In today’s news:

Religion forces science teacher to quit

A science teacher at an upmarket Cape Town school has found herself at odds with senior staff over her desire to teach evolution in science lessons. She said that the teachers in the school’s science department were mainly Christian and that she was reprimanded over teaching the scientific concept.

“We’re talking about the head of biology, we’re talking about the longest standing member [of staff] who’s been there for more than 25 years and we’re talking about the most recent member who was trained in a Biology area.”
“What he actively does in class is he poo poos the idea [of evolution], he makes kids laugh at the idea of the age of the Earth as proposed by scientists currently. He poo poos the fossil record, he gives what he believes is counter evidence to carbon dating,” she said.

For starters, I’ve noted that there’s an awful lot of poo pooing going on at this school. And that should immediately raise some red flags.
But, that aside, I have no issue with people choosing to send their kids to a school which teaches along the lines of certain beliefs. That, as the expression goes, is their indaba. You want your kids to learn nonsense, send them to a school that teaches nonsense. Give them what you consider to be a good start in life and then let’s all sit back and see how they get on with their tertiary education and future career in the real world.
But this situation is slightly different, as this school has a Science Department. And if you have a Science Department in your school, surely it should really follow that they teach… er… “scientific concepts” like evolution and carbon dating.


Religion is all well and good (well, actually not in my opinion, but there are apparently some people who like it), but then this ex-teacher continues to tell us about the Muslim Biology teacher who refused to teach evolution. And the most laughable of all:

I met a Christian Geography teacher who refused to teach plate tectonics.

If you choose to believe that plate tectonics is not real or if you choose to believe that Creationism is where we all came from, then – simply – don’t take a job like a Geography teacher or Science teacher, that involves you having to fight those concepts each and every day. Want to tell the kids about Adam and Eve or how God creates earthquakes and tsunamis? Well then, rather express your views by teaching Religious Education and leave the Science and the Geography to those who understand Science and Geography.

Equally, it seems to me that the teacher who quit should maybe choose her place of employment more carefully, as she seems to have crashed and indeed burned, again:

“I’m constantly on the defensive. In fact, my life has got even more interesting now because I’ve joined a school that’s a cult. They believe that their leader has insight and he believes that the entire solar system was created for human beings, and that animals and plants are the rejected parts of what would’ve been the human body that don’t belong, and the last thing to be rejected was bacteria.
And don’t bother that the fossil record goes the other way round because he had these insights through his spiritual and meditative journeys. So now I find myself out of the frying pan into the fire.”

Good plan. Well done.

Anyway, this should also serve as a wake up call to those of us who have kids at schools with a religious foundation. Do you know what your child is being taught in their “Science” lessons?

UPDATE: As per Jacques’ comment below, it looks like Emperor of the Western Cape, Helen Zille is onto this after being alerted by a very rude man on twitter.