But there is an alternative. To good teachers, Reiss’s discussion and the Royal Society’s explanation should be the same thing.
Imagine a pupil were to say: “I believe the world was created in seven days because God tells me so.”
A teacher should reply: “But God hasn’t told me that. Can you point me to some other evidence, something we can both see or hear together? Or, failing that, can you think of somewhere we might look in order to find such evidence?”
In doing so, a good teacher would bring out what science means. Science is not merely a body of knowledge - Ohm’s law, natural selection and so on. It is a way for people to pursue if not the big-T truth then at least inter-subjective agreement and more knowledge. And they do so by gathering and investigating evidence. And the difference between evidence and the word of God is not so much that one exists and the other does not, but that evidence is available to everyone - if it is available at all - whilst the word of God is merely private knowledge.
Science is - and this is where its enormous cultural value lies - a means of enquiry, a structured discussion, a search for ways to convince others according to certain (loose!) rules. An appeal to the word of God is like handling the ball in football - it’s against the rules of the game. Of course, there might be other games in which this is allowed. But then the science teacher should show why science’s rules make for a good game.
And herein lies the really depressing aspect of the Royal Society affair. It suggests this point is being forgotten. Some scientists seem to do a bad job of defending science.
See also this, this, and this.