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Thread: Archbishop: Stop Teaching Creationism

  1. #1
    Partridge Guest

    Anglican leader opposes creationism in schools

    Anglican leader opposes creationism in schools
    Reuters


    The spiritual leader of the world's Anglicans does not believe that creationism -- the Bible-based account of the world's origins -- should be taught in schools. "I don't think it should, actually. No, No," said Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, reflecting on the bitter education debate over religion and science that has so divided the United States in particular.

    Williams, head of a church which has no problem with the Darwinian theory of evolution, told the Guardian newspaper: "I think creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory, like other theories."

    Asked if he was comfortable with the teaching of creationism in schools, the mild-mannered and usually cautious theologian said: "Not very. Not very."

    In the battle to bring God into the classroom, Christian conservative supporters of creationism and intelligent design seek to deny or downgrade the importance of evolution.

    Intelligent design proponents say that nature is so complex that it must have been the work of a creator rather than the result of random natural selection as outlined in Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

    Williams' stance echoes the position of the Roman Catholic Church, the world's largest single Christian denomination, which has weighed into the debate by praising a U.S. court decision that rejected the intelligent design theory as non-scientific.

    Catholicism, which has never rejected evolution, teaches that God created the world and the natural laws by which life developed.

    British businessman Peter Vardy has funded schools in northern England that came under attack for teaching creationism in biology classes.

    But the creationist movement has certainly not taken hold as strongly in Britain as it has in the United States.

    "Religion has become politicized in America. That is not the case here. This is not a major issue," religious commentator and broadcaster Clifford Longley told Reuters.

    "There is no intellectual credibility given to creationism in this country. There is no parallel between English evangelicals and American evangelicals.

    "When I wrote an article saying there were no creationists in Britain, they both wrote to me." [Partridge: CLASSIC!]

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    Archbishop: Stop Teaching Creationism

    Archbishop: stop teaching creationism
    Williams backs science over Bible

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/S...735730,00.html

    Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent
    Tuesday March 21, 2006
    The Guardian

    The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has stepped into the controversy between religious fundamentalists and scientists by saying that he does not believe that creationism - the Bible-based account of the origins of the world - should be taught in schools.

    Giving his first, wide-ranging, interview at Lambeth Palace, the archbishop was emphatic in his criticism of creationism being taught in the classroom, as is happening in two city academies founded by the evangelical Christian businessman Sir Peter Vardy and several other schools.

    "I think creationism is ... a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories ... if creationism is presented as a stark alternative theory alongside other theories I think there's just been a jarring of categories ... My worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it," he said.

    The debate over creationism or its slightly more sophisticated offshoot, so-called "intelligent design" (ID) which argues that creation is so complex that an intelligent - religious - force must have directed it, has provoked divisions in Britain but nothing like the vehemence or politicisation of the debate in the US. There, under pressure from the religious right, some states are considering giving ID equal prominence to Darwinism, the generally scientifically accepted account of the evolution of species. Most scientists believe that ID is little more than an attempt to smuggle fundamentalist Christianity into science teaching.

    States from Ohio to California are considering placing ID it on the curriculum, with President George Bush telling reporters last August that "both sides ought to be properly taught ... so people can understand what the debate is about." The archbishop's remarks place him firmly on the side of science.

    Dr Williams spoke of his determination to hold the third-largest Christian denomination together in its row over the place of gay clergy. He was also highly critical of parts of the church in Africa and said he did not wish to be seen as "comic vicar to the nation", speaking out on issues where he can make no difference.

    Speaking of the church's situation in Africa, the archbishop issued snubs to two of the region's archbishops. He described the position in central Africa, where Archbishop Bernard Malango has just absolved without trial Bishop Norbert Kunonga of Harare, accused by his parishioners of incitement to murder, as "dismal and deeply problematic" .

    Dr Williams also criticised Archbishop Peter Akinola, leader of the largest single national church in the Anglican communion, in Nigeria, who has been accused of encouraging violence against Muslims during recent rioting by warning that Christian youth could retaliate against them. Dr Williams claimed the African primate had not made himself sufficiently clear: "He did not mean to stir up the violence ... I think he meant to issue a warning which certainly has been taken as a threat, an act of provocation."

    Speaking of the gay debate which threatens to split the church, Dr Williams insisted he would continue to try to hold the communion together. "I can only say that I think I have got to try ... For us to break apart in an atmosphere of deep mistrust, fierce recrimination and mutual misunderstanding is really not going to be in anybody's good in the long run." But he accepted there might come a moment where the Anglican Communion says "we can't continue, we can't continue with this".
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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