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Books Censorship Science

South Korea Surrenders To Creationist Demands On Evolution Textbooks 640

Med-trump writes "A petition to remove references to evolution from high-school textbooks claimed victory in South Korea 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."
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South Korea Surrenders To Creationist Demands On Evolution Textbooks

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  • Not good... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sasayaki ( 1096761 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @10:02AM (#40218853)

    ... but it could be worse. At least it didn't "teach the controversy" by adding in Intelligent Design [s]lies[/s]alternatives, and just removed a few examples. It doesn't seem more than this.

    For now.

    My face: :(

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @10:05AM (#40218877)

    Yes, I agree. We also need to be teaching alternative views on heliocentrism, whether the Earth is flat, and if molemen are real.

  • The thing is... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @10:10AM (#40218953)

    the examples mentioned aren't accepted as valid science by evolutionists anymore either. Several items in the standard textbook 'horse' series are known to not be horses at all and archaeopteryx is known to be a full-fledged (pun intended) bird.

  • by Benfea ( 1365845 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @10:23AM (#40219077)
    Most creationists on this planet are Hindu or Muslim, which if you've noticed are mostly in places other than North America. Furthermore, South Korea has quite a few evangelicals (even if they are outnumbered by "none of the above" and Buddhists at the moment). Should be interesting to see how this plays out.
  • Re:Agreed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @10:25AM (#40219101)
    You've never heard of the wedge document [], have you? Many Christians believe that teaching evolution is responsible for everything bad in our society.
  • Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @10:45AM (#40219379)
    If they want that they should just walk across the f'ing border. Goddamn religious nuts.
  • Bigoted language (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mykos ( 1627575 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @11:01AM (#40219569)

    Silence is not the answer, says Dayk Jang. He is now organizing a group of experts, including evolutionary scientists and theologians who believe in evolution

    We're never going to get anywhere if even an article that supports science uses this kind of bigoted language. Do scientists "believe in" gravity? Do scientists "believe in" relativity?

  • Re:Dang (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sique ( 173459 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @11:02AM (#40219581) Homepage

    I know, it has. But "holes in the theory" was never a reason to dismiss it. It's not as if there was a better theory around the corner, we could use.

    For a long time it was believed that the landliving vertebrae always had five fingers and toes per hand, as today's vertebrae have at least in their embryonic phase, and there was a big hole in the theory of evolution because why exactly five? Today we know that the first landgoing vertebrae actually had more digits, they started out with eight, later we got seven, then six, and finally five. It seems that five digits is a local optimum for digits, as all subsequent vertebrae stayed with five - evolution slowly converged to it. So this hole was filled.

    And so it goes with every hole that one points at. We know the process of coagulation pretty well, and we can see right now how it has evolved: the basic mechanisms are controlled by more complicated mechanisms, whose in turn have another layer of control upon them. Each layer evolved because the lower layer was prone to (deadly) errors. We know that the flagellum of Escheria coli is based on 40 proteins, and if one is missing, it won't work. But if we look at all flagellae in all bacteria, only 23 of the proteins are shared between them. So at first, we have literally hundreds and thousands of different flagellum recipes out there, which strongly hints at a random process with lots of possible outcomes. And further we know that if we throw out some proteins, we get the Type III secretion system. So even an "incomplete" flagellum was an evolutionary advantage - another hole is filled.

    And so it goes - whatever hole you point at, it is already filled with some good research.

  • Simple solution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:48PM (#40222963) Homepage Journal

    I propose a simple solution for schools:

    Present three popular theories:

    1. Evolutionary theory
    2. Creation story from Genesis
    3. Pastafarian story of creation

    Since none can be proven with absolutely 100% certainty due to missing evidence, teach critical thinking and logic instead, and turn this into an exercise in debate, hand the students an unbiased guide (or really, a balanced guide with each section written by "experts" in each respective theory, giving each equal weight) containing empirical evidence of each of the three theories, then assign each debate team one of the three positions (whether or not the members of that team agree with the assigned position) and prepare arguments for and against each theory. I think that given evidence and proper training in critical thinking and logic, you are teaching students to examine the evidence, think the problem through and arrive at the correct conclusion, i.e., you are teaching people to think for themselves. I think this approach would make everyone happy - or at least any rational person should be satisfied. Tell the irrational fools who would get "offended" to STFU and deal with it. :-)

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