A new petition has been launched on the Government’s recently established e-petitions website calling for state-funded schools to teach evolution in all state-funded schools, including primary schools, and to prevent creationism and ‘intelligent design’ from being taught as valid scientific theories.
The petition was authored by the British Humanist Association, and has garnered over 700 signatures in its first three days – making it already one of the most popular on the site, and the second most popular petition to do with education.
The text of the petition reads:
Creationism and ‘intelligent design’ are not scientific theories, but they are portrayed as scientific theories by some religious fundamentalists who attempt to have their views promoted in publicly-funded schools. At the same time, an understanding of evolution is central to understanding all aspects of biology. Currently, the study of evolution does not feature explicitly in the National Curriculum until year 10 (ages 14-15). Free Schools and Academies are not obliged to teach the National Curriculum and so are under no obligation to teach about evolution at all. We petition the Government to make clear that creationism and ‘intelligent design’ are not scientific theories and to prevent them from being taught as such in publicly-funded schools, including in ‘faith’ schools, religious Academies and religious Free Schools. At the same time, we want the Government to make the teaching of evolution in mandatory in all publicly-funded schools, at both primary and secondary level.
BHA Education Campaigns Officer Richy Thompson commented, ‘Countering creationism and promoting the teaching of evolution has been a major ongoing area of work for us, and has seen us organise a number of letters from distinguished scientists and educators petitioning the Government to take action. As a next step, we believe it’s time to send a message to the Government from the public at large. We urge everyone to support this hugely important petition so that we can improve the teaching of evolution in state-funded schools, and ensure that creationism is not taught as a valid scientific theory.’
For further comment or information, please contact Richy Thompson on 020 7462 4993.
Read the e-petition, Teach evolution not creationism
The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of ethically concerned, non-religious people in the UK. It is the largest organisation in the UK campaigning for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief, and for a secular state.