Turkey to stop teaching evolution in schools

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Turkey is to stop teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution in secondary schools, deeming it controversial and difficult to understand, a senior education official said, a move likely to alarm secular Turks.

Critics say the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the AK Party are undermining modern Turkey’s secular foundations by pushing a conservative agenda, including tighter regulation of alcohol and other restrictions, since coming to power in 2002.

A chapter entitled “Beginning of Life and Evolution” will be deleted from the standard biology textbooks used in schools and the material will be available only to students who go on to university studies from age 18 or 19, Alparslan Durmus, head of the national education board said in an online address this week.

“We are aware that if our students don’t have the background to comprehend the premises and hypotheses, or if they don’t have the knowledge and scientific framework, they will not be able to understand some controversial issues, so we have left out some of them,” he said.

The theory of evolution, popularised by Charles Darwin, is rejected by both Christian and Muslim creationists, who believe God created the world as described in the Bible and the Koran, making the universe and all living things in six days.

The Bible presents that as the exact time needed for creation but the Koran says “days” actually means long periods of time.

Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Numan Kurtulmus, said earlier this year that Darwin theory, first published in the 19th century, was “old and rotten” and did not necessarily have to be taught.

 

Full article: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/turkey-stop-teaching-evolutionary-theory-schools-1487367241

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