Economist provides report on global spread of creationism
- From the National Center of Science Education...
Dear Friends of NCSE,
The Economist provides a useful report on the global spread of creationism,
while the Wellcome Trust provides a useful resource on evolution for
high-schoolers and their teachers.
CREATIONISM GOING GLOBAL
A special report in the April 19, 2007, edition of The Economist --
exotically datelined "Istanbul, Moscow, and Rome" -- discusses the
continued global spread of creationism. The incidents discussed are the
dissemination of a book preaching Islamic creationism in France, the
controversy over the display of hominid fossils in Kenya, the unsuccessful
lawsuit over teaching evolution in Russia, and, at length, the current
discussion within the Catholic Church. Creationism, the article suggests,
is likely to continue to spread, especially in the developing world where
fundamentalist versions of Christianity and Islam are expanding.
The report notes, "As these examples from around the world show, the debate
over creation, evolution and religion is rapidly going global. Until
recently, all the hottest public arguments had taken place in the United
States, where school boards in many districts and states tried to restrict
the teaching of Darwin's idea that life in its myriad forms evolved through
a natural process of adaptation to changing conditions." Kitzmiller v.
Dover is cited as delivering "a body-blow" to "Darwin-bashers": "the
verdict made it much harder for school boards in other parts of America to
mandate curbs on the teaching of evolution, as many have tried to do -- to
the horror of most professional scientists."
For the story in The Economist, visit:
For NCSE's previous coverage of events around the world, visit:
A WELLCOME RESOURCE ON EVOLUTION
The January 2007 issue of Big Picture -- a publication of the Wellcome
Trust in the United Kingdom that seeks to provide high-school students with
"up-to-date information on research findings in biomedicine, and the social
and ethical implications of this research" -- is devoted to evolution. The
first page of the lively and colorful sixteen-page issue explains the
plan: "Why does Darwinian evolution raise controversy when, say, quantum
mechanics scarcely registers on the public consciousness? This issue of
Big Picture looks at the theory of evolution, the evidence that supports
it, unanswered questions and the history of public reaction."
Included are discussions of the history of the development of evolutionary
theory, the tree of life, evolution in action (including pathogen
evolution), current unanswered questions (including the origin of life and
the relevance of evolutionary explanations to human behavior), and the
social and religious impact of evolution in Darwin's day and in our
own. Creationism is discussed in the latter section, with a discussion of
the varying religious reactions to evolution, a brief treatment of
creationism (singling out the 1925 Scopes trial and the 2005 trial in
Kitzmiller v. Dover as the landmark events), and a discussion of the nature
of science. The Wellcome Trust is an independent charity funding research
to improve human and animal health.
For information about the issue, visit:
For the issue itself (PDF), visit:
For the complete list of articles on the topic, visit:
Thanks for reading! And as always, be sure to consult NCSE's web site:
http://www.ncseweb.org where you can always find the latest news on
evolution education and
threats to it.