MOE assures a concerned parent that creationism ‘is not part of syllabus’

In a series of sermons addressed to the megachurch Faith Community Baptist Church, Pastor Lawrence Khong launched a tirade against the Theory of Evolution. In one such sermon, which you can view a snippet of here, he argued that Darwin's brainchild was "a real deception from the Devil."

“Every day we are subjected to a worldview that is a real deception from the devil. For example, I mean the world is telling us that evolution is a fact, undisputable. It is taught in schools. But the fact of the matter is I will be exploring with you that you could hardly find any evidence of true evolution. And in fact, evolution is based on faith and not facts.  In fact, if we study the different theories, we find that creation has the most evidence to show us that indeed there is a God who created us.”

- Lawrence Khong

From FCBC's Facebook Page, it seems that his rage against Evolution is still burning bright. In fact, it seems that he probably has one planned for tomorrow.

Anti-science rhetoric propagated on such large scales by arguably  'influential' people have, in turn, influenced many creationists to promote their arguments, if they may be called so, on public forums. The Humanist Society, which first published the concerned Parent's letter, had also cited some examples to illustrate the sharp rise in outspoken creationists in the public sphere.

For example, local creationists have written letters to the press attacking evolution and promoting creationism. Talks on creationism were also held on school campuses through religious CCAs. One recent example is a creationist talk in NTU. A prominent historic church, St Andrew Cathedral, is also active in promoting creationism. The Australian-based Creation Ministries International has also been conducting regular talks on creationism in Singapore.

As you will soon see, this has prompted one concerned parent, Mr Martin Piper, to write in to the Ministry of Education to seek clarity as to whether the oxymoronic 'Creationist Science' has a part to play, if any, in School syllabi.

The exchange of letters are as follows.

Mr Piper's first e-mail to MOE

In this video the pastor Lawrence Khong says evolution taught in school is the work of the devil, that it isn’t based on facts and that his creation myth has the most evidence. I think these kinds of anti-science messages are against proper fact based education and work against the economic interests of Singapore. What in the ministry doing to combat these dangerous anti-science messages and to instead promote real scientific progress?

MOE’s reply:

Dear Mr Piper,

The science topics taught in our schools are selected carefully to ensure that current thinking and developments in science are covered adequately and accurately in age-appropriate ways. The teaching of science in Singapore schools aims to enable students to evaluate evidences and claims critically, and appreciate the impact of science and technology on society. This holistic development of scientific knowledge, skills and attitudes in our students will strengthen their scientific literacy, so that they are able to make informed decisions about scientific claims they may encounter in their daily life. It is with this consideration that the concept of adaptation and evolution is taught across various levels in our science curriculum.

Thank you for your interest on this issue.

Mr Piper’s reply:

Thank you for your reply. If someone demanded that “creation science” or other similar creation myths must be taught in schools, would you be able to confirm that their request would be denied?

MOE’s reply:

Dear Mr Piper,

Such concepts are not in the syllabus.

Although MOE has clarified that creationism is not taught in school, the Ministry stopped short of assuring Mr Piper that it would not explicitly deny future requests that call for creationism be taught in schools. Although I highly doubt that MOE would ever be influenced by such requests, a stronger and more proactive response, especially in light of the surge of emboldened creationists, would be welcomed.