Fundamentally Unfair

25th June 2014
In listening to the BBC (Jeremy Vine Show – Radio 2 -12th June), or reading the corresponding BBC News article (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-27681560), you might be led to believe that Independent Christian Schools that teach creation instead of evolution, are on par with Islamic fundamentalism and should be closed down. The article centres on one individual’s experience of a Christian School that used the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum. 29-year-old Jonny Scaramanga left Victory Christian School in Bath saying it was depriving him of educational and social opportunities. ACE is a curriculum used in 7000 schools across the world and thousands of students have been accepted into Universities, including the UK. To claim a lack of educational opportunity is therefore the experience of one against thousands. By social opportunities Mr Scaramanga went on to explain: “I felt that I’d missed out on early experiences of flirting with the opposite sex, so I was always playing catch-up. Through my degree I drank phenomenal amounts to try and make up for the lack of social skills I had.” Ben Medlock, who attended the same school as Mr Scaramanga, said his experience had been “broadly positive”. He says his ACE education gave him motivation that “became critical” while studying at Cambridge University. “While my own faith has evolved significantly from the conservatism of my childhood, I do feel that the values of the school provided students with a positive – though inevitably flawed – framework in which to view the world and interact with those around them. For me, this stimulation towards self determination was a positive aspect of my school experience. In short, my experience of this school was one of rich opportunities, deep friendships and the usual mix of childhood joy and pain.”The real issue, is that secular humanists have a different world-view to that of Biblical Christianity, especially in the realm of science. In some Christian Schools the theory of evolution is critically evaluated alongside the Biblical teaching on creation. The ACE education system teaches creation is consistent with evidential based science and evolution to be scientifically flawed. Thousands of scientists who do not subscribe to the Darwinian theory agree (see http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org).It is unfair then, to place Independent Christian Schools in the same category as Islamic fundamentalists, or to misrepresent what they teach as being unscientific. Since 2013 nine Independent Schools that use the ACE curriculum, have been inspected by Ofsted, of which eight were rated as good or outstanding. Humanist Alice Roberts spoke on BBC Newsnight (16th June), that these inspections did not examine the curriculum content. The real threat to science education is not the balanced view of looking at evolution alongside creation, but the humanistic agenda of indoctrination to their peculiar world-view where evolution is considered as an incontestable fact and should not be critically evaluated. Even Jeremy Paxman said to Professor Roberts, “Evolution is a theory… just because you all choose to believe the same thing doesn’t mean its true”.We agree. Good science allows for a critical evaluation of any proposed theory in the light of alternative viewpoints. State funded mainstream schools are denying pupils the opportunity of any evolution or creation debate. It’s the humanistic indoctrination and nothing else. Interestingly, it is Independent Christian Schools that are giving pupils the opportunity to look at both sides of the argument. This balanced approach, far from hindering pupils, actually helps them to think like a true scientist should.