| STRASBOURG, France
STRASBOURG, France Europe's main human rights
body on Monday cancelled a scheduled vote on banning
creationist and intelligent design views from school science
classes, saying the proposed resolution was one-sided.
The resolution, which the Council of Europe's Parliamentary
Assembly was due to vote on Tuesday, said attacks on the theory
of evolution were rooted "in forms of religious extremism" and
amounted to a dangerous attack on scientific knowledge.
Believers in creationism or intelligent design argue that
some life forms are too complex to have evolved in accordance
with Charles Darwin's theory.
Some conservative groups in the United States, both
religious and secular, have long opposed the teaching of
Darwinian evolution in public schools but U.S. courts have
regularly barred them from teaching religious views of
Pressure to teach creationism is weaker in Europe, but an
Assembly committee got active because a Muslim creationist book
has appeared in several countries.
Guy Lengagne, the French Socialist member of the Assembly
who drew up the report, protested after the Parliamentary
Assembly voted to call off the debate and vote, and to send the
report back to committee for further study.
"I have enough experience of parliamentary procedure to
know that this is a first-class burial (for the report)," he
Deputies said the motion by the Christian Democratic group
of parliamentarians also won support from east European
deputies, who recalled that Darwinian evolution was a favorite
theory of their former communist rulers.
While Darwin said mankind evolved through natural
selection, creationism says God made the world and all life in
six days, as depicted in the Bible. Polls show about half of
all Americans agree with this while most Europeans support
Supporters of the intelligent design view want it taught in
science class along with evolution. A U.S. court ruled this out
in a landmark decision in 2005, dismissing this more recent
argument as "neo-creationism."
The proposed resolution said the Council of Europe's 47
member states should "firmly oppose the teaching of creationism
as a scientific discipline on an equal footing with the theory
of evolution by natural selection."
"The teaching of all phenomena concerning evolution as a
fundamental scientific theory is therefore crucial to the
future of our societies and our democracies," it said.
The resolution would not have been binding on member