The University of Oxford geneticist and campaigning atheist Richard Dawkins has established a foundation to keep God out of the classroom and prevent "pseudo science" taking over in schools, it emerged today.
The new Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason will subsidise books, pamphlets and DVDs for teachers to fight what the professor describes as the "educational scandal" that has seen the rise of "irrational ideas".
He also has designs on the home
He also plans to campaign against children being labelled with the
religion of their parents. "It is immoral to brand children with
religion," he said. "This is a Catholic child. That is a Muslim child.
I want everyone to flinch when they hear such a phrase, just as they
would if they heard that is a Marxist child."
Prof Dawkins’ views
have sparked criticism from academics, religious leaders and fellow
scientists. The Church of England described them as "disturbing", while
others complained that Prof Dawkins’ foundation bore the "whiff of a
campaigning organisation" rather than a charity".
John Hall, dean
of Westminster and the Church of England’s education officer, told the
Independent today: "He is clearly looking for a fight. His clear
intention is to push his view that religion is dangerous and that to
bring up a child in their parents’ beliefs is a form of abuse.
Obviously I am concerned about that. There are good grounds for
thinking that this would just be a charitable vehicle for pushing
Richard Dawkins’ views."
We’ll bring you more about Dawkins as this issue unfolds