Go to change.org to sign this petition:
Read, sign, and share this petition to “Stop funding schools that teach Creationism“. The petition has been signed by Lawrence Krauss – his video on creationism heads the petition. It will run until Science Week — from 12th to 20th August.
How many Private Schools teach kids Creationism . . . ?
Since the middle 1800s education in Australia was “free, compulsory, and secular“. In 1963 Liberal Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, began federal funding for private schools — based on purely political motives. What do we know about private schools . . . ?
- In 2016 there were 2,780 private schools — 1,738 Catholic and 1,042 other.
- Federal government funding of private schools rose to $12 billion in 2016.
- Some private schools receive up to 80% of their funding from taxpayers. (1)
- Private Schools enroll 34.8% of all Australian children.
- It may seem at least 14% of private schools (94% religious) favour creationism.
Are these schools the tip of an iceberg?
Professor Marion Maddox lists 250 fundamentalist Christian schools — that “favour creationism” — in Chapter 4 of her book, “Taking God to School: The end of Australia’s egalitarian education?“, 2014. (1) But there now seem to be many more.
If there is any doubt that terms such as “the infallible Word of God” (below) represent a creationist worldview, read this New York Times feature. Further background here. Australian education is following the US experience. Check the links to these schools.
Their schools, all teachers and staff, are bound by a “Statement of Faith“. One excerpt: “We affirm that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are God’s infallible and inerrant revelation to man.” It’s Creationism, if they teach Genesis as historical fact.
“…we confess the books of the Old and New Testaments to be the divinely inspired, inerrant Word of God.” And, “…all subjects are taught by the light of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ contained in the Old and New Testament.” If Genesis is “inerrant“, then it’s the pseudo-science of Creationism that’s being taught to children.
o SCEE, Southern Cross Educational Enterprises won’t list schools it provides with “ACE”.
The Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) program “foregrounds creation science.” (1) Its “Statement of Faith” is clear: “…every subject can be taught from God’s point of view. All truth is God’s truth and so there can be no “secular” subjects.” SCEE is also big in providing ACE as a Home Schooling curriculum.
o Themelic schools 300 in 1995. They teach “Creation”, not evolution.(1) One example:
- Rehoboth College is a themelic school in Western Australia. “Our Faith…comprises both the Old and New Testaments.” Marion Maddox holds a website position paper (since removed) that stated, “Darwin’s The Origin of Species…should be studies for the sake of understanding and refuting it.” This, together with ridicule of the glacial epochs, and that Noah’s Flood is historically true, has been published as “Lies, Lies and More Lies“. It’s a book that promotes Creationism. Sections can be read online, at this link.
- Prescott College Southern: “God being the creator and saviour of the Earth“.
o Islamic Schools and creationism: Do Muslims believe in Creation? “The Koran, if one interprets it literally, teaches a six-day creation. Adam and Eve were created in innocent perfection and placed in a beautiful garden.” Although there do seem to be some differences of interpretation among Muslims — similar to that between fundamentalist and moderate Christians. It depends on the school.
Conclusion: While the language of school websites has now become more ‘sanitised’, Marion Maddox points out there is a commonality in the their educational philosophy which is often not stated. She says: (1)
- “Schools in these groupings refer to themselves as ‘Bible-based’, ‘Christ-centred’, or simply ‘Christian’, reflecting a scarcely concealed assumption that the Catholic and elite Protestant schools are not entitled to such terms.”
(1) “Taking God to School: The end of Australia’s egalitarian education?“. Published in 2014 — by Professor Marion Maddox — the book details a far deeper malaise within Australian education, since the radical changes in 1963.
How extensive is this problem . . .?
We don’t know, exactly, but the evidence is significant… So, where is the accountability within federal and state education departments? Since when is it accepted practice to remain mute — and continue taxpayer funding to schools that teach pseudo-science? To present Genesis “as God’s plan“, and the “inerrant Word of God“, is nothing short of intellectual abuse of young students. Science — across a dozen different disciplines — demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that Creationism is a false belief.
- Who is responsible? Which bureaucracies are accountable for this religious abuse in schools?
- Where is the national survey — and independent inspectors — to identify all creationist schools?
- Can the media better scrutinise this abuse, that teaches children pseudo-scientific nonsense?
Take a stand on principle, and sign the petition!
Copy of the Change.org petition: Go the Change.org to sign . . .
STOP funding schools that teach Creationism:
education is being degraded by pseudoscience
To: Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education;
cc: Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister;
cc: Tanya Plibesek, Shadow Education Minister:
Science has provided staggering advances in medicine, technology, and across every sphere of human advancement.
But science is undermined by fixations with pseudo-science — the anti-vaxxer lobby, denial of climate change, and fundamentalists who claim human evolution is a “hoax”.
More than 250 private schools across Australia reserve the right to teach Creationism as part of their curriculum. This practice must cease — it is intellectually damaging to children, it indoctrinates ideas that are patently false, it disables the capacity of young minds to ‘think critically’, and it prevents a scientific understanding of the natural world.
Current funding for private schools is $12 billion per year — we urge you to withdraw the relevant portion of these grants from all schools which teach Creationism. Save taxpayer dollars, and stop funding pseudo-science in schools.
A Nielsen poll in 2009, reported in The Age, showed almost 25% of Australians believe “the biblical account of human origins”. Creationists claim the Earth is just 6,000 years old, that Noah’s flood is historically true, and humans lived with dinosaurs. We don’t need this taught in schools!
Plain Reason: Promoting science, reason, and critical thinking: