The European Council Committee on Culture, Science and Education has rejected a draft report saying that “creationism” and its biblically rooted Christian worldview represent a threat to human freedom and must be suppressed. The Committee in its declaration said that freedom of thought and discussion was a “fundamental value.”
The French socialist politician and mathematics professor, Guy Lengagne, wrote the report for the Committee. The report, “The Dangers of Creationism in Education,” said, “If we are not careful, creationism could become a threat to human rights.”
The report adds, “From a scientific view point there is absolutely no doubt that evolution is a central theory for our understanding of the Universe and of life on Earth.” Lengagne, a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Amiens, warned that if creationism were allowed to be taught in schools, the result could be the replacement of democracy by theocracy, the obstruction of a cure for AIDS, and a rise in fundamentalist extremism.
The report, which was prepared for a debate this week, was rejected by 63 of the 119 members of the Council of Europe, criticizing it for “lack of reflection.” The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) announced that it would be dropping the report from the debate this week on inter-cultural and interreligious dialogue.
The committee said that it expressed “its support for the Rapporteur M. Lengagne,” and that it intended to put the issue on the agenda for the next plenary session in October. Lengagne, however, is leaving the PACE and will not be involved in future drafts of the report.
Lengagne responded to the decision, saying he was “flabbergasted”, “appalled” and “shocked” that the PACE had referred his report back to the committee for revision. “We are witnessing a change of direction for a return to the Middle Ages, and too many members of this Assembly can’t see it,” he said.
The Committee on Culture, Science and Education said in a statement that while the issue of creationism was a “politically topical question”, that it was determined to discuss in the future, “freedom of thought and discussion is a fundamental value of the Council of Europe. The Committee on Culture, Science and Education believes that it is the duty of the Assembly to show itself exemplary in this requirement.”