The removal of Darwin and evolution from schools is a backwards step

Oct 4, 2018

By Michael Dixon

In recent weeks there have been alarming reports from both Israel and Turkey of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution being erased from school curriculums. In Turkey, this has been blamed on the concept of evolution – which is taught in British primary schools – being beyond the understanding of high school students. In Israel, teachers are claiming that most students do not learn about evolution; they say their education ministry is quietly encouraging teachers to focus on other topics in biology.

This news follows the astonishing statements made by India’s minister for higher education earlier this year. Satyapal Singh claimed Darwin was “scientifically wrong”, and is demanding that the theory of evolution be removed from school curriculums because no one “ever saw an ape turning into a human being”.

It is tempting to shrug off these latest attacks on Darwin’s greatest contribution to natural science. After all, no other scientific theory has attracted the same level of impassioned opposition and detraction – certainly not for more than 150 years. But that would be to miss the particular urgency of improving our scientific understanding of the natural world and how best to protect it for the future.

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6 comments on “The removal of Darwin and evolution from schools is a backwards step

  • @OP – Satyapal Singh claimed Darwin was “scientifically wrong”, and is demanding that the theory of evolution be removed from school curriculums because no one “ever saw an ape turning into a human being”.

    However, – I think he has just illustrated an uneducated human being, reverting into a more primitive form of ape which thinks it can pontificate on “science”! 🙂
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  • Darwin focused on evidence based conclusion. If there’s any other stronger form of evidence for the same topic please put it forward rather than just banning his voice in textbooks. I am sending this message to all the governments of all the countries, states etc..
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  • Olgun

    omg. Is he trying to write in Turkish? Can you read that? How can this be explained?! Well, I know what it’s like to have a President who can’t spell anything right. Those poor kids in that classroom. Soooo awkward! Is he literate in ANY language? Was his education only in Arabic then?

    I can read and write in Arabic at the level of a 6 or 7 year old native speaker but there are some older Algerians who can’t read or write in their language at all. They’ve been educated in schools left behind by the French. They speak North African dialect of Arabic but read, write and occasionally speak in French. In the 90’s the government implemented a program of Arabization and now you can hardly find a kid, teen or young adult that speaks French. This has an ominous side in that they can’t read anything coming out of Europe and only a small amount of material is translated into Arabic. Young people are motivated to learn English so that they can participate in social media but they’re not reading the Enlightenment philosophers, are they!
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  • Olgun

    Unbelievable. The guy is a fundamentalist misogynist, segregationist, thief on a massive scale, a political thug and I can’t find a single nice thing to say about him. How can these countries even function with these people robbing them blind and grinding them down into the dirt?!

    Algeria is in similar straights. Top bureaucrats siphon off the natural gas profits and deposit in Europe while the common folk can’t buy what they need to feed their kids. It’s assumed that their President has been dead for quite some time but top thugs won’t admit the truth. Perhaps he’s been propped up like Jeremy Bentham. Present but not voting.
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