An Open Letter to School Librarians


An Open Letter to all School Librarians

January 2010

Dear School Librarian,

You recently received a glossy, well produced volume, Explore Evolution, from a group calling itself “Truth in Science” (TiS). TiS claim to be interested in furthering science education, state that the book promotes enquiry based learning, accords with examination board specifications, and have offered additional copies and training.

We are therefore writing to alert you to the facts that TiS is a Christian fundamentalist organisation, and that the book is in fact a Creationist text that promotes non-scientific notions as alternatives to the fundamentals of scientific biology, in direct contravention of the National Curriculum and relevant OCR guidelines.

Prof A. C. McIntosh, over whose signature the TiS materials were sent to you, is a Young Earth Creationist who regularly gives public lectures attacking evolution. In its own manifesto in Evangelical Times,[1] TiS states that by being taught modern evolution science, "Young people are encouraged into a way of thinking that leads to atheism, hedonism, despair and moral bankruptcy" and that “Our aim is to compliment [sic] the work of existing Creation groups by targeting education in particular.

Explore Evolution (EE) was developed by the Discovery Institute, Seattle, proponents of “Intelligent Design” (ID), and its authors accept ID and, in one case, Young Earth Creationism. Throughout, it offers an appeal to a guiding intelligence as an alternative to present-day scientific biology, in direct violation of the National Guidelines and OCR recommendations.

Whereas enquiry based learning encourages students to make independent inferences from their own data, EE manipulates a mixture of half-truths and outright errors to point towards one preselected (and unscientific) conclusion. EE incorrectly states that transitional fossils are rare, makes use of the discredited concept of “irreducible complexity”, misdescribes the status of classical experiments, and repeats a long list of other errors characteristic of the Creationist literature. (For more details see our leaflet)

We would therefore advise you to show the book, together with this letter and our leaflet, to your senior biology teacher or your head of science, before deciding whether this book has any place at all in your library. It seems likely that OFSTED would object to the book being classified as “science”, and, if you place it in another section (such as religion or history of ideas), we would respectfully urge you to include a copy of our leaflet, in order to alert users to its many gross scientific errors.

If we can help you further regarding this or in any other way, please let us know.

Sincerely,

BCSE

[1] http://web.archive.org/web/20040402093215/www.takeheed.net/MARCH+2004.htm

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Here is a printable version of this letter.

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