Monday, October 15, 2007
The Swedes are cold toward creationism:
The Swedish government is to crack down on the role religion plays in independent faith schools. The new rules will include a ban on biology teachers teaching creationism or 'intelligent design' alongside evolution.And they are serious about it:
"Pupils must be protected from all forms of fundamentalism," said Education Minister Jan Björklund to Dagens Nyheter.
Some Christian schools teach biology students that the world and the organisms on it were created by a supreme being. This is often presented as another valid scientific theory alongside evolution - something most scientists reject.
Religious Education will remain on the curriculum and it will still be allowed to start the school day with prayers. But in classes teachers will be expected to stick to the curriculum.
Most independent schools in Sweden are privately owned but funded by government grants.On the other hand, the Icelanders, possibly due to those volcanic springs, run hot and cold:
Björklund also said the Swedish National Agency for Education would double the number of inspections of both council-run and independent schools. He also announced a ban on anonymous financial donations to schools and said he would make it easier to close schools that were breaking the rules.
Instructors in the faculty of biology at the University of Iceland have expressed their disappointment that an Icelandic MP voted against a resolution at the Council of Europe’s Assembly against the so-called theory of intelligent design.Hey! Maybe we could sponsor a debate in the U.S.! If nothing else, think of the poor emcee introducing the match of Björklund versus Bjarnadóttir!
The resolution, which was passed at the Assembly of the Council of Europe in the beginning of October, warned against promoting intelligent design in schools as a scientific theory. Gudfinna S. Bjarnadóttir, MP for the Independence Party and former Rector of Reykjavík University, voted against the resolution. Interviewed by national radio RÚV, Bjarnadóttir said that while she agreed that religion and science should not be confused, it was outside the mandate of the Council of Europe to form educational policy.
According to RÚV, a faculty meeting of the biology department of the University of Iceland has expressed its regret over Bjarnadóttir’s decision. The theory of intelligent design lacks scientific ground since it cannot be empirically proven.