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Science Wins Over Creationism In South Korea 302

Posted by Soulskill
from the bribed-with-vespene-gas dept.
ananyo writes "South Korea's government has urged textbook publishers to ignore calls to remove two examples of evolution from high-school textbooks. The move marks a change of heart for the government, which had earlier forwarded a petition from the 'Society for Textbook Revise' to publishers and told them to make their own minds up about the demands. The petition called for details about the evolution of the horse and of the avian ancestor Archaeopteryx to be removed from the books. In May, news emerged that publishers were planning to drop the offending sections, sparking outrage among some scientists. The resulting furor prompted the government to set up an 11-member panel, led by the Korean Academy of Science and Technology. On 5 September, the panel concluded that Archaeopteryx must be included in Korean science textbooks. And, while accepting that the textbooks' explanation of the evolution of the horse was too simplistic, the panel said the entry should be revised rather than removed or replaced with a different example, such as the evolution of whales."
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Science Wins Over Creationism In South Korea

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  • Re:don't you know? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2012 @09:06AM (#41259049)
    Wow, I'd like the US to resemble your comments. But here, it seems that organized religion keeps trying to worm its way more and more into the government. You can't get elected to any national office unless you are religious (this is not a rule, but many surveys even reported here on slashdot show that a majority of people don't trust, and won't vote for, atheists). I'd love to see theism die out, but in the US it is hardly on its last legs. It seems poised to keep on destroying lives and practicing exclusionism in the name of rules supposedly handed down by an invisible friend.
  • by jonfr (888673) on Friday September 07, 2012 @09:14AM (#41259121) Homepage

    Why on Earth is this even an issue ? It is clearly that creationism is nothing but religious fundamentalism Taliban style. I have grown tiered of people are undermining society, democracy , technical progress and science with there own stupidity and religious fundamentalism. This is an non-issue. The creationisms are wrong. Have always been wrong. All there arguments are lies and always will be that.

    This people are best put silent by telling to shut the fuck up! Preferably forever.

    I know that I am going to flamed for this by religious fundamentalists that lurk slashdot for this type of comments and articles. But I do not care. As I know that I am right and they are wrong.

  • Re:Science is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday September 07, 2012 @09:28AM (#41259239)

    Science is man's description of God's creation.

    God is men's description of their own ignorance.

  • Re:don't you know? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grizzley9 (1407005) on Friday September 07, 2012 @09:31AM (#41259263)

    You can't get elected to any national office unless you are religious (this is not a rule, but many surveys even reported here on slashdot show that a majority of people don't trust, and won't vote for, atheists).

    You don't have to be religious, you just can't be overtly anti-religious and need to be respectful. That's where many get blowback from, including here.

  • Re:Christianity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JDG1980 (2438906) on Friday September 07, 2012 @09:37AM (#41259321)

    According to the Wikipedia page, Christianity came to South Korea in the 17th century. When the more obnoxious form of modern fundamentalist Christianity arrived, with anti-science creationism, I'm not sure. Or maybe that statement is a bit ridiculous, since anti-science creationism is part of the original philosophy. Does anyone have any insight into the history of this form of evangelical Christianity?

    I don't know about the history of Christianity specifically in Korea, but I do know that even the term "fundamentalism" as applied to Christianity didn't exist until the early 20th century. (It's derived from The Fundamentals, a series of conservative Christian essays published between 1910 and 1915.) For most of Christian history, the Bible was interpreted metaphorically in areas where a literal interpretation would lead to absurd results. Even St. Augustine, a highly conservative Christian writing in the 4th-5th century, said that Christians should not hold up the faith to ridicule by insisting on a literal interpretation of the Bible: "Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn."

    Fundamentalism is not a pre-modern ideology, but a specific reaction to modernity. The same is true of Islamic Wahabbism, which is akin to Christian Fundamentalism in many ways. They think they are "that old time religion" but they are actually nothing of the sort. A medieval Christian or Muslim would have found these ideologies both repulsive and unrecognizable.

  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday September 07, 2012 @09:47AM (#41259433)

    The good thing about God is he exists whether or not you believe in him.

    Here's wondering how many other societies thought the same about their own imaginary divinities, who you dismiss as superstitions.

  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday September 07, 2012 @10:09AM (#41259711)

    How so? The age of the universe was 13.7 billion years in 2006, now its 14.6 billion years old.
    According to science, the universe has aged 900 million years in just six years.

    Details of your statement aside, you have inadvertently alighted on the fundamental difference between science and religion: when new evidence comes in, science is obligated to change their theories to account for it, whereas religion is obligated to deny the evidence in order to preserve their beliefs.

  • by andy16666 (1592393) on Friday September 07, 2012 @10:11AM (#41259731)
    You know what's funny, is that human design does bear a stronger resemblance to evolution than to the top to bottom all at once intelligent design proposed by ID. Especially when that design is the result of years of experimental products involving the market as a selection force. Ideas of course would be the genetic material.

    Like it or not, there is not a single high tech product on the market that could be designed from top to bottom by a single man in effective isolation. Most (and usually almost all) of the functionality and design in even the most (apparently) original products is simply inherited from earlier generations of products, even if it's combined in an somewhat novel way on occasion.
  • Re:don't you know? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday September 07, 2012 @10:31AM (#41259985) Homepage Journal

    It is fun to watch evolution in action. I.D. and Creationism are dying out by generation

    Not a chance. I don't know if you're an American or live in the States, but my wife and I were camping in Southern Indiana last weekend, and we saw several billboards and signs in front of churches that mentioned Darwin.

    Now that the religious Right thinks they have a lock on this country, their efforts to drag science behind their truck and then burn its corpse are only going to get more fervent.

    I keep wavering between dreading a civil war and hoping for one, because they're making anything like progress in this country a lot harder. Sometimes I wish Mexico started at the Mason-Dixon line and Missouri could just be turned into a reservation for what I refer to as the "American Civil Religion" (because it doesn't have anything to do with Christianity). It's not about Christ or any part of the New Testament, it's just about showin' them egghead scientists what-fer and tellin' fags to die and women to shut up and go get me a beer.

  • Re:don't you know? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by babblefrog (1013127) on Friday September 07, 2012 @10:55AM (#41260169)
    Another "god of the gaps" argument. We don't know how it happened, so god must have done it!
  • by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <sorceror171&gmail,com> on Friday September 07, 2012 @11:06AM (#41260277) Homepage
    Look, Newton's Laws of motion didn't explain "where the First Motion came from" but people didn't claim that meant that Newton's Laws were wrong. In Christianity, the doctrine of Original Sin doesn't explain where God came from, does that mean Christianity is therefore wrong?

    Abiogenesis is definitely an unsolved problem - so far. So what? The question of how life got started is logically distinct from how it developed after that start. And evolution addresses that question comprehensively. (Even in the case of the putative examples of 'irreducible complexity' that ID'ers have advanced - e.g. the bacterial flagellum [talkdesign.org], the clotting cascade [pandasthumb.org], or the vertebrate immune system [talkorigins.org].)

    (Oh, and progress is actually being made on the abiogenesis front anyway [discovermagazine.com].)

  • by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <sorceror171&gmail,com> on Friday September 07, 2012 @11:30AM (#41260613) Homepage

    The truth is, there are holes in the evolutionary theory.

    There are 'holes' in General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, too. (They make conflicting predictions in conditions we can't yet test, so at least one and probably both are wrong.) But we still teach them in schools, because they are the best theories we have and they cover such a huge range of phenomena with such precision that, whatever the truth turns out to be, it'll still look a hell of a lot like GR and QM.

    As Isaac Asimov put it [tufts.edu], "[W]hen people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was [perfectly] spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."

    Newton's Laws are wrong, yes... but they are so close to right we still use them every day, and teach them in schools. Hell, NASA still uses plain old Newtonian physics to pilot their space probes, with just a few occasional relativistic fudge factors, because a full GR treatment would be prohibitively complex and add no useful accuracy.

    It's the same with evolution. We know that all life is related by common descent, and that life has changed drastically over the course of 3.5 billion years, and that complex structures were built by numerous small tweaks well within the realm of chance [talkorigins.org]. Natural selection has been demonstrated now and over the fossil record.

    Evolution is true [amazon.com]. Will there be further clarifications and refinements? Sure. But they won't upend evolution any more than GR and QM could possibly be 'overturned'.

  • Re:don't you know? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2012 @12:09PM (#41261135)

    No, if asked what your religious beliefs are, you may not answer "atheist". Voters won't elect anyone that admits they're an atheist. They don't trust them, because they assume they have no moral code.

    Which is funny, since they're the only honest ones in the room.

Wernher von Braun settled for a V-2 when he coulda had a V-8.