Never mind the facts, feel the belief.
You may remember that I mentioned an e-mail survey of teachers (and education professionals) a few weeks ago (Talk about mad scientists) which revealed that 29% of them thought that creationism should be taught as science. At the time I was a little sceptical about the value of the survey because it wasn’t exactly done with the greatest scientific rigour.
But an Ipsos/Mori poll reported in The Guardian (Would you Adam and Eve it? Quarter of science teachers would teach creationism), which surveyed 923 science teachers, also came to the figure of 29%. The percentages for this poll and the other would appear to be coincidental, although you’d expect that in spite of differences between them, the results for a poll of science teachers would reveal that far fewer would teach creationism.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that those who would teach creationism necessarily believe it. They might have pragmatic reasons for making such a choice; or they might think it’s fair, but that also means that every other creation myth should be mentioned, otherwise there’s no fairness. There’s no harm in discussing creationism in Comparative Mythology Class, but it shouldn’t be mentioned in sciences classes because it then appears to have some degree of importance or credibility. Since no one talks about Hittite creation myths or Tongan creation myths in such classes, why should creationism be regarded as any different?
But there’s no excuse for thinking that this sort of material belongs in a science class no matter what the reason is.