Why is South Korea taking evolution out of textbooks?

I was initially puzzled when I read from PZ that South Korea is taking evolution out of its textbooks. Sure there are some pretty hardcore Christians here, but on the whole my impression of South Korea has been of a pretty secular country.

For example: when I was talking to my co-workers about Korean weddings one day, I was surprised to learn that weddings here are normally a purely secular affair, without even a Buddhist or Confucian element, and they happen not in churches or temples but in “wedding halls” that do nothing but have weddings. They, on the other hand, were surprised to learn that the default place for weddings in America is churches. Where do people who aren’t religious have weddings? they asked. (Answer: a variety of places, but there’s no standard answer because secular weddings are still somewhat unusual.)

Anyway, following the link, it turns out that the explanation for what happened with evolution was the result of a campaign by Christian groups against textbook publishers. That actually seems believable to me. Korea on the whole may be a secular country, so the government itself is unlikely to adopt anti-evolution education policies, but I’ve gotten the impression that the Christian groups here are kinda crazy and I can see organizations on the scale of textbook publishers being influenced by them.


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