Protests against refusal to debate creationism

26th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

STRASBOURG, France, June 26, 2007 (AFP) - Members of a Council of Europe committee on Tuesday denounced a decision by the Council assembly's not to debate a report on the controversial doctrine of creationism.

STRASBOURG, France, June 26, 2007 (AFP) - Members of a Council of Europe committee on Tuesday denounced a decision by the Council assembly's not to debate a report on the controversial doctrine of creationism.

The Council's culture, science and education committee, which approved the report in May, described Monday's decision by the Council's assembly was taken "under confused and probably irregular conditions".

On Monday, the Council's parliamentary assembly adopted a proposal to send the report back to the committee without debating it.

Belgian assembly member Luc van den Brande, who on Monday successfully proposed the amendment to send Lengagne's report back, insisted it was unbalanced in its condemnation of creationism.

Van den Brande, who is president of the Assembly's conservative group, had suggested the question was more of scientific than a political one.

But in a statement issued Tuesday, the committee, called for the report to be considered at the assembly's next plenary session in October.

They expressed their support for the author of the report, Socialist assembly member Guy Lengagne, and insisted the problem of creationism in teaching was a "politically topical question".

"Freedom of thought and discussion is a fundamental value of the Council of Europe," said the statement.

Lengagne himself attacked the decision on Monday, saying "I can only see this as a ploy on the part of people who will use any means they can to combat the theory of evolution and impose creationist ideas."

Creationism is a religiously based doctrine that rejects evolution, holding that God created the Earth and the Universe over a fixed period of time: in its Christian version, over six days, as set out in the Bible.

The belief has become an increasingly accepted teaching in a number of countries, particularly in the United States.

Intelligent design, a more subtle version of the doctrine, argues that nature and biological structures are so complicated that they must have been designed by an unidentified intelligent being, and not have evolved by chance.

In his report, Lengagne warned that religious fundamentalists were pushing for creationism to be taught in European schools alongside or even in place of the scientifically based theory of evolution.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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