Tougher rules to outlaw creationism in science lessons have been called for after the Government refused to guarantee that the teaching of evolution will be protected in their education reforms.
The demand has come from the British Humanist Association (BHA), which wants the position of evolution to be protected, as had been intended under reforms to the primary curriculum suggested by the Rose Review. The coalition Government has dropped the review's recommendations, describing them as "too prescriptive and bureaucratic".
In a letter to the Government, organised by the BHA, 25 leading scientists and educators raised their concerns about evolution and creationism. The Government response said: "Creationism and intelligent design are sometimes claimed to be scientific theories. This is not the case as they have no underpinning scientific principles. Creationism and intelligent design, therefore ... should not be taught as part of science."
But James Gray, BHA education officer, said: "These assurances do not go nearly far enough. We need clear safeguards, such as legislative change and statutory guidance, to ensure not only that evolution is placed at the heart of the science syllabus for all ages but also that it is not contradicted by religious instruction."