Science and Archaeopteryx Overcome Creationism in South Korea
Posted by Mr DoctorE on September 7, 2012
South Korea’s government has urged textbook publishers to ignore calls to remove two examples of evolution from high-school textbooks.
The move follows a campaign earlier this year by the Society for Textbook Revise (STR), which argued that details about the evolution of the horse and of the avian ancestor Archaeopteryx should be removed from the books (see ‘South Korea surrenders to creationist demands’).
The STR, an offshoot of the Korea Association for Creation Research, says that students should learn “various” theories about the development of life on Earth. It argued that the textbooks used flawed examples of evolution that are under debate by evolutionary scientists.
In May, news emerged that publishers were planning to drop the offending sections, sparking outrage among some scientists. The resulting furore led the government to set up an 11-member panel, led by the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST) and including five experts on evolution and fossils, to oversee science-textbook revisions (see ‘Expert panel to guide science-textbook revisions in South Korea’).
On 5 September, the panel concluded that Archaeopteryx must be included in Korean science textbooks, and it reaffirmed that the theory of evolution is an essential part of modern science that all students must learn in school.