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Evolutionary theories challenged

Every principal teacher of science in Scotland has been sent resource materials by Truth in Science - a Newcastle-based organisation which seeks to disprove Darwinian evolutionary theories.

The DVDs and teachers' resource packs on "intelligent design" criticise Charles Darwin's theory of evolution on what they claim are scientific grounds. They argue there is scientific evidence suggesting that the living world is intelligently designed. One critic, former Education Secretary David Blunkett, has described ID as "just a much more sophisticated version of creationism".

Stuart Farmer, head of physics at Robert Gordon's College in Aberdeen, said: "Intelligent design is not science. It can't be supported by evidence and should not be considered in any way scientific."

Truth in Science argues that science teaching is the correct forum for their materials. "British school textbooks usually mention creationists in their chapters on evolution, but misrepresent their views," it says. "Thus, they teach a view of origins which is not held by any scientist. Students deserve to have a fair and accurate portrayal of the views of scientists who disagree with Darwinism."

A spokesman for the organisation said it had received no negative feedback from Scotland to its material; three responses said they regarded it as a useful classroom resource, and three that the material was interesting but not suitable because, for example, it was sent to a special school.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Executive said: "Guidelines on the school curriculum, particularly those relating to Higher and Intermediate 2 biology courses, deal with the well-established scientific basis of evolution and natural selection. There is no evidence from HM Inspectorate of Education to suggest that intelligent design is being taught. There are no plans to include intelligent design in any science provision."

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