South Korean Creationists Repelled

You may recall our post from a few months ago: South Korea: A Creationist Nation. Nature had reported that:

A petition to remove references to evolution from high-school textbooks claimed victory last month after the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) revealed that many of the publishers would produce revised editions that exclude examples of the evolution of the horse or of avian ancestor Archaeopteryx. The move has alarmed biologists, who say that they were not consulted.

Now it appears that the situation has changed. Today Nature reports: Science wins over creationism in South Korea. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

South Korea’s government has urged textbook publishers to ignore calls to remove two examples of evolution from high-school textbooks. The move follows a campaign earlier this year by the Society for Textbook Revise (STR) … .

We reported about that campaign in our earlier post, but we never did know who STR — the oddly named Society for Textbook Revise — really were. Let’s read on:

The STR, an offshoot of the Korea Association for Creation Research, says that students should learn “various” theories about the development of life on Earth. It argued that the textbooks used flawed examples of evolution that are under debate by evolutionary scientists.

Ah, creation research. Everything is falling into place. We continue:

The resulting furore led the government to set up an 11-member panel, led by the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST) and including five experts on evolution and fossils, to oversee science-textbook revisions [link to a Nature article about that].

Nice to know that a furore resulted. Here’s more:

On 5 September, the panel concluded that Archaeopteryx must be included in Korean science textbooks, and it reaffirmed that the theory of evolution is an essential part of modern science that all students must learn in school.

Reason prevails. That’s good news. Hey — this is amusing:

The STR responded to the news by claiming that the government showed bias in excluding STR members from the expert panel, and says that it will keep fighting for “better” science textbooks.

There’s more to the article, but you’ve got the essence of it already. Too bad the madness has spread to South Korea. But for the moment it seems to be under control.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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5 responses to “South Korean Creationists Repelled

  1. retiredsciguy

    South Korea has a solution close at hand — they can send STR and all of the Korea Association for Creation Research to North Korea. They should get along well there.

  2. Gosh, I can’t imagine why they didn’t include any creationists on their panel of experts?

  3. South Korea has a rather strong, if unusual, Christian presence so this is rather unsurprising. As Christianity becomes more tribal, more about, “Believe these things or you’re not one of the cool kids,” than, “God damn it, babies, you gotta be kind,” I expect we’ll see more of this.

  4. Jim is correct. Christian missionaries have been very successful there and I’ll wager that STR is an organization with religious backing. Just like here.
    In fact, does science have any other detractors than religion, namely Christianity (and maybe Islam)? This question isn’t rhetorical, I’m really asking.

  5. Face it guys. Religion is like any other business. Grow or fail. If you do not continue to attempt to spread your religion it will shrink. Shrinking religions do not attract the best con men (excuse me, preachers). All a Darwinian struggle for dominance. How ironic.