South Korea May Put Examples of Evolution Back Into Science Textbooks

Remember that scary news story about South Korea removing two examples of evolution from their high school textbooks?

The changes were being proposed by the Society for Textbook Revision, an offshoot of the Korean Association for Creation Research.

It’s no secret that Creationism and the theory of Intelligent Design are popular all over the world. However, in South Korea, these ideas have been pushed more publicly than in other countries. According to Time magazine, the KACR sponsored an incredibly popular Creation exhibit in 2008 at Seoul Land, an amusement park in the country. Also, the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has a Creation exhibit on campus. So, these proposed textbook revisions were not as out-of-left-field as they may have been somewhere else. That, however, doesn’t make them less scary or flat out wrong.

Thankfully, the South Korean government’s education ministry recently announced that it would be “seeking expert opinions” on the issue from the Korean Academy and the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies. One evolutionary biologist is excited about this prospect to re-revise the books.

Now, “I think we have room to fix the situation,” [evolutionary scientist Dayk] Jang says. He believes that scientists may even be able to persuade officials to replace the Archaeopteryx and horse examples with more compelling examples of evolution, and rework textbooks to be more engaging for students.

“We’ve been making good progress,” [evolutionary biologist Jae] Choe adds. “After all this hoopla, it looks as if South Korea will not ‘surrender’ to creationist demands.”

Congratulation to South Korea for coming to your senses and trying to push the Bible back out of Science classrooms. Now, it’s up to the government to approve what the (real) scientific experts say.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About sarahh

I'm a 16 year old high school sophomore, raised in an atheist family, and now living in a predominately Christian rural area.

  • http://twitter.com/micketymoc Mike Aquino

    Tempest in a teapot. I’m an atheist too, but I hate it when we get up in arms about something that isn’t actually what it seems. You could at least be bothered to read up on what actually happened. From http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2012/07/no-evolution-in-korea.html

    “The [creationist] claim was not that the diagrams were against creationism. The claim was that the diagrams were scientifically incorrect. And you know what? Technically, they were right! [Explanation of inaccuracy follows]”

    “What got dropped was two diagrams and the accompanying texts about
    evolution that were scientifically incorrect — not the theory of
    evolution. It is not possible for the textbook publishers to drop
    the discussion about the theory of evolution, because that would violate
    [Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology] guidelines.”

    • Dan

      While your link was interesting, it doesn’t really undermine the point of the origional Nature article, which is that examples of evolution were totally removed (not updated to be more accurate) because of the direct lobbying of creationists. The textbook publishers didn’t realize that those figures where too simplistic and needed to be changed, they got rid of them all together, which was a major victory for creationists, because it makes it look like the evolution of modern horses and birds is not supported by evidence. Creationists were also lobbying for the discussion of finch beaks and human evolution to be removed, so all this deserved bad publicity should stop that, and actually lead to real scientists making the evidence for evolution even clearer in textbooks.

  • Uzza

    This’s a good article.

  • B_R_Deadite99

    Hooray for Korea! Now the we won’t have to see both north AND south stumble through self-imposed Dark Ages.


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