Christian Creationists Force South Korean Science Textbook Publishers to Remove Evolution References
Bowing to pressure from a Christian creationist group, some of South Korea’s leading textbook publishers have removed references to the scientific theory of evolution from science books used to educate the nation’s students.
Three of the nation’s seven major science textbook publishers have announced that they will remove or revise information regarding the evolution of horses, and six of the seven removed or altered chapters dealing with the evolution of birds.
Petitions circulated by the Society for Textbook Revision (STR) in December and March with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology highlighted an STR campaign with the stated goal of scrubbing the “error” of evolution, the prevailing scientific theory on the origin and development of life on earth, from textbooks and “correcting” students’ scientific world views.
According to Nature, alarmed biologists say they were not consulted on the changes.
“The Ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge,” Dayk Jang, an evolutionary scientist at Seoul National University, told the journal.
Nature also reports that STR has its sights set on expunging human evolution from textbooks.
STR is an offshoot of the Korea Association for Creation Research (KACR), which promotes so-called ‘creation science,’ a pseudo-scientific field that believes in the Judeo-Christian creation mythology of the biblical Book of Genesis.
Unlike evolution, which is based on dateable fossil evidence, the geographical and spatial distribution of the earth’s physical features, homologies and evidence by example, there is absolutely no scientific evidence supporting creation mythology.
STR president Lee Gwang-won claims his organization is rooted in “academic research.”
“We are an academic research society that aims to delete the errors [relating to] evolution, which is an unconfirmed theory,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “It is important to revise the textbooks and teach the students that evolution is just one of the theories, as it affects how students form their view of the world. “
While it is true that evolution is “just” a theory, so is gravity. And while evolution is accepted by the vast majority of the world’s biologists as the best scientific model explaining the origin and development of life on earth, very few serious academics accept the creationist viewpoint as scientifically valid, because even scientists who may believe in a supreme being or universal force realize that there is no evidence to support creation mythology.
South Korea’s evolutionary biologists are seething at the textbook revisions.
“It is hard to believe that such a one-sided petition was easily accepted like this,” Choe Jae-cheon, a scientist at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, told the Los Angeles Times. “The education ministry included ‘science and technology’ in their name, but it is not paying enough attention to the importance of rightful science education.”
But in South Korea, a country where Christianity has made great inroads, many people believe in creationism. A 2009 survey found that nearly a third of respondents did not accept evolution. Of those, 39% said they refuted evolution science because it did not jibe with their personal religious beliefs and, tellingly, 17% said that they did not understand the theory. Forty-one percent said there was insufficient scientific evidence to support evolution.
In the United States, fully 46% of respondents to a recent Gallup poll said they believed that God created modern humans sometime within the last 10,000 years. This blatantly erroneous creationist view is easily disproven; humans were already developing agriculture, bladed tools, houses, temples, granaries, decorated pottery and statues by 10,000 years ago. Potatoes and beans were being grown in South America. Millet and rice were cultivated in East Asia. Wheat, barley, sheep, goats, and pigs were found in Aegean Greece. Ancient Mexicans were constructing burial mounds and crafting pottery. Bible-believers should know that Jericho was a thriving city by that time, proving that humans had developed to the point of relatively advanced urban civilization.
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