This creationist approach is deeply rooted and has been openly espoused for decades although on occasion the language has been changed when it seemed opportune. The Reverend David Holloway obviously didn't anticipate that the phrase "Intelligent Design" would be rumbled and widely recognised as disguised creationism by people here in the UK. So he waxed lyrical about it a few years ago. Of course, it is now widely recognised by the US constitution and courts, our own Department for Education and Michael Gove, and by modern science, as simply creationism in disguise, unscientific and not suitable to teach to children as a valid scientific position in any subject.
So perhaps he regrets many of these comments from the Jesmond Church magazine in May 2002.
The new Thought Police
The issues at stake are huge. First, there is the matter of intellectual freedom. We have new, self-appointed, Thought Police. They are wanting to stop schools like Emmanuel teaching young people about Intelligent Design (a more informative term than "creationism"). But Intelligent Design, for a Christian, is clearly demanded by the Bible and the whole weight of Christian tradition. Intelligent Design, of course, leaves open for discussion the proper way to exegete the Genesis narratives. It also leaves open for discussion the age of the universe and what are the best scientific "myths" or models for accounting for biological and geological data. That is why there are a range of creationist views, not just one. Nor is there only one view at Emmanuel College. But all are united in saying "No!" to atheistic doctrinaire macro-evolutionism which is the standard fare in many schools. Many of the new Thought Police are wanting to impose this view virtually by law. They are lobbying the Government, the Chief Inspector of Schools and the Quality and Curriculum Authority. This is quite sinister. Nor is this exaggerating.
. . .
With regard to the "young earth" issue I myself have no competence to judge on dating. I have been impressed, however, by the work of Steve Austin, the geologist, following the relatively recent eruption of Mount St Helen's in the US on 18 May 1980 and his attempt to reintroduce catastrophe theory. The volcano's eruption and the succeeding years have provided a real-time laboratory for testing theories of geological formation. What he has discovered is that canyons and rock layers, far from taking millions of years to develop, can form in a few years if natural volcanic forces are great enough. This also has major implications for coal theory. Even the most committed Darwinist ought to discuss this in the science class.
So we get cleverly constructed evasion coupled with straight forward brazenly Young Earth Creationist claims presented as genuine science.
This might have worked with Mr Blair, until his scientific and educational advisers put him right but no one is fooled by this jiggery-pokery any more.
This puts the application to run Clayton Academy as a free school in direct contravention to the stated policy of the government.