Friday, 19 September 2008

Creationist Britain (would you Adam and Eve it?)

On first appearances 12-year-old Caitlin McNabb is very much like any other schoolgirl. Sitting on the sofa with her parents, Wes and Jane, at their home in Greenwich, south-east London, Caitlin talks excitedly about her friends, her favourite subjects and the new school year.

But there is one difference between Caitlin and the other pupils at Plumstead Manor: she is reluctant to believe everything she is told.

"I was in a geography lesson and there was a lot of talk about 'this is how old the Earth is'," she says. "So I just said, 'there are different sides to it if you look at it in a religious way'. And the teacher said, 'Oh yes, yes that's true'."

"My friends have completely opposite opinions to my beliefs – but we get on fine." Her brother Caleb, six, is quieter, but asked if he believes in God and what is being discussed, he says: "Yes."

Caitlin and Caleb are two of a growing number of British children who are being brought up as creationists. Their beliefs were thrown into the spotlight this week by the enforced resignation of Professor Michael Reiss as director of education at the Royal Society. He suggested that so many children now believed in creationism that teachers should allow such views to be aired in the classroom. Read more
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