A long-running saga over whether fresh action was required to stop young earth creationism being taught in Scottish science lessons has been resolved with some common sense - at least for now.

Last year, the Scottish Secularist Society (SSS) urged ministers to introduce official guidance to bar the "presentation" of young earth doctrines as viable alternatives to the established science of evolution in the classroom.

The SSS lodged the petition after claiming schools were being subjected to an "attack" on established scientific theories from imported US doctrines known as creation science and intelligent design.

For the record, creationists believes the story of Genesis to be literal fact, including the idea the earth was created in seven days. To account for fossils, creationists claim dinosaurs shared the earth with humankind.

The petition sparked a great deal of angst over whether young earth creationism was a genuine threat to school science lessons and, if so, how best to deal with it.

Eventually, the petition ended up before the Scottish Parliament's education committee and, after hearing all the arguments, they decided to close the petition without the introduction of new guidance.

Instead, MSPs said schools should abide by a long-held tradition in Scottish education of relying on the professionalism of teachers, the curriculum and the inspection regime to ensure such theories were not taught as scientific fact.

The decision followed a letter to the committee from Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, in response to a number of questions from MSPs about existing safeguards.

He stressed it was preferable to leave the curriculum to teachers and "enable them to exercise their professional judgement.... rather than legislate to ban issues like creationism in specific areas".

Crucially, Mr Allan pointed out that no curriculum materials identified creationism as a scientific principle and that, therefore, it "should not be taught" as part of science lessons - making further guidance unnecessary.

Interestingly, this conclusion was treated as a victory by both sides of what has become a highly polarised debate - even though it is hard to find anyone who actually supports the teaching of young earth creationism in science lessons.

Describing the petition as an "extraordinary waste of time", Rev David Robertson, the next moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, said the position of the Scottish Government and teaching unions was that "we don't need politicians telling teachers what they should teach".

The SSS also claimed victory, with Professor Paul Braterman, the organisation's scientific advisor, saying: "Now we have, at last, a clear statement from the responsible minister that creationism should not be taught as science."

There was also a stark warning from SSS chairman Spencer Fildes that the issue may resurface at a school near you soon. "If recent submissions by our members are anything to go by, the next one is just around the corner," he said.

With the renewed scrutiny sparked by the petition, the clear ministerial statement and ongoing the professionalism of teachers we can only hope that is not the case.