Creationists Score a Major Victory in South Korea

Because we all know science is decided by who complains the loudest, a band of Creationists has scored a major victory by getting many textbook publishers in South Korea to “produce revised editions that exclude examples of the evolution of the horse or of avian ancestor Archaeopteryx.”

More simply, they saying, “Look! Scientists argue about the lineage of this creature! Therefore, evolution is in doubt!”

The [Committee to Revise Evolution In Textbooks] is also campaigning to remove content about “the evolution of humans” and “the adaptation of finch beaks based on habitat and mode of sustenance”, a reference to one of the most famous observations in Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. To back its campaign, the group highlights recent discoveries that Archaeopteryx is one of many feathered dinosaurs, and not necessarily an ancestor of all birds. Exploiting such debates over the lineage of species “is a typical strategy of creation scientists to attack the teaching of evolution itself”, says Joonghwan Jeon, an evolutionary psychologist at Kyung Hee University in Yongin.

The National Center for Science Education isn’t surprised by the move — acceptance of evolution in the country is relatively low compared to other countries… (excluding the U.S., because we’re full of science denialists)

Support for creationism in South Korea is high: in The Creationists…, Ronald L. Numbers described the country as “the creationist powerhouse” in Asia. And acceptance of evolution is comparatively low: 64% of South Koreans agreed with “human beings are developed from earlier species of animals” in 2002, as compared to 44% of respondents in the United States in 2004, 70% of respondents in China in 2001, and 78% of respondents in Japan in 2001.

(Thanks to Chris for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Lee Miller

    In South Korea they also believe that you can die from sleeping with an electric fan on in the room.  (Google “Korean fan death”).  So it all seems very congruent.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cburschka Christoph Burschka

      Huh. There probably aren’t many ridiculous superstitions that actually save power. I wonder if that belief could be imported to the US. And maybe make something up about how driving big cars causes cancer, and Jesus wants you to stop wasting fuel.

      Since facts don’t seem to matter, and the religious mind accepts sensational and simplistic claims more readily than it does complicated scientific evidence, it is tempting to just give in on the climate change thing and move it to their level.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, orphan

    there is much about Korean culture which is mind boggling. i had several friends in grad school from Korea, and the stories they would tell. my fav: disowning a son because he married… a hindu. my dad got disowned for marrying a black woman (he’s white) and it’s sadly funny to realize that there are equally stupid people from other cultures who do the same sort of things for all the wrong reasons. 

    it’s also all our fault. americans are the ones who brought this sort of bullshit to korea during the conflict there (not that xtianity was unknown, but this country is the one to make it a political and social force there).

  • Stev84

    I have no doubt that this kind of Creationism there was imported from America

  • scinquiry

    This will be causing even more raucous amongst creationists:

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/06/an-asian-origin-for-human-ancest.html

  • Nick

    Not too surprising, given how religious South Koreans are.

  • Sandra Duffy

    I’m just wondering if commentators actually read that post properly. 64% of South Koreans accept that humans evolved from earlier species of animals versus 44% of Americans – and yet you guys are sneering at the South Koreans?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UQXKDUJBWA4A32OIRALJ4N2XRA Gendora

    Was Darwin an Athiest or Agnostic? I mean, I don’t know who made the big bang, maybe it was a superbeing…


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