A Christian MSP has insisted that science cannot disprove that world created in six days.

The SNP's John Mason has lodged a formal motion in Holyrood urging what he sees as respect for religious beliefs in schools.

His plea - as yet unsigned by any other member - comes after one of Scotland's biggest councils, South Lanarkshire, effectively moved to bar creationism from its classrooms.

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Mr Mason dislikes the term creationism but passionately believes God created the world - although he does not know how long this process took.

His motion reads: "The Parliament...understands that some people believe that God created the world in six days, some people believe that God created the world over a longer period of time and some people believe that the world came about without anyone creating it.

"The Parliament... considers that none of these positions can be proved or disproved by science and all are valid beliefs for people to hold, and further considers that children in Scotland's schools should be aware of all of these different belief systems."

Scottish scientist James Hutton, the father of modern geology, disproved that the world could have been created in six days in the late 18th century.

His revolutionary study of Scottish rocks showed geological processes had taken too long for the Bible to be accurate.

Mr Mason, speaking to The Herald, said: "I also believe that Jesus could turn water in to wine; even if a scientific study of that wine showed that it was years old.

"These are the beliefs of Christians, Muslims and Jews and as far as I am concerned they cannot be proved or disproved by science."

Spencer Fildes, chairman of the Scottish Secular Society, said: "I welcome Mr Mason's motion.

"We wanted the Creationism issue in front of every MSP. We now have that."

Mr Mason said his motion was a response to one from his party colleague Stewart Maxwell, congratulating South Lanarkshire on its stance.

The council had been at the centre of a row over what is called "young earth creationism" at a non-denominational school in East Kilbride by an American sect that rejects evolution and condemns gay relationships.

Many parents only realised their children were being exposed to the evangelical group's agenda when pupils took home young earth creationist books they had been handed at assembly which showed mankind living alongside dinosaurs.

Mr Maxwell's motion read that the parliament "believes that creationism should not be presented as a scientific theory and viable alternative to the established theory of evolution". It also congratulated South Lanarkshire.