Creationism should ‘not be taught’ in science lessons – Scottish Parliament

Reuters / Max Rossi
After a lengthy battle by Scottish secularists, campaigners have welcomed what they call a ‘clear statement’ from a government minister that creationist theory will not be taught alongside sciences.

Members of the Scottish Secular Society (SSS) lodged a petition with the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in September last year arguing: “Creationism in Scottish schools is present, insidious, and undermines science teaching and science teachers.

While the government stopped short of an outright ban, it responded to the petition by saying: “Guidance provided by Education Scotland ... does not identify creationism as a scientific principle. It should therefore not be taught as part of science lessons.”

READ MORE: Losing faith: Atheism rising in Britain, poll suggests

SSS scientific adviser, Professor Paul Braterman, who campaigned on the issue, told the Herald newspaper: “Now we have, at least, a clear statement from the responsible minister that creationism should not be taught as science.

Some recent studies suggest religion is becoming less popular in the United Kingdom.

A poll last month revealed that Britain is one of the least religious countries in the world, coming sixth from bottom in a global study on belief carried out across 65 countries.

Win/Gallup International polling suggested that over 50 percent of Britons did not believe in any religion, while 13 percent were committed atheists.

Only 30 percent said they were religious.

READ MORE: Godless Britain? UK 6th from last in global belief poll

Its finding were broadly in line with those of a YouGov study in January this year, which found 19 percent of respondents identified themselves as atheists, 7 percent as “agnostic” and 3 percent as “humanist.”

In contrast, 49 percent identified themselves as Christian, while 42 percent said they had “no religion” they directly identified with.

The poll is one of the first to measure the number of self-identifying atheists in the UK. Previous studies had simply measured the number of people who believed in “God” as opposed to those who didn’t.