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Postby Timothy Chase » Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:13 am

This was adapted largely from the main page...

The BCSE: Opposing Creationism in the UK
From: TimC
Date: Wed, Oct 11 2006 10:32 pm

The British Centre for Science Education (BCSE) has formed to act as an
umbrella organisation, with the primary purpose of opposing the threat
posed by fundamentalism to UK state schools.

*

The Nature of the Threat

Although largely unnoticed, a highly-coordinated and well-funded
coalition of fundamentalist organisations with numerous international
connections is reshaping British education in accordance with their
fundamentalist ideology and Young Earth Creationist "science" - with
the often-expressed aim of injecting their views into every subject.

They actively seek to discredit or subvert the teaching of all subjects
taught in schools that contradict their extreme fundamentalist
religious opinions, which are based on strictly literal biblical
interpretations. Most notably they state that all of science is wrong
because it does not agree with their dogma that the world was created
6,000-10,000 years ago, there was a world-wide flood with dinosaurs on
Noah's Ark, and that these dinosaurs roamed the countryside in Tudor
times.

Locally, the movement is targeting the teaching of biology, physics,
geology and geography in British schools, either directly within the
lessons or through guest speakers and Christian Unions. These actions
undermine the teaching of these subjects and can result in the failure
of pupils to pass their exams. On a broader scale, their tactics have
ranged from twenty-seven "academics" lobbying then Secretary of
Education Estelle Morris to teach alternatives to evolutionary biology
in 2002 to the recent formation of an organisation called "Truth in
Science" which promotes "critical analysis" through literature it sends
to schools employing the rhetoric of "intelligent design" - when nearly
all of its support comes from Young Earth Creationists and their
organisations. The ultimate objective of this fundamentalist coalition
is nothing short of bringing an end to democracy and a return Old
Testament biblical law under theocratic rule.

The position has become so serious that two well respected and
established British universities, Leeds and Leicester, are introducing
compulsory remedial courses to undo the damage done. The credibility of
a third, Bristol, is being seriously damaged by the actions of one of
its staff active in the creationist movement.

*

The BCSE has extensively documented the connections and key players
within fundamentalist coalition and is helping to form and coordinate a
network of individuals and organisations to defend the UK against it.
If you wish to help us oppose the growing threat of Fundamentalism to
science and education in the UK, meet like-minded individuals in our
online forums (including message boards and email lists), or simply
wish to learn more, please visit us at:

British Centre for Science Education
Helping to Keep Science Scientific
BCSE - http://bcseweb.org.uk
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Timothy Chase
 
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Response from Turner

Postby Timothy Chase » Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:16 am

Date: Thurs, Oct 12 2006 11:48 am
Email: "Turner

Bravo to Leicester and Leeds! Most of the people I know are not aware
of the existence or nature of creationist/ID movements, but it is
gaining coverage in the media, with articles in newspapers such as the
Times and the Guardian and TV programmes on Channel4. Furthermore, the depth of study on evolution up to GCSE level is quite small. Natural
selection and the fossil record are included in the syllabus, but
knowledge among students on macroevolution etc. is not altogether
brilliant.

Does anyone have any information on this creationist staff member at
Bristol? Someone involved in such shameful pseudoscience at one of
Britain's top universities is something I should definitely be aware
of.
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Response to Turner

Postby Timothy Chase » Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:34 am

Now that I look back on it, I really should have tried to spread the blame a bit. Ian and Alan are responsible for what happened to the website, and I really should have named names when it came to that which we we have the temerity to call "detective work" and the "editing" of what Roger gave us to work with. However, I did manage to display the appropriate level of shoddiness in one of the paragraphs below so that people might know what to expect should they visit. Appropriately, it is where I mention "editing."

From: TimC
Date: Thurs, Oct 12 2006 8:51 pm
Groups: talk.origins

Turner wrote:
> Bravo to Leicester and Leeds! Most of the people I know are not aware
> of the existence or nature of creationist/ID movements, but it is
> gaining coverage in the media, with articles in newspapers such as the
> Times and the Guardian and TV programmes on Channel4. Furthermore, the
> depth of study on evolution up to GCSE level is quite small. Natural
> selection and the fossil record are included in the syllabus, but
> knowledge among students on macroevolution etc. is not altogether
> brilliant.

I remember when I first raised the subject with a professor out in
London. He said, "Fortunately, we do not have that problem over here."
But this simply isn't the case. In fact, in a number of ways it looks
more serious in Britain than it has been in the United States for
decades. The organisations have quite a history, and if you wish to
know what is pulling it all together, I would suggest looking at an
organisation which calls itself "The Christian Institute."

We have a write-up on it here:

http://bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/ChristianInstitute

in the creationist groups section at:

http://bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/CreationistGroups

> Does anyone have any information on this creationist staff member at
> Bristol? Someone involved in such shameful pseudoscience at one of
> Britain's top universities is something I should definitely be aware
> of.

This would be Stuart Burgess. He receives quite a write-up at:

http://bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/StuartBurgess

You will find him (and a fair number of others) in the Who's Who
section of the Wiki at:

http://bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/WhoIsWho

Roger Stanyard has done a very good job of documenting many of the key
players of identifying the relationships between the various
organisations - receiving a some help in terms of the detective work of
other members - who also helped edit the pieces. (I was asked to edit
the bit on Burgess but there wasn't much to do.)
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