政經

Victory for Darwin - Creationism rejected in new guidelines on the biology curriculum

達爾文的勝利

香港教育署最近公開聲明神創論及智慧設計論不會成為中學生物科課程的一部份,香港科學教育關注組當然歡迎此一決定並視為一重大勝利,四位有份在二月的香港大學教授都曾發信要求香港中學生物科課程都要反映全球科學界否定神創論及智慧設計論的主流思想,包括科學系系主任郭新都異口同聲指責香港教育署九月生效的新課程指引其實是默許在中學生物科教授神創論及智慧設計論;但是香港科學教育關注組同時亦擔心在校本管理政策主導下單一份教育署聲明未必有太大的作用,因為部份公開承認在生物科教授神創論及智慧設計論的基督右派中學,如中華基督教會屬下的學校,可能會陽奉陰違。
這件事的緣起在香港教育署於九月生效的新課程中的生物科指引有一句如此的話: 除達爾文理論外,教育署豉勵學生進一步發掘及探索對生命起源的另類解釋及理論; 立法會在收到香港科學教育關注組的投訴後便召開了相關的會議,等待收到香港教育署的相關報告後才繼續辯論,然後便有64位人仕為在香港教育署於九月生效的新課程中的生物科指引包容了神創論及智慧設計論去信辯護。後來,立法會收到香港教育署的報告辯稱於九月生效的新課程「是為了加強學生對生物科科學的研究如何和當時的科技、社會及(政治?)環境掛勾」;該報告又聲稱在生物科中達爾文進化論中,教授的重點是達爾文進化論為目前科學界中最廣泛被接受的理論﹐我們期望學生能夠用達爾文進化論中的各慨念去解釋生物演化的方法及過程;學生應該明白達爾文進化論是由觀察及收集客觀數據、細心分析、提出可用驗證的假設和最後用實驗去決定假設的真偽,但是在同時生物科的理論及知識不是一成不變的,永恆為真的。所以除了達爾文進化論外,學生也可以去理解一下如 Jean-Baptiste Lamarck 及 Alfred Russel Wallace的演化理論,這些另類理論都是自然科學理論的研究範圍,當然不包括非自然科學的理論。
郭新教授對此回應,以為是香港教育署終於承認達爾文進化論為目前科學界中最廣泛被接受的理論,而神創論及智慧設計論根本不屬於現代生物科學的範疇。對生物科學生來說是有所得箸,因為這表明香港的生物科教育仍然保持和全球生物學的同一水平,是故最好香港教育署這份聲明要廣傳到每一位生物科教師中。
香港科學教育關注組創立人 Virginia(貓姐)表示香港教育署這份聲明其實仍有美中不足的地方,她說: 香港教育署這份聲明是向正確的方向走前關鍵的一步,因它不單詳述了科學方法的內涵及定義,而且還清浙指出神創論及智慧設計論根本不屬於現代生物科學的範疇,卻還未走到把神創論及智慧設計論這些國際公認的偽科學踢出自然科學的涵意外。所以香港科學教育關注組會繼續努力完成此目標: 令香港教育署接受神創論及智慧設計論等均屬偽科學。
同時,這64位為在容許生物科中教授神創論及智慧設計論而去信教育署指稱科學並無絕對的定義,共中40位是學者及7位為教師;但是它的發言人香港大學生物系教授Stephen Tsui Kwok-wing卻竟然這樣回應教育署一再聲明它拒絕把神創論及智慧設計論列入生物科教程: 他以為他們這封聯署信不是在提倡在生物科中教授神創論及智慧設計論,而他們也會理解和尊重香港教育署這份拒絕把神創論及智慧設計論列入生物科教程的聲明。而在64組當中的香港大學物理系副教授Chris Beling則這樣回應: 香港教育署的聲明對的地方不少,只不過當香港教育署居然可以完全接受千瘡百孔的達爾文進化論為生物科科學的最佳解釋則令他很費解。他以為用聖經作藍本的神創論當然是不可以在中學生物堂時教授,但不明白何以香港教育署一竹竿打潟一船人,把神創論及智慧設計論歸作同一類東西,因為他以為智慧設計論其實具備成為自然科學的一門的條件。既然香港是自由社會,所以指引歸指引,實行歸實行。
一位香港教育署女發言人如此回應﹐這拒絕把神創論及智慧設計論列入生物科教程的聲明並不是互相排斥,因此學校看指引要看「全套」: 聲明只是短短的一段﹐但九月生效的新高中課程指引卻共有138頁之多。
香港立法會教育委員會的何秀蘭主席以為香港教育署已恰如其份在後來的聲明的第五段公開聲明: 香港教育署完全拒絕把神創論及智慧設計論列入生物科教程。她希望這一件事到此暫告一段落,她不以為立法會教育委員會應該挑動一次神學界和科學界的大辯論。

南華早報 | 2009-06-26
EDU1| EDU| By Liz Heron

The Education Bureau has announced that creationism and intelligent design will form no part of the senior secondary biology curriculum.

The move has been hailed as a victory by leading scientists at the University of Hong Kong, who in February called for curriculum guidance on evolution to be upgraded to reflect current scientific thinking.

The four scientists, who include dean of science Sun Kwok and science faculty board chairman David Dudgeon, accused the bureau of encouraging schools to promote creationism in biology lessons through the guidelines.

The Concern Group for Hong Kong Science Education, which is lobbying for changes to the guidelines, has also welcomed the paper but says it does not go far enough.

The calls were prompted by a clause in the biology guide, which comes into force in September, that states: "In addition to Darwin's theory, students are encouraged to explore other explanations for evolution and the origins of life."

The bureau's paper was drawn up for the Legislative Council's education panel, after the Concern Group called for a panel debate on the issue. The panel demanded a report from the bureau and postponed a decision on the debate. Last month, the row intensified when the "group of 64" mounted a counter-offensive calling for the clause to be retained.

The bureau's paper points out that the curriculum aims to strengthen students' understanding of scientific inquiry in biology and its links with technology, society and the environment.

"In the topic 'Evolution', the emphasis is put on Darwin's Theory, as it is currently the most widely accepted scientific theory on evolution," it states. "Students are expected to understand the process and mechanism of evolution based on Darwin's Theory. Students should recognise that biological knowledge and theories are developed through observations, hypotheses, experimentations and analyses and [be] aware of the dynamic nature of biological knowledge."

The paper also states: "In the biology curriculum framework, creationism or intelligent design, which was mentioned in the recent submissions to the Legislative Council panel on education concerning the biology curriculum, is not included. In addition to Darwin's Theory, students are encouraged to explore other explanations on evolution such as that of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Sir Alfred Russel Wallace." It stresses that non-scientific explanations are not included.

Professor Dudgeon said: "Th bureau has recognised that the Darwinian theory of evolution constitutes the core of modern biology and that intelligent design and creationism have no place in the modern science curriculum.

"It is a victory for the students and it will help to ensure that our science teaching remains world class. Clearly this guidance needs to be circulated to all secondary schools before the next semester."

Concern Group founder Virginia Yue Wai-sin, said the paper only partially met demands in its petition for action by the bureau. "It is moving in the right direction," she said. "They have excluded creationism and intelligent design from the curriculum and they also emphasise scientific methods in greater detail. Yet they have just failed to take the critical step of saying that intelligent design and creationism are not science. We will continue to pursue answers to these questions with the bureau."

The "group of 64", which includes 40 academics and seven teachers, argued that there was no universally accepted definition of science. But spokesman Stephen Tsui Kwok-wing, a molecular biologist at Chinese University, said yesterday: "We accept and respect the clarification of the biology curriculum guidelines from the Education Bureau. We reiterate that the purpose of our letter was not to promote the teaching of creationism or intelligent design in secondary schools."

However, "group of 64" member Chris Beling, an associate professor in HKU's physics department, said: "The EDB's response has many good points but its tacit approval of Darwin's theory, which has so many blatant errors, is not commendable.

"Understandably, Bible-based creationism is not to be taught as science, but it is regrettable that intelligent design is lumped in the same basket, seeing it has all the characteristics of good science. Fortunately, these are only guidelines and we live in a free society."

An Education Bureau spokeswoman said the paper was based on the 138-page biology curriculum and assessment guide for the new senior secondary curriculum and its interpretation demanded a "holistic" understanding of the guide.

Cyd Ho Sau-lan, chairwoman of Legco's education panel, said: "I find paragraph five enough to tell the stance of the administration. It says very clearly that intelligent design or creationism is not included."

She hoped the debate was now over. "I don't think the panel is in a position to engage itself in a debate between theologians and scientists. It could be an endless one," she said.

翻譯有誤

文中的"科學系系主任國辛"實為理學院院長郭新
有關郭新敎授的資料可參看 http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/郭新