University of Sussex

File(s) not publicly available

Creationism in the science classroom: worldview or misconception?

posted on 2023-06-07, 19:55 authored by James Williams
Creationism and Intelligent Design (ID) is regularly raised by pupils in science lessons. It has been argued that creationism should be treated as a worldview, not a misconception. How should teachers respond? To avoid insensitivity to faith positions and counter creationist charges of stifling 'academic freedom' science teachers must deal with pupils by respecting their position, but also deliver a robust evolution education. To avoid this dilemma, teachers should adopt the position of evolution and science being a matter of the acceptance of evidence and creationism/ID as being a belief system. Recent research has shown that many science graduates do not have a good understanding of the nature of science and its key terminology, e.g. theory, fact, law etc. and that this may contribute to a lack of understanding about creationist claims e.g. that Intelligent Design is science. Beliefs are often involuntary and lacking evidence. Science is rational and evidenced based. Adopting this teaching approach does not necessarily lead to a challenge of individual belief. Drawing on work from the history and philosophy of science, general philosophy and biological science and psychology, the paper examines the basis of beliefs, both rational and irrational, and provides a mechanism for resolving issues that science teachers may encounter.


Publication status

  • Published

Presentation Type

  • paper

Event name

Science in Society International Conference

Event location

University of Cambridge, UK

Event type


Event date

5-7 August, 2009

Department affiliated with

  • Education Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Publications)


    No categories selected