Turkey Banned the Teaching of Evolution: The U.S. Could Be Next


In both countries, religious extremists are expanding schools that privilege religion over science.
By Matthew James Seidel / AlterNet November 24, 2017, 9:00 AM GMT

At a time when hate crimes against Muslims are at an all-time high in the United States, it’s hard to believe religious extremists in the U.S. could have much in common with religious extremists in Turkey, where the population is over 90% Muslim. But they certainly share at least one thing in common: a desire to undermine the teaching of science in schools. They are even targeting the same subject, evolution, as part of their radical sectarian agenda. And if they succeed, both the United States and Turkey will face equally devastating economic consequences.

Despite sharing the same overall goal of eroding the educational system, extremists in each country have recently demonstrated a preference for different tactics. In Turkey, the approach has been quite blunt, as the government literally banned the teaching of evolution altogether. Why? Because, according to education minister Alpaslan Durmas, evolution is simply “too complicated for students.” Instead, students will be taught that humans were created roughly 10,000 years ago by God in accordance with the story of Adam and Eve. Durmas declined to explain how the mechanics of an unexplained deity creating the first man out of clay and a woman from his rib is simple.

The effort to discredit evolution is just one aspect of the battle over national identity engulfing Turkey, . . . .

2 thoughts on “Turkey Banned the Teaching of Evolution: The U.S. Could Be Next

  1. The Theory of Evolution is neither a precise theory as is the Theory of Relativity nor is it a productive theory. I think Darwin’s mistake was looking backward instead of forward. Thus, he saw only one part of the time line on which human resistance rests. Looking ahead, there may well be other beings that are far superior to us in intelligence and ethical behavior. Carbon testing proves that human beings have been here well over 10,000 years. We also know that the development of the cortex responsible for rational thought occurred quite late in human existence. Therefore, human beings did evolve.

  2. The CIA and State Department have been covertly supporting religious extremism in the Middle East since the 1950s because they saw it as a preferred political alternative to the secular nationalism (and socialism) advocated by Nasser and others who wanted to unite the Arab world against economic colonization by the US and the British. At this date enough files have been declassified for this to be well documented.

    The millionaires and billionaires who fund the Republican Party and right wing think tanks also promote religious extremism in the US for similar reasons – they would much rather draw the disenchanted working class into nationalist white supremacist groups and evangelical churches than allow them to form unions and socialist alternatives.

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