Education, Secondary education and schools
Why will Turkish schoolchildren no longer study the theory of evolution?
Representatives of the Ministry of Education of Turkey stated that the country's schoolchildren will no longer study evolution and natural selection, because they consider this information too complex and contradictory for young minds to perceive.
Too difficult for schoolchildren?
The President of the Turkish Education Agency said that the chapter entitled "The Beginning of Life and Evolution" will be removed from the new curriculum. Previously, this material children studied in biology lessons in the ninth grade. However, now they can only get acquainted with him at the university.
"We realize that our students do not have the opportunity to comprehend the premises and hypotheses of evolution. Since schoolchildren do not have the appropriate knowledge and scientific foundations, they will not be able to understand some of the contradictory problems of this theory, so we decided to remove it from the school curriculum, "said Alparslan Durmus, the head of the National Council of Education of Turkey.
Opinion of scientists
Richard Dawkins, a well-known evolutionary biologist, commented on this situation, stating: "Turkish scholars agree that evolution is a reliable fact, the same as tectonic movements of plates or planetary orbits.
Secular views or theocracy?
About 49 percent of Muslims in Turkey believe that a person has appeared in the same form as he is now, according to the 2013 report on religion and public life. For comparison: about 62% of people in the US believe in evolution.
Since the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, the country had a reputation for secularism. However, in the last few years, when President Erdogan came to power, many commentators noted that the country is gradually moving away from secular views and is heading for a conservative theocracy.
"The statement that the theory of evolution is" too complicated "for perception is absurd and offends students and teachers in Turkey," says Robin Bloomner, president and CEO of Center for Inquiry. "From the experience of our work with secondary school teachers, we know that schoolchildren quite easily understand the basic principles of evolution.