In the United States, the movement to promote the teaching of creationism and intelligent design is a home-grown phenomenon, but for our English cousins across the pond, it appears to be driven in part by Muslim immigration.
The BBC article quotes one science professor as saying "The number of Muslim students has grown considerably in the last 10 to 20 years and a higher proportion of Muslim families do not accept evolutionary theory compared with Christian families." And that is because of the lamentable state of science education in the countries where these Muslim families originate.
The September 2007 issue of National Geographic features a cover story on Pakistan. The article introduces the reader to Pervez Hoodbhoy, an MIT-trained professor of physics at Quaid-i-Azam University in Lahore. A few days after the devastating earthquake that struck the Pakistani controlled section of Kashmir in 2005, Professor Hoodbhoy described to his graduate-level physics class the geophysical forces that caused the earthquake.
"When I finished, hands shot up all over the room," he recalls. "'Professor, you are wrong,' my students said. 'That earthquake was the wrath of God.'"
Again, to repeat, this was a grad school physics class. If this is what some of the brightest minds in Pakistan believe, then what hope is there for the rest of the students there?
According to Professor Hoodbhoy, this ignorance stems from former Pakistani dictator General Zia-ul-Haq, whose education ministry issued guidelines on bringing an Islamic perspective to science and other subjects in the public schools.
Says Professor Hoodbhoy, "The Zia generation has come of age. It isn't Islamic to teach that earthquakes are caused by the movement of tectonic plates. Instead, you are supposed to say, by the will of Allah, an earthquake happens."