• Creationist textbook culls Loch Ness Monster from lessons
• Mythical monster was cited to disprove theory of evolution
New editions of a Christian biology textbook will no longer contain the contentious idea that the beast may have been a real living creature.
Writers of the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) biology textbooks had once taught that the existence of the Loch Ness monster disproved Darwin’s theory of evolution.
But the educators have now dropped the creature from their teachings.
Creationism is a religious position that largely believes the universe was created by a supernatural being.
It focuses heavily on evolution and many of its followers reject the notion of a scientific explanation to the creation of life.
It is estimated that around 2,000 students in the UK are taught creationism in private schools or through home schooling.
The previous edition of the schoolbook said: “Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ in Scotland?”
It continued: “‘Nessie’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.”
It was also claimed that a Japanese whaling boat once caught a dinosaur.
In the latest edition, both of these claims have been removed.
Jonny Scaramanga, from Bath, went through the ACE programme as a child but now campaigns against Christian fundamentalism.
He said: “In the new editions they’ve replaced Nessie with talk of folktales from China and Ireland... They still want to prove that dinosaurs and humans existed at the same time.”
Arthur Roderick, founding director of Christian Education Europe part of the ACE, said: “As with any textbooks... curriculum is subject to revision and change.”