Scientific thinking is not a choice

31st January 2014 at 00:00

I read with fascination the letters from Sophie Welsh and the Rev Dr Bruce K Gardner advocating the teaching of creationism ("Would you Adam and Eve it?", 24 January).

Only when a scientist publishes a peer-reviewed paper that proves the creationist myths and is accepted by the scientific community can we teach the topic in a science class. Quantum theory, genetic sequencing, astronomy, botany, zoology and so on all point uncontroversially to the Big Bang as the origin of the universe and evolution through natural selection as the model for the proliferation of life on Earth.

Science taught in schools is a distillation of a huge body of knowledge brought to us by reasoning and experimentation over hundreds of years, so I am intrigued by your correspondents demanding that students be given a "choice of perspectives". There is no "choice" for a child in science in that sense. Creationist arguments gain credence because they appear grounded in fairness, sound seductive and hence are difficult to argue against. But we should. We really, really should.

Spitting blood? Try swallowing your pride

What a shame! So Her Majesty's Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw is "spitting blood" at a bit of criticism. His reaction reflects what is wrong with Ofsted, England's schools inspectorate. It seems that only teachers must remain calm, measured and professional in the face of criticism.

Graham Robertson, Rochester.

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