Guidance for biology teachers will not be reviewed to address concerns that it encourages creationism before the new secondary diploma is launched, the Education Bureau has indicated.
Four scientists, including the University of Hong Kong's dean of science Sun Kwok and science faculty board chairman David Dudgeon, have called for a reference to 'alternative explanations' to Darwin's theory of evolution to be removed from the biology curriculum guidance.
The guide drawn up for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education states: 'In section II, genetics and evolution, students are expected to understand that evolution is a scientific theory supported with evidence and are encouraged to explore other explanations for evolution and the origins of life in addition to Darwin's theory.'
The scientists argue that there are no credible alternative scientific theories to Darwin's theory of evolution and the guidance therefore suggests that students should be encouraged to explore religious explanations, such as creationism and intelligent design. They say such theories have no place in the science curriculum.
A bureau spokeswoman said the committee that drafted the guide had considered the views of stakeholders such as academics.
'The biology curriculum will be under constant review and evaluation in the light of classroom experiences, students' performance and the changing needs of students and society,' she said, adding that all suggestions were welcome.