Royal Society scientist loses post in row over creationism in schools

Royal Society scientist loses post in row over creationism in schools

The Rev Professor Michael Reiss, who was director of education at Britain’s scientific academy as well as an ordained Church of England minister, sparked controversy last week when he suggested that pupils should learn about the idea that evolution is wrong and the Earth is only 10,000 years old.

He claimed just “banging on” about natural selection would not lead devout Christian or Muslim children to change their beliefs, and said creationism should be treated as a “world view” rather than a misconception.

Prof Reiss insisted his comments, made at the British Association Festival of Science, had been misinterpreted and that he did not want creationism to be taught as a science, just discussed if pupils raised it.

However yesterday the Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific body, declared that Prof Reiss’s comments had “damaged its reputation” and that he would be leaving his post immediately.

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