Creationists in South Korea won a campaign to remove evolution from high school textbooks.
According to Nature.com, a group called the Society for Textbook Revise mounted an effective petition drive and is claiming credit for the removal of the evolution "error" from student's textbooks in order to "correct" their understanding of the world.
South Korean publishers will soon be removing examples of evolution from many high-school textbooks. The decision was taken , after government officials sent the Society's petition to publishers, reports the New York Daily News.
The group petitioned to remove specific examples of how animals have evolved, including the horse and Archaeopteryx bird, along with any reference to human evolution and Charles Darwin's theory of human origin. The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MEST) has confirmed that publishers are working on revised editions.
According to Newser, the Society For Textbook Revise was set up in the 1980s by the US Institute for Creation Research when Christianity spread across South Korea.
Many biologists are furious with this decision saying they were not consulted. Dayk Jang, an evolutionary scientist at Seoul National University, told Newser: “The ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge.”
South Korea is increasingly becoming a "scientific powerhouse," Josh Rosenau, programs and policy director at the National Center for Science Education told the Daily News. But Rosenau worries that South Korea will not be able to compete internationally if it doesn't continue teaching evolution in schools.
“Evolution is the core of modern biological science,” he said. “When something like this comes to fruition, the scientific community can be caught flat-footed.”
According to Newser, approximately forty percent of South Koreans don't believe in evolution, akin to a Gallup poll showing nearly the same percentage of Americans also deny evolutionary claims.