Monday, February 11, 2008

Anti-evolutionists target Europe

reposted from:

American-style anti-evolutionist battle waged chiefly in schools
12:00 AM CST on Sunday, February 10, 2008

LONDON – After a Sunday service at which worshippers were urged to wage a "culture war" in the World War II spirit of Sir Winston Churchill, cabbie James McLean opined on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

"Evolution is a lie, and it's being taught in schools as fact, and it's leading our kids in the wrong direction," he said, chatting outside the chapel. "But now people like Ken Ham are tearing evolution to pieces."

Ken Ham is the founder of Answers in Genesis, a Kentucky-based organization that is part of an ambitious effort to bring creationist theory to Britain and the rest of Europe. Mr. McLean is one of a growing number of European evangelicals embracing that message – that the true history of the Earth is told in the Bible, not Darwin's The Origin of Species.

Europeans have long viewed the conflict between evolutionists and creationists as primarily an American phenomenon. But it has recently jumped the Atlantic Ocean with skirmishes in Italy, Germany, Poland and, notably, Britain, where Darwin was born and published his 1859 classic.

Schools are increasingly a focal point in this battle for hearts and minds. A British branch of Answers in Genesis, which shares a Web site with its American counterpart, has introduced its creationist point of view into science classes at some state-supported schools in Britain, said Monty White, the group's chief executive.

Other British organizations have joined the crusade. A group called Truth in Science has sent thousands of unsolicited DVDs to every high school in Britain arguing that mankind is the result of "intelligent design."

Creationism is still a marginal issue here compared with its impact on cultural and political debate in the U.S. But the budding fervor is part of a growing embrace of evangelical worship in Europe.

Terry Sanderson, president of Britain's National Secular Society, fears that groups advocating a literal interpretation of the Bible are making headway.

The trend goes beyond evangelical Christianity. Mr. Sanderson said the British government is taking over funding of about 100 Islamic schools that teach the Quranic version of creationism.

The Associated Press

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