Scottish Parliament

Scottish Government rejects secularist petition on creationism

January 2, 2015

The Free Church of Scotland has welcomed news that the Scottish Government has rejected calls from secularists to ban creationism from the classroom. 

In a letter to MSPs, Tim Simons, head of Curriculum Unit, confirmed that the Government had no plans to issue guidance “to prevent the presentation of creationism… by teachers or school visitors” and added that “the evidence available suggests that guidance on these matters is unnecessary”.

Moderator Designate Rev David Robertson said he was pleased that civil servants had shown common sense instead of bowing to ‘scaremongering’ from a small number of secular activists. 

Previously education officials, who also opposed the move, had accused the Scottish Secular Society of using “inflammatory rhetoric’ in their petition to Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee. 

Rev David Robertson said: “We are delighted that the Scottish Government has rejected the petition from the Scottish Secular Society and that there are ‘no plans to issue guidance to schools or education authorities to prevent the presentation of Creationism, Intelligent Design or similar doctrines’.  

“The Scottish Government has clearly recognised that the Scottish Secular Society were scaremongering and seeking to create a problem where nothing was actually wrong.  

“We are delighted that science teachers will continue to be free to teach science without interference from politicians and that those in religious and moral education will also be free to discuss the different views of origins.   

“To paraphrase Stephen J Gould – ‘science teachers will be able to teach about the age of the rocks, RME teachers and chaplains about the Rock of Ages’!”

You can read the Scottish Government's full response to the petition by clicking here.