Creationism Vital, Say Science Experts; EDUCATION MATTERS

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Byline: By Shahid Naqvi Education Correspondent

Science teachers should include lessons on "creationist" beliefs that say all life on Earth is the direct result of God's actions, claim academics.

Darwin's theory of evolution should be a significant part of science lessons, but creationism should also be taught, they say. The call comes in a new book written jointly by academics at the University of London's Institute of Education Valdosta State University, in the United States.

Called Teaching about Scientific Origins: Taking Account of Creationism, it aims to give guidance to science teachers as increasing numbers of youngsters subscribe to a more religious outlook.

Creationism includes a belief that all life-forms have always existed in their present form, and that the world was formed 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, rather than 4,600 million years ago as most scientists believe.

Fears have been expressed by some that city academies that have Christian sponsors - such as the Grace Academy in Solihull - teach creationism. But Professor Michael Reiss, of the University of London, who is also an Anglican priest, said teachers could not ignore the fact that growing numbers of Muslim and Christian children in the UK now held creationist beliefs. …