Creationism in school science classes
Creationism could be taught in science lessons in Hampshire secondary schools alongside evolution.
Some Christians believe in the literal truth of the Bible and that the Earth was created by God in six days and that it is only thousands – not millions – of years old.
Teachers are now being given advice on how questions about evolution and religion can be explored with 11 to 14-year-olds in both science and religious education lessons.
The guidance from Hampshire County Council will be issued to about 70 maintained secondary schools in the county, but not to faith schools.
It was complied by the council's standing advisory council for Religious education.
Its members were concerned that the view of British biologist Richard Dawkins in his book The God Delusion – that a supernatural creator does not exist – was becoming too prevalent.
Sacre's chairwoman, Councillor Anna McNair Scott, said it recommended teaching creationism and evolution as a joint RE/science unit because the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority liked lessons which addressed more than one subject area.
Cllr McNair Scott said: 'This is guidance. It is not mandatory. We're not being didactic and saying it's something you should believe in.
'I know creationism is not a science. You need to have come out of the Ark to believe in the literal truth of Genesis.
'But schools can choose to debate creationism as part of science lessons. It is something that people should talk about. It's about asking children ''what do you think?''. I don't think it will confuse children.'
The advice examines whether it is possible to believe in evolution and a creator, as well as the Catholic church's stance that mankind may have evolved but that God created the soul.
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