Leicester Secular Society

Sections on this page: History of CreationismCompatibility of Religion and EvolutionLinks to Creationist WebsitesLinks to Counter-Creationist WebsitesEnd.

History of Creationism

Creationism, meaning a literal belief in the biblical six-day creation myth, has always been strong in the United States and 47% of the population state this as their belief.

Most people in the UK know of the famous 1925 trial in Tennessee, in which lawyer Clarence Darrow (played by Spencer Tracy in the film of the story) defended schoolmaster John Scopes for teaching Darwin's theory. He was found guilty and fined $100, but the verdict was overturned on a technicality.

In 1961 The Genesis Flood by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb appeared. In the 1970s Arkansas and Louisiana passed laws requiring science classes to give equal time to this creation "science" and evolution. The supreme court overturned the Louisiana statute in 1987.

In 1991 Darwin on Trial by Phillip Johnson, a lawyer, directed its attack to casting doubt on the arguments of scientists. Concerted attempts have been made to get this into schools under the cloak of "creation science" or more recently "intelligent design". Creationism itself cannot be taught, because no religious teaching is allowed in state schools in the US (to protect freedom of religion). Many teachers try to avoid trouble by not teaching evolution.

In the UK it has also been appearing, for example in the Emmanuel College (a city technology college) in Gateshead. BBC News (28 April 2003) reported that Sir Peter Vardy had plans for six more schools in the North East. Under the city academies programme the schools get some of their initial funding from Vardy but the bulk of the money and all running costs come from the state.

In more recent years the creationists have modified their stance and now use such terms as "Intelligent Design" and "Irreducible Complexity", and are prepared to accept longer periods of change, resulting in "development" but not evolution of new species. The main advocates are William A. Dembski and Michael Behe.

Because of the amount of time and money being spent by wealthy religious organisations on promoting creationism, there has had to be a corresponding effort put in by evolutionists seeking to provide counter-arguments to those the creationists raise. Many of us feel that this often gives too much weight to the creationist's views, many of which are just too absurd to take seriously. On the science pages we give links to sites that are devoted purely to expounding biological evolution without specifically answering creationist propaganda. However, many of the counter-creationist sites listed below are also useful for learning about evolution.


Compatibility of Religion and Evolution

While some people argue that the science of evolution, and other discoveries of modern cosmological science, rule out any need for supernatural involvement, others are able to accept the findings of science and combine them with various forms of religious belief. The links given here expound this type of view.

W. E. Phipps: Darwin, The Scientific Creationist
How creationists harm religion
Is evolution atheistic? - Denis R. Alexander see also comments section
Evolution and the bible


Links to Creationist Websites

Creation Science Home Page -
Homeschool Central - Creation Science Resources
Answers in Genesis - This site belongs to an organisation that held a well-attended seminar run by Ken Ham at Leicester University in 2002 - See particularly their Q & A section - The notes on ‘How can we see distant stars in a young universe?’ show particularly well how creationists struggle to reconcile modern discoveries with their biblical presumptions which they refuse to accept could be wrong. On the other hand ‘Evidence for a young world’ provides numerous statements difficult for any but specialised scientists to refute.
Six Day Creation - Creation Science Resources
Education Guardian - Ofsted OK Creationism (May 2002)
Chick Tracts - Big Daddy
Steve Fuller - argues the 'teach the controversy' view
Daylight Origins Society - creationism for catholics


Links to Counter-Creationist Websites

British Centre for Science Education
Talk Origins
Panda's Thumb
Evolution Happens!
US National Center for Science Education
Answers in Science
No Answers in Genesis
Infidels Org. on Creationism
Massimo Pigliucci: Design Yes, Intelligent No
Articles in opposition to creationism by Lorence G. Collins
Wired Archiv, on ID in Ohio
ID deja vu
E. T. Babinski
Intelligent Design Watch
Science and Creationism - Nat Acad Sci
Science Just Science
Creation Science Debunked
Reason Lost - A. C. Grayling on Creationism in Universities