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.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    So far, I se no reference to which group, specifically, is organizing this campaign. Is there a Moonie front group involved, perhaps?

  • Simone

    This is terrible.

  • Zinc Avenger

    And to think I thought the US falling behind in science research compared to the rest of the world would cause a re-evaluation of wingnut policies.

    Instead US wingnuts will drag the world down with them into their Dark Ages hellhole.

    • Emptyell

      Maybe it’ll be like smoking. As we rid ourselves of the habit it will flee to unprotected populations. If we can do the same with obesity it could be like guns, germs and steel all over again.

  • Tâlib Alttaawiil

    korazy korean koristians…

  • Blue Duck

    In South Korea there is a huge megachurch headed by a preacher named Paul Yongi Cho. He’s a dominionst fruit-loop and connected to American dominionists. I wouldn’t be surprised if this comes from Cho and his friends in SK and the states.

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  • davidcortesi

    This story it turns out, is considerably overblown. For a more complete picture, see this helpful blog post: http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2012/07/no-evolution-in-korea.html.

    Pay close attention to what actually happened here. What got dropped was two diagrams and the accompanying texts about evolution that were scientifically incorrect — not the theory of evolution…

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