South Korean Christian groups have reportedly succeeded in forcing school textbooks to drop inconvenient evidence of evolution from their pages, lest they poison the minds of Korean children with the satanic notions of science and rationality.
A Korean creationist group, the “Society for Textbook Revise,” persuaded the ministry of education that it should lean on school textbook publishers to remove examples of evolution from their publications, says a recent report in Nature:
A petition to remove references to evolution from high-school textbooks claimed victory last month after the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) revealed that many of the publishers would produce revised editions that exclude examples of the evolution of the horse or of avian ancestor Archaeopteryx.
The move has alarmed biologists, who say that they were not consulted. “The ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge,” says Dayk Jang, an evolutionary scientist at Seoul National University.
The STR is also campaigning to remove content about “the evolution of humans” and “the adaptation of finch beaks based on habitat and mode of sustenance”, a reference to one of the most famous observations in Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
The campaign is only part of a concerted effort by Korean creationists to supplant the teaching of evolution with so-called “creation science” and “intelligent design” – or in other words, variations on their belief that the universe was created in a week ten thousand years ago.
Almost 30% of South Korea’s population identify themselves as Christians of one denomination or another, mostly in the form of evangelical protestants and Catholics, a situation which coincidentally developed after the nation came to enjoy post-war American suzerainty.
Surveys suggest approximately a third of South Koreans do not believe in evolution, a proportion which almost matches that of the US (40%) and other more godly nations.