based theories and "religious dogma" threaten to undercut sound educational practices, it charged.
. . . A British branch of Answers in Genesis, which shares a Web site with its American counterpart, has managed to introduce its creationist point of view into science classes at a number of state-supported schools in Britain, said Monty White, the group's chief executive. . . . .
. . . .the British government is taking over funding of about 100 Islamic schools even though they teach the Quranic version of creationism. He said the government fear imposing evolution theory on the curriculum lest it be branded as anti-Islamic.
Unfortunately, the article presents the conflict as just being between Darwinism and religious creationism -- there is no discussion of the scientific criticisms of evolution theory.
Europe is actually a more fertile ground than the USA for promoting criticism of Darwinism in the public schools because many European nations -- including Britain -- have no constitutional separation of church and state, which Darwinists have been abusing in the USA to block criticism of Darwinism in the public schools. And European nations -- like the USA -- have no constitutional separation of bad science and state.
I myself am opposed to the teaching of biblical creationism in the public schools, though I think it is OK for public-school science classes to have evolution disclaimer statements that mention biblical creationism in order to help reduce Darwinism's offense to the fundies (though of course the evolution disclaimer statements can be effective without mentioning biblical creationism). Actually, biblical creationism does not offer much to teach, because the story of creation covers only about two pages of the bible. I am of course also in favor of teaching the scientific weaknesses of Darwinism.
Also, as creationism spreads to other developed countries, the Darwinists' argument that creationism in the USA is making the USA a world laughingstock becomes less tenable.
Labels: Evolution controversy abroad