Saturday, 9 July 2011

Militant atheism

Update: thanks to LC for the picture.

I was thinking of getting in touch with Richard Dawkins but it appears he's buggered off to America. His educational foundation, which might have saved us, seems to be all in the States.

If my school is anything to go by, there's a crisis going on in primary education, and it is this: RE is a statutory part of the curriculum, and science teaching is very, very, very poor. Totally neglected.

Without even checking, I can guarantee you, out of the 400 odd kids at our school, none of them will have heard of evolution or Charles Darwin. That might not seem important - won't they get it at secondary school? Not necessarily.

But since the age of 4 when they enter formal education, they will hear about religious books, stories from the Bible, the Koran and the Guru Granth Sahib. They will believe that some supernatural being made us fully formed.

They will laugh at the idea we are descended from monkeys because the myths of religion will be fully entrenched. Even if you are religious, you will surely agree that it is fair to provide balance by teaching the scientific explanations of the world alongside the religious ones.

Why is it like this? One member of staff, who has been there for years, is a committed Christian, and passionate about RE. Nothing wrong with that, but there is nothing to balance it out.

I can just imagine how well it would go down though if I suggested we introduce the concepts of natural selection and evolution into KS1 and KS2 though. I'd be shouted down because it is ISN'T IN THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM.

We might as well be living in medieval times. These kids practically are.

(I'm going to buy David Attenborough's DVD on Darwin though, and play it to them this year. Fuck it. )


  1. Given the chance, would'nt Dawkins do away with Religion altogether?

    What exactly has fair and balanced got to do with a Godless world?

    Is'nt Darwin all about survival of the fittest? Why are you so perplexed when you see it?

    It seems you want far and balaned which require compassion, empathy and understanding -(God), and less survival of the fittest which is the embodiement of me, me, me, me, me, me, me... (Darwin, evolution).

    Your attitude and expectations are totally out of line with what you say you believe. Were you not aware of this??? What else is out there that you are not aware of?

  2. So the other day I was reading about this parasitic worm that eats its way into the human eyeball, causing an infection that leads to blindness. If you're a poverty stricken kid in the third world, that blindness often leads to a an even more miserable death by starvation.

    Anonymous - I'm just interested to know whether you put that particular creation down to your god's compassion, empathy and understanding? How does it work - did god make all the truly horrific parasites that cause untold misery to millions of the world's poorest people? Or does he only make the nice things like flowers and baby polar bears?

    Hope you can find the time to answer my questions - learning is fun!

  3. Anonymous, apart from the fact that your understanding of Darwin's theories seems about as certain as your grasp of spelling and punctuation, why would a compassionate, empathetic and understanding God consign people to eternal damnation for being impertinent enough not to believe in him? Omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent and more than a little petulant.

  4. Anonymous – you're out of date. Evolutionary theory has gotten richer since Darwin's day, and compassion and empathy have a place in it. Read up. You'll be fascinated.

  5. One of the many many things that I'm not aware of is how bringing up children in ignorance could be considered compassionate.

    I love the idea that the atheists are all selfish and the religious have the monopoly on compassion and empathy.

    Last time I looked, it was religion that was responsible for the Spanish Inquistion, for the Holocaust, for 8 year old girls being used as suicide bombers, for punishing the awful crime of homosexuality with death, for Christian fundamentalists firebombing abortion clinics, for 9/11 and 7th July...

    Atheists - One, God - Nil.



    Sorry that, in 2011, I still don't know how to do the posh link thing.

  7. teehee! I love this man.

    ..."atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs...

    Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris (quoted in Atheism on Wikipedia)