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May 02, 2006

Six-day wonder

Creationism has now made it on to a GCSE syllabus. John Crace asks why these beliefs are being aired in schools

Tuesday May 2, 2006 The Guardian

If you believe the book of Genesis, God created the world in six days flat and took a breather on the seventh. Creationism's sudden appearance at the centre of the education landscape rather feels as if it has taken place over the same time span. Not that creationism is a new idea; it's just that ever since evolution became established in the 19th century as the principal explanation of the origins of life on Earth, it has been relegated to where most scientists believe it belongs - the quirky footnotes of history.

Yet in the past year or so, creationism has made a bizarre renaissance. Its ideas have been getting an unprecedented amount of airspace. A small number of scientists have outed themselves as believers and many others, including academics, educationists and politicians, have found themselves being manoeuvred into giving it a quasi-legitimacy by being forced to seriously engage with it.

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