Creating a fuss
There is everything to be said for teaching school children about creationism, writes Robin Pascoe.
Arie Slob, an MP for the orthodox Christian party ChristenUnie, has told website nu.nl he believes creationism should be taught in Dutch schools alongside evolution.
On the one hand, you can see his call as the latest effort by a bunch of daft Christians to take the Netherlands back to the Middle Ages.
We have evangelical schools which expel boys whose sisters wear trousers, we have a political party with two seats in parliament which thinks women should not have the right to vote and we have religious tv stations which suspend a presenter because he poses with his shift off. A move back to creationism would only fit in with the times.
Yet at the same time it is vital that children from every religious background and the ones with no religious affiliations at all understand something of the world’s great religions, and those which are practised in the Netherlands in particular.
Creationism is a part of that. After all, surveys show one in five of the Dutch believe God created the world in six days.
Whether we like it or not, religion still plays an important role in the way the Netherlands works – in its political system, its educational system and even in broadcasting.
Slob is right about the importance of pupils being given a broad education and he is right that it is important that children have a wide understanding of the issues. He is wrong, however, in considering creationism to be a suitable subject for the biology class.
Creationism is a proper subject for schools, but it belongs in the religious education and social science curriculum.
Robin Pascoe is a founder of DutchNews.nl
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