7 Dec 2010

Queensland state schools will begin teaching creationism as part of history lessons on controversy of human origins

Herald Sun - Australia May 30, 2010

Creationism to be taught in Queensland classrooms

By Carly Hennessy | The Sunday Mail (QLD)


CREATIONISM and intelligent design will be taught in Queensland state schools for the first time as part of the new national curriculum.

Creationists dismiss the science of evolution, instead believing that living things are best explained by an intelligent being or God, rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.

The issue of creationism being taught in schools has caused huge controversy in the US, where some fundamentalist religious schools teach it as a science subject instead of Darwin's theory of evolution.

In Queensland schools, creationism will be offered for discussion in the subject of ancient history, under the topic of "controversies".

Teachers are still formulating a response to the draft national curriculum, scheduled to be introduced next year.

Queensland History Teachers' Association head Kay Bishop said the curriculum asked students to develop their historical skills in an "investigation of a controversial issue" such as "human origins (eg, Darwin's theory of evolution and its critics").

"It's opening up opportunities for debate and discussion, not to push a particular view," Ms Bishop said. Classroom debate about issues encouraged critical thinking – an important tool, she said.

Associated Christian Schools executive officer Lynne Doneley welcomed the draft curriculum, saying it cemented the position of a faith-based approach to teaching.

"We talk to students from a faith science basis, but we're not biased in the delivery of curriculum," Mrs Doneley said. "We say, 'This is where we're coming from' but allow students to make up their own minds."

But Griffith University humanities lecturer Paul Williams said it was important to be cautious about such content.

"It's important that education authorities are vigilant that this is not a blank cheque to push theological barrows," Mr Williams said.

"I would be loath to see it taught as theory.

"It's up there with the world being occupied by aliens since Roswell."

Ms Bishop said there were bigger problems with the national curriculum.

History teachers are planning to object to repetitive subject matter, such as World War I being a major part of the Year 10 course and repeated in Year 11.


This article was found at:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/creationism-to-be-taught-in-queensland-classrooms/story-e6frf7l6-1225873019548

****************************************************************
Pharyngula - May 30, 2010

What is wrong with you, Queensland?

by PZ Meyers


Look at this: they've explicitly added creationism to the public school curriculum in Queensland, Australia. [see article above] That's just nuts.

They're even doing it in an entirely bogus way — they're teaching it as a controversy in history classes.

In Queensland schools, creationism will be offered for discussion in the subject of ancient history, under the topic of "controversies".


Queensland History Teachers' Association head Kay Bishop said the curriculum asked students to develop their historical skills in an "investigation of a controversial issue" such as "human origins (eg, Darwin's theory of evolution and its critics").

This is confusing. It sounds like they're going to be babbling about whether the earth is 6,000 years old or 4.5 billion years old, but that isn't history — that's just lunacy. There is some relevant history that could be taught, such as that from Ron Numbers' book, The Creationists, which explains how ideas about creationism changed over the years, talks about the major figures in the creationist movement, and describes how creationism itself has changed historically…but I doubt that the people who are backing this want the subject addressed seriously as a series of events in the last 100 years.

It's clear that they're just trampling on history as a back door to get pseudoscience into the curriculum. I keep telling people, these creationists are cunning — the science side of the debate has gotten hardened by repeated attacks, and is usually better prepared to resist the foolishness, so they switch targets and catch history or philosophy off guard. Every academic discipline is subject to this corruption.

Give it a few years, and if they're beaten back by the history professionals, just wait until they try to sneak in by claiming creationism is math, or health, or physical education (oh, wait, they've already gotten in there — in lots of schools, it's the Christian athletes who are often the center of creationist activity).


This article was found at:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/05/what_is_wrong_with_you_queensl.php

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment