Petitioner: Spencer Fildes on behalf of Scottish Secular Society
03 September 2014
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to issue official guidance to bar the presentation in Scottish publicly funded schools of separate creation and of Young Earth doctrines as viable alternatives to the established science of evolution, common descent, and deep time.
11 November 2014: The Committee took evidence from Spencer Fildes, Chair, and Professor Paul Braterman, Board Member and Scientific Advisor, Scottish Secular Society. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. The Committee also agreed (by division: For 4, Against 0, Abstentions 0) to write to the Educational Institute of Scotland, the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association and the Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland. Link to Official Report 11 November 2014
Below: Professor Paul Braterman and Spencer Fildes at the meeting on 11 November 2014
27 January 2015: The Committee agreed to refer the petition, under Rule 15.6.2, to the Education and Culture Committee to consider under its remit. Link to Official Report 27 January 2015
10 March 2015: The Education and Culture Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government to ask it to: clarify its position on the petition; comment on the different approaches to this issue adopted in other parts of the United Kingdom; and, provide its view on the prevalence of creationism teaching in Scottish schools. Link to Official Report 10 March 2015
12 May 2015: The Education and Culture Committee considered a petition by Spencer Fildes, on behalf of the Scottish Secular Society, on Guidance on how creationism is presented in schools. The Committee agreed to close the petition. Link to Official Report 12 May 2015
Creationism in Scottish schools is present, insidious, and undermines science teaching and science teachers. Yet chaplains endorse it, teachers ignore the issue, children are confused by it, and the Government has refused to act or even acknowledge the problem. In the face of pressures, how can we help our teachers ensure that creationism remains where it belongs, in the museum of discarded ideas? How can anyone pretend in the face of recent dramatic evidence that there is no problem? How much more remains unreported? Don’t our teachers deserve the support they themselves have asked for, in dealing with the professionally packaged anti-science of outright creationism, or the technically complex semi-science of Intelligent Design?