The debate about creationism does not, as John Kelleher implies, pit science against religion.
The debate is growing because of the scientific issues which lie at its roots and will come out in the open, since truth always does.
Far from creationist arguments appealing, as Mr Kelleher states, to those who "largely reject science", some of the leading proponents of intelligent design are keen scientists in their own fields. Ideas within science take hold when the evidence and cogent reasoning supports them. For instance, no creationist doubts natural selection (despite the straw man raised by the Royal Society recently in this regard): the artificial equivalent has shown for millennia that changes happen within kinds.
But never has anyone proven the concept of common descent. Dogs do not change into cats, neither do pigeons change into eagles. Consequently, the rise of the design hypothesis in science as a testable thesis which fits so well with the experimental scientific facts cannot be stopped, precisely because it is good science. There is no doubt that students should be encouraged to consider the design alternative to molecules to man evolution.
It was Victor Hugo who said "One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas".
A C McIntosh
Professor of thermodynamics and combustion theory, University of Leeds