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LinkAsia | Apr 10
Faced with a slumping real estate market, the South Korean government has announced a plan to cut borrowing costs and provide tax breaks in order t...
"South Korea outlaws evolution." "Creationism winning in South Korea." Those are just some of the headlines proclaiming the extinction of evolution in South Korea. But Yoo Eun Lee from Global Voices tells us we shouldn't be so quick to judge a story by its headline.
Yoo Eun Lee:
Many international media published stories about the Ministry of Education's decision to scrub evolutionary theory from textbooks. And that brought numerous jokes and sarcastic comments on social media:
"Now once people hear that evolution is disappearing from our textbooks, they will know how powerful Christianity is in our country. If this continues, even Copernicus's Heliocentrism will soon vanish."
Another tweet commented on the exclusion of a feathered dinosaur, an ancestor of birds:
"It is so worrisome that they have decided to remove the Archaeopteryx example from textbooks. If there had been any political and religious pressures, they should immediately overturn the decision."
However, some say the media coverage is exaggerated. It is believed a news article in the prestigious scientific journal Nature entitled "South Korea Surrenders to Creationist Demands" began the whole brouhaha. Bloggers, and even sources quoted in that article, warned that it was misleading.
Evolutionary psychologist Jeon Joonghwan tweeted:
"I commented for the Nature article and told the reporter who interviewed me that the headline is too sensational."
In his comment on the article, Jeon wrote:
"It's an overstatement to say that creationism achieved a greater success in South Korea than in the US. The petition from the STR -- that's the Society for Textbook Revision -- only requested the deletion of a few 'wrong' descriptions of evolution from textbooks."
Jeon went on to say:
"I'm afraid that many people could get the wrong impression that creationism has finally beaten evolution science in Korea."
It is believed the old science textbooks include arguments that evolutionists themselves now disavow. A physicist wrote on his blog:
"It is not evolution itself that's being scrubbed from textbooks. What were taken out was only the stages of how the horse and Archaeopteryx evolved. There is a great need for the textbook to be updated."
It is expected the sequence of the evolution of the horse will be either removed or replaced by one on whales instead. What almost everyone agreed on was that the Ministry of Education made the decision without a proper process of consultation. Users warned against such actions in the future. I'm Yoo Eun Lee for LinkAsia.