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Teach Science, not Secular Dogma    

Michael Gove - then Minister of State for EducationYou may have noticed that the Education Secretary, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP (pctured on the left), announced recently that the revision of the National Curriculum will include teaching evolution in primary schools.

Now you may wonder what is wrong with that, given that the scientific establishment regards evolution as a 'fact'. Well, there are two problems. Firstly, every scientific theory is tentative and subject to revision as fresh evidence is uncovered. You can be sure that the growing body of evidence against the all-pervasive theory of evolution will not be considered.

Ernst Haeckel's tree of lifeAnd here's what children won't be told about evolution:

  1. Evolution has no explanation for the origin of life in the first place. By saying evolution doesn't deal with that, while implying it does, just highlights its deficiency. 
  2. Random mutation and natural selection cannot explain the synthesis of the hundreds of complex bio-molecules, like proteins, which are necessary for life.
  3. The mechanism of evolution - natural selection acting on random mutation - has been shown to be unequal to the task of creating new organisms[1]. 
  4. The 'junk DNA' hypothesis, an integral part of the teaching of evolution, has now been abandoned in light of recent work on the human genome[2].
  5. The much-vaunted 'tree of life' is being increasingly shown to be highly speculative and at odds with the evidence[3]. The fossil record is not consistent with the numerous slight successive changes required by evolution, as Charles Darwin himself recognised[4].
  6. Evolution is completely unable to explain the existence of the complex genetic information carried by every living cell in its DNA[5]. 
  7. Evolution has no explanation for mind and consciousness, other than that it is an accidental by-product of chemistry and physics[6].

Any other scientific hypothesis with such glaring deficiencies would certainly not be taught as 'fact' in schools.

Secondly, the problem behind all this is that there are now, as Prof Phillip Johnson has pointed out, two definitions of science[7]. The first is the popular definition which insists science can only deal with natural processes and, for example, cannot contemplate any explanation about origins which suggests a non-material explanation such as 'mind before matter'. The older and more honest definition is that science goes where the evidence leads and does not rule out any possible explanation before it is given due consideration. 

It is clear then that evolution is based on the first definition. It is essentially materialistic dogma, not science. It persists for ideological reasons, despite the evidence.

So what is going to be taught in primary schools is the secular, humanistic, naturalistic worldview which rules out any possibility of design in nature, even before the evidence is considered. It is, in fact, a form of secular indoctrination.

The scientific study of origins is unlike any other because it has to consider the possibility of deliberate design in nature. That's why we argue that Intelligent Design should also be considered in any scientific study of origins. 

Interestingly, in Radio 4's Today programme on March 6th, 2004, Sir David Attenborough said, 'The problem Darwin never solved was how one inorganic molecule became a living one. We're still struggling with that one.' That's the kind of honesty science needs, even though it is less apparent in some of his nature programmes. And in the film 'Expelled'[8] Richard Dawkins, in an interview with Ben Stein, validates intelligent design by admitting that the intricacies of cellular biology could lead to us to detect the existence of a 'higher intelligence' or 'designer' (his words). So why wouldn't we explore that with students?

It is high time we stopped indoctrinating pupils with the philosophy of naturalism dressed up as the scientific consensus. We should do what all honest scientists do, which is to go where the evidence leads. As has been observed, it takes years of indoctrination to miss the obvious signs of design in nature.

If schools are not going to be allowed to explore all the dimensions of origins, then perhaps it's time parents and churches did so!

So what can you do? Well if you are a parent, you could write to the Department for Education (Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT) to say that you don't wish your child to be indoctrinated with secular atheism in the guise of evolutionary science. Write or email through their web site at Use some of the material in this article if you wish, but it is always best to put your points in your own words. If you do write and get a response, please let us know its content via

You could also discuss these matters with family and friends, especially those who are teachers, or involved in education at any level, and develop an approach to raising these issues with the schools your children attend.

You may also find the following publications helpful.

1. 'Explore Evolution' which deals with evolutionary theory and its weaknesses, at a high school and college level. Copies of the book may be ordered on this web site for £5 + postage.

2. My 32-page booklet 'An Introduction to Intelligent Design' is available also on this website for £2 plus postage.  Discounts of 50% are available on orders of 10 or more. 

Dr Alastair Noble
Director of the Centre for Intelligent Design UK, and
Former HM Inspector of Schools in Scotland
Published in 2013

[1] See eg The Edge of Evolution, Michael Behe, Free Press, 2007
[2] See The Myth of Junk DNA, Wells, Discovery Institute Press, 2011
[3] See eg chap 5 in The Design of Life, Dembski and Wells, The Foundation for Thought and Ethics, 2008
[4] See Darwin's Doubt, Stephen Meyer, HarperOne, 2012
[5] See Signature in the Cell, Stephen Meyer, HarperOne 2009
[6] See Mind and Consciousness, Nagel, OUP, 2011
[7] Prof Phillip Johnson, lecture in Newcastle, 2004
[8] Available from NPN Videos, Swindon

Image credits:
Thumbnail - Policy Exchange - This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence.
Michael Gove - Policy Exchange - originally posted with Flickr - This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence.
Ernst Haeckel's Tree of Life - Public Domain on Wikimedia Commons