Council of Europe report challenges teaching of Creationism

Monday, June 18, 2007

The spread of Creationist doctrines within the education systems of Council of Europe member states "could become a threat to human rights", according to a report which will be discussed and voted on by the Council of Europe on 26th June.

Investigation of the creationists’ growing influence shows that the arguments between creationism and evolution go well beyond intellectual debate. If we are not careful, the human rights (the values that are the very essence of the Council of Europe) will be under direct threat from creationist fundamentalists.

—Council of Europe Report

The text written by the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of the Council, firmly challenges the belief in a creator and a world which was created, to the exclusion of accepted theories of evolution. Although Creationist doctrines were for a long time an American phenomenon and not too widespread within the European countries, the report suggests that they are tending to spread to Council of Europe member states.

According to the document, Creationism - fundamentalist doctrine of the origin of the world based on the Bible - is not based on facts and does not rely on any scientific grounds.

The report notes that children currently study predominantly evolutionary theories with a scientific basis, and suggests that there is a consequential risk of introducing confusion for them when presented with alternatives based on "convictions, beliefs and ideals" with no scientific basis.

The Parliamentary Assembly urges member states and their education authorities, inter alia, to "firmly oppose the presenting of creationism as a scientific discipline on an equal footing with the theory of evolution by natural selection and in general resist presentation of creationist doctrines in any discipline other than religion".