Professor Reiss, who is an ordained Church of England clergyman, pointed out that in his experience, students who hold creationist views do not change their views simply by being taught evolution and being told they are wrong. He suggests that creationism needs to be understood as a worldview and that creationist students should be engaged in intelligent dialogue in order to help them understand and reconcile their beliefs with scientific knowledge.
This is an issue of increasing importance in Britain where creationism is on the rise. American readers will be interested to learn that creationism’s rise in Britain is not due to fundamentalist Protestants, but fundamentalist Muslims. Muslims are investing significant amounts in creationist research and education, and the scientific community ain’t happy.
What tickles me is that the scientists seem so enraged by Rev Dr Reiss’ proposal. For goodness sake, if creationism is so wrong and evolution so right, why not engage in intelligent discussion? Why not allow the creationist to ask some questions? Is this the way to really educate? Are these scientists in the educational Middle Ages? Must everyone accept the orthodoxy of the scientific academy or be hounded from jobs, pilloried in the media and excluded from polite society?
I myself, am agnostic about evolution. I believe God is the creator of all things. How and when he did it, I don’t know. If the scientists want to speculate on these matters, well and good. That they come up with theories that they believe to be true is fine. The fact that they don’t even allow discussion of creationism–even for the purpose of showing it to be unscientific–is ludicrous and well–just plain dumb.
Maybe they are descended from apes after all…