Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Hong Kong formally rejects creationism and intelligent design in science classes

Hong Kong became the latest place where students will be taught science, just science, in science classes.
From here;

The Education Bureau has announced that creationism and intelligent design will form no part of the senior secondary biology curriculum.

The move has been hailed as a victory by leading scientists at the University of Hong Kong, who in February called for curriculum guidance on evolution to be upgraded to reflect current scientific thinking.

The four scientists, who include dean of science Sun Kwok and science faculty board chairman David Dudgeon, accused the bureau of encouraging schools to promote creationism in biology lessons through the guidelines.

The Concern Group for Hong Kong Science Education, which is lobbying for changes to the guidelines, has also welcomed the paper but says it does not go far enough.

The calls were prompted by a clause in the biology guide, which comes into force in September, that states: "In addition to Darwin's theory, students are encouraged to explore other explanations for evolution and the origins of life."

The bureau's paper was drawn up for the Legislative Council's education panel, after the Concern Group called for a panel debate on the issue. The panel demanded a report from the bureau and postponed a decision on the debate. Last month, the row intensified when the "group of 64" mounted a counter-offensive calling for the clause to be retained.

The bureau's paper points out that the curriculum aims to strengthen students' understanding of scientific inquiry in biology and its links with technology, society and the environment.

"In the topic 'Evolution', the emphasis is put on Darwin's Theory, as it is currently the most widely accepted scientific theory on evolution," it states. "Students are expected to understand the process and mechanism of evolution based on Darwin's Theory. Students should recognise that biological knowledge and theories are developed through observations, hypotheses, experimentations and analyses and [be] aware of the dynamic nature of biological knowledge."

The paper also states: "In the biology curriculum framework, creationism or intelligent design, which was mentioned in the recent submissions to the Legislative Council panel on education concerning the biology curriculum, is not included. In addition to Darwin's Theory, students are encouraged to explore other explanations on evolution such as that of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Sir Alfred Russel Wallace." It stresses that non-scientific explanations are not included.

Professor Dudgeon said: "Th bureau has recognised that the Darwinian theory of evolution constitutes the core of modern biology and that intelligent design and creationism have no place in the modern science curriculum.

"It is a victory for the students and it will help to ensure that our science teaching remains world class. Clearly this guidance needs to be circulated to all secondary schools before the next semester."

2 comments:

  1. Please keep up your support on evolution. We needed to collaborate in order to keep creationism/ID out of science class

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  2. I distinctly heard an Intelligent Design proponent on a Christian radio station (fundamentalist Protestant, to be specific), Hank Hanagraff (sp) or "Point of View" who claimed that he spoke to "Asians" and told them about how bad evolution was. He claimed the non-specific Asians (as if to imply ALL Asians like some singular third-world tribe) reacted with anger at having been deceived by Western scientists. One could see their attempt to paint a picture of half-dressed "Asians" with spears and face-paint jumping up and down for a war dance next to their huts. They certainly meant to imply, as most Bible-belt believers in the US seem to believe, that Asians have no scientists of their own and know only what we wise Western (implied: American) scientists, tell them. I'm not sure who to blame for this fantastically racist implication they made - and I doubt they even realize it was racist, since they deride any attempt to even identify racism unless attacking Obama as racist - but whoever decided the angry-Asians-for-ID propoganda was a good idea, needs to be corrected in their Victorian mindset by more such rejection of Creationsim by Asian Universities (which they would be astounded to discover exist). We poor Americans need help, Asia, by even more head-shaking whenever the fundies (as we call them here) make a stab at corrupting Asian education with the idea that biology, geology, paleontology, etc. can be anything but violated by the notion that somebody suddenly zapped everything into existence. Please reiterate that any country that wants to damage its own scientific future and econonomic survival with supernatural beliefs dressed as scientific theory, will soon be a lesser country with little scientific future and limited economic survival. A little laughter and a muttering under the breath saying "sure, America...go ahead and have your biologists study how to cast out demons too..." would be just the kind of humiliation these undeserved-PhDs need to retreat back to griping in their talk radio hidy holes, and stop bothering us American science-lovers too. And Asia, be angry that the all-knowing Western pseudo-scientists promoting ID want to decieve you "poor backwards" Asians with creationist juju. One wonders if these people even know what global economics is, much less how it shows the well-deserved success of Asia. Save us from our fundies, Hong Kong!

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