In South Korea, a growing anti-evolution movement has successfully laid claim to young students’ minds—or, at least, their textbooks. The country’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) announced last month that many South Korean textbook publishers will begin producing revised editions that will for the first time exclude discussions and examples of evolution. Biologists in Seoul are alarmed by the move, noting that scientists were not consulted by the ministry in this decision, reports the journal Nature.
The controversy should be familiar to Americans, who in recent years have watched several states spar over the constitutionality of teaching alternative theories in public schools. But while Americans have seen the theory of intelligent design make inroads against Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, South Korea’s latest changes are unabashedly rooted in the Book of Genesis. …
About a third of South Koreans surveyed in 2009 for a documentary titled The Era of God and Darwin said that they did not believe in evolution, a figure consistent with the global average, according to one Ipsos/Reuters poll. Yet efforts to institutionalize “creation science” seem to be more successful in South Korea than in the U.S., which maintains a higher proportion of evolutionary skeptics.
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