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Science Wins Over Creationism In South Korea 302

Posted by Soulskill
from the bribed-with-vespene-gas dept.
ananyo writes "South Korea's government has urged textbook publishers to ignore calls to remove two examples of evolution from high-school textbooks. The move marks a change of heart for the government, which had earlier forwarded a petition from the 'Society for Textbook Revise' to publishers and told them to make their own minds up about the demands. The petition called for details about the evolution of the horse and of the avian ancestor Archaeopteryx to be removed from the books. In May, news emerged that publishers were planning to drop the offending sections, sparking outrage among some scientists. The resulting furor prompted the government to set up an 11-member panel, led by the Korean Academy of Science and Technology. On 5 September, the panel concluded that Archaeopteryx must be included in Korean science textbooks. And, while accepting that the textbooks' explanation of the evolution of the horse was too simplistic, the panel said the entry should be revised rather than removed or replaced with a different example, such as the evolution of whales."
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Science Wins Over Creationism In South Korea

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  • by FreonTrip (694097) <<freontrip> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday September 07, 2012 @09:46AM (#41259421)
    Turtles, heretic! It's turtles all the way down!
  • by Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) on Friday September 07, 2012 @09:56AM (#41259515)

    The people of the day had no idea we live on a globe.

    Unless your "day" means before 6th century before the alleged Jesus was born/killed, you're wrong. [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Christianity (Score:5, Informative)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday September 07, 2012 @10:02AM (#41259607)

    It was a Catholic priest, Georges Lemaître, that most pushed for the big ban theory, which was advanced science in that day. It was the atheists that were anti-science then, with their now-debunked "Static" theory.

    Actually, until 80-90 years ago no one knew that there was anything in the universe beyond our galaxy. (Hubble was the first to show the distances to objects outside our galaxy, before he showed that they were receding; Einstein's "big mistake" was made before we understood the basic nature of the universe.) Lemaître was the first to grok the implications of of an expanding universe. Religionists like to claim that scientists booed him down as a creationist, but the only scientist I have found that did that was Hoyle, who I suspect was just slinging mud in hope of defending his pet continuous-creation theory. (Which, IIRC, he was still clinging to 20 years after the big bang was obvious to everyone else.)

  • by firex726 (1188453) on Friday September 07, 2012 @10:08AM (#41259683)

    Many secular parents have an issue with that.

    Homeschooling textbooks cater to the religious crowd so much, that secular parents basically cannot even touch the science books as they will be filled with so much nonsense.

  • Re:don't you know? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2012 @10:10AM (#41259713)

    It is not trying to worm itself into government. It is what the US was based off of. Go look at just about ever building built back when the country was founded and you will see written in the stones and the paintings on the walls that religion influenced Our government. The capitol in D.C. used to hold church services.

  • by jonfr (888673) on Friday September 07, 2012 @10:11AM (#41259715) Homepage

    >You answered your own question, they use the same statement.

    No. They don't use the same statement. Creationism uses false arguments (known as lies) to back up there "claims" on the world. Not an mountain of data is going to convince them about them being wrong on this. Since truth is something they do not care about at all. If it did. Creationism would not exist at all.

  • Re:don't you know? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nadaka (224565) on Friday September 07, 2012 @10:15AM (#41259787)

    Not really, failure to bow before god will lose you an election in most of the country unless your opponent chooses to not publicly attack you on the topic for some reason.

  • by andy16666 (1592393) on Friday September 07, 2012 @10:54AM (#41260153)
    What people mockingly call "devolution" is evolution. You can even cite examples of traits which wither away because they are no longer advantageous for genetic selection. There's no need to cover it as a separate topic. The loss of a trait or ability can be and often is advantageous as most require energy to maintain. (Our large brain is a huge disadvantage when food is scarce.)

    There's also the myth that evolution has an overall direction, for example from single celled life to humans. While humans might take longer to evolve and might seem more advanced to us, we share the world and even our bodies with billions of single celled organisms which are doing just fine. They have been evolving for just as long as we have, and in that sense are just as evolved.
  • by Koreantoast (527520) on Friday September 07, 2012 @11:23AM (#41260509)
    I think it's worth reposting this:

    No Evolution in Korea?

    "What STR did manage to pull off with three textbook publishers was this: STR convinced those publishers that two diagrams in their books -- one about the evolution of horses, and the other about archeopteryx -- and the text accompanying them were scientifically incorrect. Notice the claim here: the 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! The diagram above showing the evolution of horses is horribly outdated, and the pictures no longer comport with the current scientific consensus. The text accompanying archeopteryx said archeopteryx is the middle step between dinosaurs and birds, which is also technically incorrect -- archeopteryx is considered a close relative to the true ancestral birds, not itself a true ancestral bird. So the three textbook companies decided that they would drop the two diagrams in the next edition of their textbooks."

    "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. It is not possible for the textbook publishers to drop the discussion about the theory of evolution, because that would violate MEST guidelines. Further, not even the decision to drop the two diagrams was final, because MEST still had to approve the new textbooks that the publishers proposed to make."

    "But of course, STR nutcases thought they scored a huge victory for creationism, and started trumpeting their "victory." By and large, Korean media yawned -- exactly one national newspaper (and a relatively minor one at that) covered the story, and even that story made it quite clear that all that got dropped were diagrams. But the Nature magazine decided to run with the story, with a sensational headline that read: "South Korea surrenders to creationist demands," and here we are -- Korea is branded as a dumb country that doesn't believe in evolution."

    Basically, it didn't become a problem until foreigners misunderstood what happened and trumpeted it as the beginning of creationism in Korea. The Korean government responded not because of creeping creationism but to save face in front of the international community. If anything, this whole misunderstanding may in fact work in favor of creationists in Korea because now it has drawn attention to what had been a fringe, ignored cause from other creationist movements overseas.
  • by gardenermike (942420) <gardenermike@gmail.com> on Friday September 07, 2012 @11:36AM (#41260679) Homepage
    As a homeschooling parent, I can back this up. Luckily, the internet opens up a world of information beyond creepy textbooks that say that you will to go to a lake of fire if you think that the earth is more than 6000 years old (I am not making that up).
  • Re:don't you know? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Simply Curious (1002051) on Friday September 07, 2012 @01:01PM (#41262037)

    I It is what the US was based off of.

    Wrong. http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html [mbdojo.com]

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