This makes me extremely angry. And it’s dangerous too. In the US, when the religious lobby attempt to import creationism into science classes, there’s the constitutionally defined separation between church and state to fall back on, and so it is sufficient to demonstrate in court that Intellegent Design/Creationism is not science. British schools have no such protection, and if the government really does intend to hand over some say about the curriculum to private bodies we might be dealing with groups of British schoolchildren being fundamentally mislead over the status of evolutionary theories sooner than you might think.
Rather than rebut everything myself, have a look at the excellent Panda’s Thumb, especially the record of Fuller’s comments in the trial itself.
Rant to the Guardian follows. It’s only this short because it’s early, and I have a job interview to prepare for.
I was disturbed to see the coverage awarded to Prof Fuller in today’s Education Guardian, a feeling accentuated by the uncritical nature of the report. To take a single example, Fuller is allowed to claim that despite his pro-’Intellegent Design’ stance that he ‘draws the line at
creationism’. However, one of the main conclusions to emerge from the recent trial in Dover, Pennsylvania was that ID is merely a foil for creationists seeking a new way to work their philosophy into science classes. The first book to systematically use the term ‘intellegent
design’, ‘Of Pandas and People’, was created (intellegently or otherwise) from its predecessors simply by judicious use of the find and replace function, turning every mention of the word ‘creationism’ with ‘intellegent design’. Good marketing, but ID is no more science than
creationism, and to draw a distinction between the two is simply misleading.
Prof Fuller also points out that ‘if you were having a science studies class, all the things I was saying would be completely normal’. Here we agree, but if he wants to campaign to introduce science studies into the school curriculum shouldn’t he do that directly instead of subverting