Monday, November 26, 2012

[tt] Time: South Korean Textbooks Reject Evolution

South Korean Textbooks Reject Evolution

By Catherine Traywick
June 12, 2012

In South Korea, a growing antievolution movement has successfully
laid claim to young students' minds--or, at least, their
textbooks. The country's Ministry of Education, Science and
Technology 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.

For instance, the country's leading science institute, the Korea
Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, has a creationism
display on its campus. And in 2008, the Korea Association of
Creation Research (KACR) sponsored a very successful exhibition on
creationism at Seoul Land, a popular amusement park. KACR claims
that the exhibition attracted more than 116,000 visitors in just a
few months and that the park is now considering extending the
program for up to a year.

About a third of South Koreans surveyed in 2009 for a documentary
titled The Era of God and Darwin said they did not believe in
evolution, a figure consistent with the global average, according to
an 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.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil all outrank
South Korea in percentage of the population that believes in
creationism, according to the Ipsos/Reuters poll. Conversely,
Sweden, Germany, China, Belgium and Japan boast the highest
proportion of evolutionists.
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