Thursday

27th Jan 2022

European lawmakers warn against creationism

European lawmakers have warned against teaching creationism - such as 'intelligent design' which denies the evolution of species through natural selection - in European schools saying it could become a threat to human rights.

National parliamentarians from around Europe meeting in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – the top human rights body in Europe – voted on Thursday (4 October) for a resolution calling on its 47 member states "to oppose firmly any attempts at teaching creationism as a scientific discipline."

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In a non-binding resolution, which passed with 48 votes to 25 and 3 abstentions, the assembly declared: "if we are not careful, creationism could become a threat to human rights."

Liberal democrat member of the Luxembourg parliament, Anne Brasseur, who wrote the report on the issue, said it showed how creationists - most of whom are Christian or Muslim - were trying to infiltrate European schools.

"The purpose of this report is to warn against the attempt to pass off a belief - creationism - as a science and to teach the theses of this belief in science classes," she said when presenting the report.

"It is not a matter of opposing belief and science, but it is necessary to prevent belief from opposing science," she added.

Not just a US phenomenon

The resolution stated that there was "a real risk of a serious confusion" being introduced into children's minds between conviction or belief and science. "The theory of evolution has nothing to do with divine revelation but is built on facts."

The parliamentarians also warn that creationism was for a long time an almost exclusively US phenomenon but that today creationist ideas are tending to find their way into Europe and their spread is affecting quite a few Council of Europe member states.

The report cites examples from Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK.

The move comes after Turkish Muslim writer Harun Yahya sent his Islamic creationist book "Atlas of Creation" to schools in some European countries.

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