The World Around Us: A Virtual Museum

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Context Creationism and intelligent design should be given the same status as evolution in the classroom according to 29% of teachers in a poll by Teachers’ TV (2008). While half of those polled considered otherwise, some 89% thought it should be discussed if raised in a science lesson. Such views from the metaphorical ‘chalk face’ no doubt reflect the reality of the classroom but resources geared to facilitate this are sparse indeed. Nor are such views confined to teachers. In a survey of the UK population some 27% considered that intelligent design should be taught alongside evolution in science lessons. (Lawes 2009). A recent survey among churchgoers revealed that 61% thought that creationism should be taught as part of science in schools (Village 2011). An even greater percentage believed that it should also feature in Religious Education teaching. Professor Michael Reiss (2010), a distinguished educationist, estimates that 10 – 15% of people in the UK accept the record of the Bible or Quran on creation and therefore a similar proportion of state school pupils are likely to believe this. In schools with a strong Christian or Muslim ethos the percentage holding such a belief will be greater; in the Christian Schools Trust member schools, for example, it is as high as three-quarters of the teenage pupils (Baker 2009, Table 7.1). For a number of years there has been a vocal lobby from humanist and other groups opposed to the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in schools (for an excellent summary see Baker 2009, Section 4.6). As a result government guidance was given to teachers in state schools (DCSF, 2007). This supported teaching different beliefs about origins in Religious Education but indicat... ... middle of paper ... ... 28% of science teachers believed it essential to cover religious beliefs about the origin of life in the classroom (Times Educational Supplement, 19 September 2008). Village, Andrew et al (2011) , ‘The Bible, Creation and You’ survey 2011 : Report on the initial findings, York St John University, available at : (accessed 8 August 2011). Captions The home page of The World Around Us virtual museum. Access is gained to any of the galleries through the toolbar at the top of the page or via the image logo of the relevant gallery at the bottom. A small section of the display on dating in the Paradigm Crisis gallery of The World Around Us virtual museum. Each of the exhibits on the website can be enlarged to provide greater detail. Prepared for Origins 55 (2011)
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