In his public lecture, Professor Ruse, Florida State University, will argue that Intelligent Design and creationism are closely allied belief systems and that their theories have no basis in science. And yet, the state of Kansas has decreed that Intelligent Design theory can be taught in their science classes and the teaching of Darwin's theory of evolution has been banned from many schools across America.
Professor Ruse said: "I think creationism is a part of a bigger movement to a conservative evangelical Christianity world view -- I don't think we evolutionists have been as responsive as we should have been."
But, Professor Ruse is sure that the evolutionists are right - because the scientific evidence is "overwhelming". Professor Ruse said: "Creationism is not science; it is protestant Christianity of an American variety being tarted up to look like science."
He added: "There is massive evidence of natural selection leading to evolution. Today if you have an infection you need massive amounts of penicillin compared to that needed in the 1940s. The simple reason is that the bugs you are fighting have evolved."
Commenting on whether this turn towards the Intelligent Design world view could hit the UK too, Professor Ruse (whose book The Evolution-Creation Struggle was published in June by Harvard University Press) said: "Well it could do, but generally in Britain people do not care about religion in the way that Americans do -- that is what makes Tony Blair such an anomaly -- one generally does not get public figures who wear their religion on
Contact: Alex Brew
University College London