March 21, 2006
Anglican archibishop says: 'I think creationism is ... a kind of category mistake'

Hot off the presses from the Guardian: Picking up on the recent arrival in the UK of the Creationism / intelligent design debate, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has entered the debate between scientists and religious fundamentalists, stating that he does not believe that creationism - the Bible-based account of the origins of the world - should be taught in schools.

"I think creationism is ... a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories ... if creationism is presented as a stark alternative theory alongside other theories I think there's just been a jarring of categories ... My worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it," he said.

The debate over creationism or its slightly more sophisticated offshoot, so-called "intelligent design" (ID) which argues that creation is so complex that an intelligent - religious - force must have directed it, has provoked divisions in Britain but nothing like the vehemence or politicisation of the debate in the US. There, under pressure from the religious right, some states are considering giving ID equal prominence to Darwinism, the generally scientifically accepted account of the evolution of species. Most scientists believe that ID is little more than an attempt to smuggle fundamentalist Christianity into science teaching.

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