Scottish Parliament

Scotland’s Science minister: No need for ban on creationism in schools

March 18, 2015

The Scottish Government’s Minister for Learning and Science has said that there is no need for a specific ban on creationism in schools.

In a leaked letter Dr Alasdair Allan MSP wrote that any potential ban could result in the education system “becoming mired in legal arrangements” and that “it is preferable to leave the curriculum to teachers and enable them to exercise their professional judgement on what is taught”.

Rev David Robertson, Free Church of Scotland Moderator-elect, welcomed Dr Allan’s letter.

Mr Robertson said: “Alasdair Allan’s comments mean that nothing has changed, and the Government will not interfere in this area and will not be issuing new guidance or legislation.

“The clear position of the Scottish Government and the teaching unions is that we don’t need politicians telling teachers what they should teach.

“This is a position the Free Church of Scotland completely agrees with.”

The next Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland continued: “The trouble with the Scottish Secular Society petition is that it addresses a non-existent issue, they have no evidence whatsoever to show that creationism is being taught as science in any science class in Scotland.

“Rather, it is part of their campaign to remove Christianity from all forms of public life, especially education.

“Under the Trojan horse of seeking to prevent creationism being taught in science classes, the Scottish Secular Society are hoping to get all creationists, that is anyone who believes in God, excluded from all areas of education.

“This petition is not a campaign in favour in science, it is a malicious campaign against Christianity.”

Stewart Maxwell MSP quoted a small part of Dr Allan’s letter, dated 26 February, as he convened last week's meeting of Holyrood’s Education and Culture Committee where it considered a petition from the Scottish Secular Society (SSS) seeking to ban creationism.

Mr Maxwell chose not to disclose that in the same letter the Science and Learning Minister had gone on the record saying topics like creationism should not be banned because it would set a dangerous precedent of politicians telling teachers what to teach.

On the back of Mr Maxwell’s contribution, the Education and Culture Committee decided that further clarification was needed on the position of the Scottish Government on this issue.

Rev David Robertson concluded: “The fact that Alasdair Allan, as recently as 26 February 2015, said that there is no need for a ban demonstrates that this is a ridiculous waste of parliamentary time.

“I am quite convinced that our politicians have better things to do.”