Evolution education in the UK sustained a blow when a government agency approved a creationist curriculum for use by Christian schools throughout the UK. The National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC), which advises universities and employers on the validity of lesser-known academic and professional qualifications, has ruled that the International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE) is comparable to qualifications such as the international A-levels offered by the Cambridge International Exam Board.

The ICCE curriculum is based on the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) program, which originated in Texas in the 1970s. The curriculum obtains half of its course material from U.S. evangelical textbooks and is taught to hundreds of teenagers at approximately 50 private Christian schools in the UK. The textbooks teach students, for example, that apartheid helped South Africa because segregated schools "made it possible for each group to maintain and pass on their culture and heritage to their children." The textbooks also challenge the theory of evolution by contending that the Loch Ness monster, which "appears to be a plesiosaur," could not have evolved because "no transitional fossils [between fish and reptiles] have been or ever will be discovered since God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals."

After the ruling, NARIC's spokesman issued a statement noting that the agency's role was to guide universities and employers on the rigor of qualifications, and that investigating curriculum content was outside its jurisdiction.

 


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