Congratulations, Britain! ‘God Did It’ Is Now Acceptable Science!

NARIC Officials Discuss ICCE Math CurriculumI stumbled across this article with the help of Pharyngula earlier today.  Looks like I’ve found something new to get angry about.

Attempts to force creationism / intelligent design (they’re the same thing, don’t let anyone tell you differently) into the science classroom has been a mostly American phenomenon.  While the movement has been slowly growing across the Atlantic, it has been largely kept at bay.  The education director of the Royal Society stepped down last year after making statements that appeared to endorse the teaching of creationism.  Maybe he found a new job at NARIC.

It was reported today that the British National Academic Recognition Information Centre judged that the International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE) is equivalent to the advanced certificate of Cambridge International exam boards’ international A-levels.  Recipients of the ICCE are taught, among other things, that the existence of the Loch Ness Monster (I didn’t know we’d found her) disproves the theory of evolution.  The sheer stupidity of that statement is mind-boggling.  It’s taking all the willpower I have, as well as a not inconsequential amount of alcohol, to prevent blood from shooting out of my eyes.

The fact that this textbook exists, while monumentally depressing, isn’t the reason for the alarm, however.  Private religious schools in the United States and elsewhere have engaged in evolution denial and all other manner of bad science for some time with the help of books like ‘Of Pandas and People‘.  It’s nothing new.  The reason this most recent development is so distressing is because of the involvement of NARIC.

NARIC isn’t some small, inconsequential group of cranks on the fringe of British and European education.

All EU and EEA states, as well as all associated countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Cyprus have a designated National Academic Recognition Information Centre… Together they form the NARIC Network.

The agency that just extended explicit approval to the above garbage is a government-funded entity responsible for advising British and European universities and employers on the academic standards present in the curriculums of these certification programs.  I can only hope that the attention and ridicule they receive as a result of this will lead to a reversal of their decision, or at least an improvement in standards going forward.

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