Turkish Schools Crackdown on Darwin’s Evolution Theory
Darwin’s theory of evolution will be removed from Turkish biology textbooks in high schools starting next year, Turkish Haberturk news website wrote, referring to a statement made by Turkish Minister Ismet Yilmaz.
Commenting on the issue, Yilmaz said that Darwin’s findings are “just a theory.”
“Darwin’s work is based only on theory. In fact, this is the same as a Big Bang theory in physics. These issues require a separate discussion outside of the school curriculum,” the official stated.
The book instead is expected to contain a chapter on ecology and environmental impact on genetics.
Meanwhile, the Birgün web portal noted that the new educational plan, prepared by the Ministry of Education excludes not only Darwin’s theory, but also some other topics like principles of laicism and some achievements of the First President of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
The new school program caused criticism among many Turkish experts.
For instance, Chairman of the Turkish Confederation of Trade Union of Workers in the Field of Kamuran Karaca told the newspaper that the school program “challenges secular education system and the way of life.”
“The recent practice of simplification of the texts in school textbooks […] is a systematic attack on natural sciences, history, philosophy. The authorities are now actively implementing a program to form a new type of educational plan, which is based primarily on religious and national components,” Karaca said.
According to him, the new curriculum is “a dangerous initiative of the Ministry of Education, which separates the educational program from scientific knowledge and reality” and makes it similar to the one “in religious schools.”