A leading British scientist has called for teaching creationism in the classroom because at least ten percent of students enter education with such beliefs. Professor Michal Reiss, director of education at the Royal Society, called for discussions about this concept, but not teaching it as a subject. “I’m trying to make it less likely that students will ignore science, that they will detach from it, because it makes them f eel that they can not continue with science because it conflicts with their beliefs.” He argues there are an increasing number of Muslim students who have been raised in fundamentalist homes in which they are taught the Earth is only a few thousand years old and was created by God.
Professor Lewis Wolpert of University College London, responded: “Creationism is based on faith and has nothing to do with science, and it should not be taught in science classes.” Of course, the entire idea of creationism is based on ignorance and lacks any scientific validity, but Michael Reiss raises the question as to whether it should be confronted in schools. Perhaps, instead of science classes it should be discussed in history since it does represent a modern manifestation of ignorance, much as cultural discrimination.