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Media Release: School science sacrificed to scripture: 26.4.17

School science sacrificed to scripture

“Celebrity physicist and cosmologist, Lawrence Krauss, headlines a national petition to stop taxpayer-funding to schools that promote a creationist view — the Bible as “the infallible and inerrant word of God,” says Brian Morris, director of Plain Reason.

“Biology, geology, and a score of other sciences show that Genesis is not a factual history of evolution — yet 25 per cent of Australians believe the Biblical account of Earth being 6,000 years old, and Mankind descended from Adam and Eve.

“What is most troubling is the growing number of private religious schools that promote similar anti-science myths.”

Mr Morris said science has been under attack since Copernicus showed the Earth orbits the sun.  And it has not improved in this current era of  ‘post-truth’ — with its fixation for pseudoscience; from the anti-vaxxers, the clean-coalers, and climate deniers.

Last Saturday, 500 cities around the world held “March for Science” rallies — perhaps the first sign that scientists have had enough, and it’s time to stand up and fight back against those who denigrate science for commercial, religious or political gain.

“If science is being maligned — even within a narrow sector of the private school system — then it instills in children a mindset that distrusts science.  It aligns them with those who reject vaccinations, deny global warming and scientific evidence generally.”

The petition, supported and signed by Lawrence Krauss, is to “stop funding schools that teach creationism”.  It has been listed on from mid-April and scored nearly 1500 signatures.  It’ll run till Science Week, in August, and presented to parliament.

A link at the end of the petition lists more that 400 private religious schools whose “Statements of Faith*** raise concerns that a Biblical account of creation is favoured — rather than Darwinian evolution, which is supported by scientific evidence.

Mr Morris says the petition to federal government calls for the withdrawal of public funding for those schools which are shown to promote creationism over the scientifically proven explanation of human evolution.

“There is a dereliction of duty and care, towards children, by education authorities that are responsible for overseeing the national curriculum.  Their duty is to ensure public funds are not allocated to institutions that promote anti-science.”

“We need independent inspectors to verify what is taught, and for grants to be withdrawn from those teaching creationism.”

***  Statements linking “Bible inerrancy” to evangelism are corroborated by this 13.4.17 New York Times feature by Professor of History at University of North Carolina

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