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創造論とIDの危険性についての決議 (8) 結論

Doc. 11375
17 September 2007

The dangers of creationism in education

Conclusion: the denial of evolution is particularly harmful to children’s education


80. Prohibiting the teaching of key theories, such as evolution, is totally against children’s educational interests. Education has a duty to be a means of enabling children, young people and adults to become important players in the transformation of societies, whereas adopting a denialist stance on scientifically proven theories constitutes a brake on education and the intellectual and personal development of thousands of children. Science is a prominent player and plays a big and active role in this process of the evolution and transformation of societies.


81. The knowledge it provides cannot be arbitrarily challenged. By denying proven facts, the creationist ideas do not contribute to the transformation of societies but to making them become archaic. The creationists are in fact supporters of a radical return to the past, which could prove particularly harmful in the long term for all our societies. This is therefore a crucial issue.


87. Some creationist fundamentalists attack “Darwinism” and materialism by accusing them of being the “real ideological source of terrorism”. “Darwinism is the basis of several violent ideologies that brought disaster to the human race in the 20th century”. Is it necessary to point out that human beings did not await the publication in 1859 of Darwin’s work The Origin of Species to indulge in a large number of massacres? How many people have died in the name of religious wars? The use of religion, like the reference to “social Darwinism” by some dictatorial regimes, is insufficient and cannot in any way call into question the theory of evolution or religion. Social Darwinism is an ideology that claims to have been inspired by Darwin but it has nothing to do with the Darwinian theory of evolution[7]. Moreover, it is impossible to ascribe all the evils on Earth to Darwin and his theory of evolution. He is not responsible for the deviations from his theory after his death. It is absolutely scandalous to present Darwin as the father of terrorism, and that may sow doubt and bewilderment in the minds of many young and inexperienced individuals.


88. Finally, there are, especially in the United States, a number of aberrations inherent in the denialism practised against evolution and in the accompanying proselytising. A documentary film by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, entitled Jesus Camp and released in the United States in autumn 2006, provides evidence of them. It shows a Pentecostal minister, Becky Fisher, who has opened in a North Dakota forest a holiday camp overtly devoted to the indoctrination of children. In front of the camera, she explains that from the age of 7 to 9 a human being can be made to believe anything and that that remains engraved in their brain for life. Fisher says she found her model among the Muslim fundamentalists. This documentary reveals all the violence and fanaticism of the most radical of the creationist movements and the effectiveness with which they succeed in manipulating human beings.

特に米国には、進化否定論および転向迫る際に、実行されるときに固有の異常性がある。2006年秋に米国でリリースされた、Heidi EwingとRachel Gradyによる"Jesus Camp"という表題の記録映画がその証拠である。その記録映画は、ノースダコタ州の森で、子供たちの教化のためのホリデーキャンプを開催しているペンテコステ派牧師Becky Fisherを取り上げている。カメラの前でBecky Fisherは、7~9歳の人間には何でも信じさせることができて、それが終生、脳に刻まれたままになると説明する。Becky Fisherはイスラム原理主義に、そのモデルを見つけたと言う。この記録映画は、急進的な創造論運動の暴力と狂気と、人間の操作に成功する効果を明らかにする。

89. The creationists claim that evolution is only one interpretation of the world among others, but that is not the case. The scientific nature of evolution remains irrefutable today. However, it must be repeated that the science of evolution cannot claim to give an explanation as to “why things are” but tries to explain how things are happening or have happened. The theory of evolution constitutes a body of knowledge fundamental for the future of our democracies and cannot be arbitrarily challenged.


90. It is important to point out that the theory of evolution has had a profound effect on science in general, philosophy, religion and many other aspects of human society (for example, agriculture). Evolution has also entered the field of psychology: evolutionist psychology is a field of psychology that aims to explain the mechanisms of human thought on the basis of the theory of biological evolution. It is based on the fundamental hypothesis that the brain, like all the other organs, is the result of evolution and thus constitutes an adaptation to specific environmental constraints, to which the ancestors of the Hominidae were forced to respond.


91. With creationism today, we are witnessing a growth of modes of thought which, the better to impose religious dogma, are attacking the very core of the knowledge that we have built up little by little concerning nature, evolution, our origins and our place in the universe. There can be no doubt that this is a serious attack on human rights.


92. There is a great risk of a serious confusion being introduced into our children’s minds between what has to do with convictions, beliefs and ideals and what has to do with science, and of the advent of an “all things are equal” attitude, which may seem appealing and tolerant but is actually extremely harmful[8].


93. Creationism has many contradictory aspects. “Intelligent design”, which is the latest, more refined version of creationism, does not completely deny a degree of evolution. However, this school of thought has hardly provided any fuel for the scientific debate up to now9. Though more subtle in its presentation, the doctrine of intelligent design is no less dangerous.


94. The teaching of evolution by natural selection as a fundamental scientific theory is therefore crucial to the future of our societies and our democracies. For that reason evolution must occupy a central position in the curriculum, and especially in the science syllabus. If we prevent our students from accessing scientific knowledge, we run the risk of their being unable to compete effectively with other students who are being educated in states where science has a key status.


95. Evolution is not simply a matter of the evolution of humans and of populations. Denying it could have serious consequences for the development of our societies. How can advances be made in medical research with the aim of effectively combating diseases like AIDS if every principle of evolution is denied? How can one be fully aware of the risks involved in the significant decline in biodiversity and climate change if the mechanisms of evolution are not understood? Evolution is present everywhere, from medical overprescription of antibiotics that encourages the emergence of resistant bacteria to agricultural overuse of pesticides that causes insect mutations on which pesticides no longer have any effect.


96. Our modern world is based on a long history, of which the development of science and technology forms an important part. However, the scientific approach is still not well understood and this is liable to encourage the development of all manner of fundamentalism and extremism, synonymous with attacks of utmost virulence on human rights. The rejection of all science is definitely one of the most serious threats to human rights and civic rights.


97. The teaching of alternative theories can only be considered if they provide sufficient guarantees as to the scientific nature and truth of the ideas put forward.


98. The alternative ideas currently presented by the creationists cannot claim to offer these guarantees, so it is inconceivable that they can be allowed to be taught within the scientific disciplines, either alongside or instead of the theory of evolution.


99. The creationist ideas could, however, be presented in an educational context other than that of a scientific discipline. The Council of Europe has highlighted the importance of teaching culture and religion. In the name of freedom of expression and individual belief, creationist ideas, like any other theological position, could possibly be described in the context of giving more space to cultural and religious education.


100. At the same time, it is necessary to consider the causes of such a challenge to the theory of evolution. This theory leaves itself open to many attacks but that could perhaps be explained by the poor way in which it is taught, especially from the epistemological point of view.


101. These reflections lead us to conclude that better teaching or the more appropriate teaching of the sciences and evolution might enable the dissemination of alternative pseudo-theories such as those of the creationists to be combated effectively. This importance of quality science teaching that is better suited to the realities of daily life was highlighted in the report on students’ declining interest in scientific studies.


102. Science provides irreplaceable training in intellectual rigour. It seeks not to explain “why things are” but to understand how they work.


103. Jacques Arnoult[10], a research scientist but also a Dominican monk wrote: “I confine belief to religion, human relations, indeed intelligence, but not science. Science is a matter of reason, observation and hypothesis, theory and testing. It has its rules and its areas of application”.

科学者でありドミニカ修道士でもあるJacques Arnoult[10]は次のように書いた。「私は宗教信仰や人間関係やインテリジェンスに限定し、科学ではない。科学は論理や、観察と仮説や、理論と検証の問題である。それらにはルールがあり適用範囲がある。」

104. A detailed study of the growing influence of the creationists shows that the discussions between creationism and evolutionism go well beyond intellectual disputes. If we are not careful, the values that are the very essence of the Council of Europe will be in danger of being directly threatened by the creationist fundamentalists. It is part of the role of the Council’s parliamentarians to react before it is too late.


105. In order to produce this rapport, I mainly consulted the various works by Jacques Arnoult, a researcher at the French National Centre of Space Studies (CNES); Herve LeGuyader, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Paris VI - Pierre and Marie Curie; Pascal Picq, a palaeoanthropologist at the College de France, with all of whom I had some very rewarding discussions; and Guillaume Lecointre, a professor of zoology at the National Natural History Museum in Paris. I also consulted the collective work entitled Decouvrir la Biologie by Michael Cain, Hans Damman, Robert Lue and Carol Kaesuk Yoon, published by DeBoeck (English title: Discover Biology, Sunderland, Mass., Sinauer Associates, 2002) and Schopfung und Evolution, a report, published by Sankt Ulrich Verlag, of a seminar held at Castel Gandolfo in September 2006 under the chairmanship of Pope Benedict XVI. In addition to the book by Harun Yahya already mentioned, a number of articles on creationism as seen by its supporters were found on the Internet.

最終更新:2010年01月17日 00:55