Teaching HoS as sneaking religion into classrooms?

From Stages of Succession:

What is even more depressing is how easy it is for religious topics to sneak into the National Curriculum. This is the specification for Edexcel GCSE Science, the qualification UK students take at age 16:

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of natural selection, to include:
    – How individuals within a species can have characteristics that promote more successful reproduction (survival of the fittest)
    – How, over generations, the effects of natural selection result in changes within species and the formation of new species from genetic variants or mutants that are better adapted to their environment
    – How species that are less well-adapted to a changing environment can become extinct
  • Explain how fossils provide evidence for evolution
  • Discuss why Charles Darwin experienced difficulty in getting his theory of evolution through natural selection accepted by the scientific community in the 19th century

Is that last point a bad thing? Surely there were scientific critiques of Darwin’s theory – on the age of the earth and the time needed for evolution to occur, on Darwin not having an answer for the mechanism for inheritance, etc. Not sure that having students “Discuss why Charles Darwin experienced difficulty in getting his theory of evolution through natural selection accepted by the scientific community in the 19th century” is sneaking religious topics into the National Curriculum. There is a history to Darwin and his theory, one that should definitely be part of the teaching of the science part of it. Darwin’s theory was not accepted by all, based on scientific and religious grounds. Students should learn that, as well as that evolution is accepted by a vast majority of scientists today, and the dissent comes from largely religious groups, some of which masquerade their critiques as “science.”

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