U.K. Scientists: Teach Evolution in Primary School

The British Humanist Association is leading a campaign that calls on the U.K. government to “protect and promote science in the school curriculum, with the specific inclusion of the teaching of evolution in the primary curriculum.” In a letter sent to Michael Gove, the secretary of state for education, Richard Dawkins, Michael Reiss, and 24 other scientists and science educators explain that:

evolution is the most important idea underlying biological science. It is a key concept that children should be introduced to at an early stage so as to ensure a firm scientific understanding when they study it in more depth later on. An understanding of evolution is central to understanding all aspects of biology, from human behavior to the genetic basis of disease, to ecological relationships and how the environment affects the development and diversity of life on earth. As such it should be a central tenet, not, as is currently too often the case, marginal to the study of school biology.

One of the main reasons for the campaign, says Andrew Copson, chief executive of the association, is “the threat of creationism in science lessons in some schools.”

Category: Science Education

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2 Responses

  1. Richard Dawkins knows very well that the tenets of Darwinian evolution are at odds with ecology, so I wonder why he would support a statement with which he disagrees.

  2. David says:

    Modern evolutionary biology is not entirely “Darwinian”. In many parts of the theory, Darwin’s ideas have been replaced.

    Dawkins certainly would agree that evolution is a key part of ecology.

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