Day By Day

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Royal Society Endorses Discussion of Creationism

So let me get this straight -- because Sarah Palin suggested that if students wanted to raise the issue of intelligent design in class it should be discussed in a reasonable manner rather than simply being dismissed, she is portrayed as a knuckle-dragging troglodyte [mind you, she has never suggested that Creationism should be part of the curriculum]. But now the Royal Society of Britain [of which Charles Darwin was once a member] has advocated the same course of action.

The Times reports:

Creationism should be taught in science classes as a legitimate point of view, according to the Royal Society, putting the august science body on a collision course with the Government.

The Rev Michael Reiss, a biologist and its director of education, said it was self-defeating to dismiss as wrong or misguided the 10 per cent of pupils who believed in the literal account of God creating the Universe and all living things as related in the Bible or Koran. It would be better, he said, to treat creationism as a world view.

Read the whole thing here.

Leaving aside the question of whether Creationism can be defined as a "world view" I wonder why it matters at all whether anyone other than evolutionary biologists believe in it or not. In practical terms a belief in Creationism or Intelligent Design has little or no effect on the way one conducts his or her personal or professional affairs -- and that includes public officials. So why the hoo hah?