Rev Professor Michael Reiss sacked by Royal Society over 'creationism'
Last week, the Rev Professor Michael Reiss called for ‘creationism’ (the belief in a literal 6-day creation) to be debated in the classroom if the subject was raised by pupils. Not, as was widely reported, to be ‘taught in science classes’.
Yesterday, he was forced to resign as director of education of the Royal Society, for bringing it into disrepute. The action followed a campaign by high-profile ‘militant atheists’, and some intolerant – one might almost say ‘bigoted’ - religious bloggers.
The Professor did not call for creationism to be taught in schools. Indeed, he stressed the belief had no 'scientific validity'. And with sensitivity to religious and ethnic diversity in schools, he observed that banning all discussion of an 'alternative world view' at a time of growing religious fundamentalism could backfire.
The Royal Society is of the opinion that these comments had damaged the body's reputation.
In a statement, it said: 'As a result, Professor Reiss and the Royal Society have agreed that, in the best interests of the Society, he will step down immediately as director of education.’
While the rabid atheists and obsessively-narrow religionists demanded Professor Reiss’s dismissal, Lord Winston supported him throughout the furore. He said: ‘This individual was arguing that we should engage with and address public misconceptions about science.... Something that the Royal Society should applaud.’
If the theory of evolution is so self-evident, it ought to have no problem standing up to a classroom discussion. Science is about enquring, the prerequisite of which is an open mind. The Royal Society has manifest the antithesis; indeed, it has displayed intolerance and the enforcement of personal prejudice.
No wonder science is dying in Britain.
Incidentally, the Vatican has said the theory of evolution is compatible with the Bible and does not therefore plan to apologise to Charles Darwin. It advocates 'theistic evolution,' which sees no reason why God could not have used an evolutionary process to create humans.
Why can the Church of England, with its genius for the via media, not see the common-sense position of that?