A NEO-CREATIONIST group has been accused of seeking to spread disinformation among children by calling for theories that deny evolution to be taught in science lessons.

The Centre for Intelligent Design (C4ID), based in Glasgow, claims evolution should be taught objectively.

But critics say creationist views should only be discussed in the context of religious education and are demanding guidance for teachers to ensure it does not happen in science classes.

The C4ID, which opened four years ago, expressed its views in response to a petition submitted to the Scottish Parliament by the Scottish Secular Society.

The petition, to be heard on November 11, calls for official guidance to be issued in schools barring the presentation of creationist and Young Earth doctrines as viable alternatives to the science of evolution.

It has been backed by three Nobel-winning British scientists - Sir Harold Kroto, Sir Richard Roberts and Sir John Sulston.

Alastair Noble, director of C4ID, said his organisation believed the petition was based on imposing a "particular world view".

He ­acknowledged the idea of teaching "for and against" evolution would be controversial, but claimed it was consistent with scientific method.

But Paul Braterman, an honorary senior research fellow in chemistry at Glasgow University and committee member of the British Centre for Science Education (BCSE), a campaign to keep religion out of science classes, said C4ID was using "tired" arguments that were "merely a stalking horse for creationism".

Spencer Fildes, chairman of the Scottish Secular Society, said its concerns were about protecting science. "If you are in religious and moral education, then by all means you can philosophise about this," he said. "Students and children are welcome to discuss it, as long as it is contextual.

"Unfortunately, this does not happen, hence the reason why we have raised the petition."