By Ian Dunt
Twenty-six of the UK's top scientists have written to the government demanding that evolution be specifically included in the primary curriculum.
The letter was organised after key reforms to the primary curriculum, which included evolution for the first time, were dropped just before the election.
"It was with huge disappointment that we saw those reforms lost," said Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association (BHA).
"The teaching of science equips young people with the skills they need to understand the world around them in a critical way, and opens up the natural environment for inquiry.
"As increasing numbers of schools such as the new Academies will no longer have to follow the national curriculum, it is imperative that there is a firm basis for teaching evolution and natural selection, not least in light of the threat of creationism in science lessons in some schools."
Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins is a signatory to the open letter, together with science education experts James Williams and Revd Professor Michael Reiss.