South Korea’s Evolutionary Change

evolution-of-manSouth Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science & Technology (MEST) is set to remove specific examples of the theory of evolution from school textbooks across the country.

Evolutionary examples of horses and birds may remain, but examples of human evolution will be stricken from textbooks.

As reported by Slate, “…just like in the United States, tensions exist [in South Korea] between those who promote science education and those whose religious beliefs conflict with what’s being taught.” 

The new ruling has alarmed South Korean biologists, who were not consulted about the change. Says Yongin’s Kyung Hee University’s evolutionary psychologist Dayk Jang, “The ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge.

However, South Korea’s Society for Textbook Revise (STR) points out that its members include high school science teachers, and biology professors. The organization also points to The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) rankings, in which South Korean students rate highest in science learning achievement around the world.

STR also stresses that its reason for the change is “to delete the error of evolution from textbooks” in order to “correct students’ views of the world.”


What say you?

Should human evolution be taught in science classes? 

What’s your theory of evolution?


World News Wednesday


22 thoughts on “South Korea’s Evolutionary Change

  1. Pingback: Ali Lohan headed to South Korea | Bazaar Daily News

  2. By faith, I am a Creationist, but that doesn’t mean I am deaf dumb and blind. I believe that in the Bible God told us what he wanted us to know about Creation for the sake of our belief and understanding of Him. The Bible may be all that I need for my spiritual life, but it is not an exhaustive source of information. Science on the other hand is not some sacrosanct piece of perfection. It’s a journey much like faith. Since science is still working out the details of its theory of evolution, I’ll observe what they are discovering, while I depend on my faith in God for living.

    • Thank you, Jane, for sharing your personal religious views on this subject.
      Science on the other hand is not some sacrosanct piece of perfection. It’s a journey much like faith.”
      Wise words, indeed. I agree – neither science nor religion are of sacrosanct perfection, and both are continually evolving. Which is why I believe students should have the benefit of being exposed to both. As one commenter below pointed out, they need not be mutually exclusive – something you demonstrate beautifully by your faith & your open-mindedness on this issue.

  3. Hate to say it but I think a big part of the issue is racism. Whenever evolution comes up in a discussion in my classes (in China) people refuse to believe that their ancestors came from Africa because it’s Africa. A shocking number of people assert that humans came from China. It’s insane.

    • This is an important point to consider. But it’s also a point that I believe only ‘minorities’ & a small portion of the ‘majority’ would take seriously, as there’s an overriding belief that systemic racism is just another conspiracy theory or just a bunch of ‘minorities’ taking things way too personally. 🙄 Go figure.

  4. Evolution should be taught as a theory, and alternate views should be presented. You only need to go back and read textbooks from five years ago and compare them to the textbooks of today to find that the Theory of Evolution is still evolving.

    • Thank you for pointing this out: “…the Theory of Evolution is still evolving.” This is an important aspect of this debate which should be brought to the forefront. And I agree that alternate views should always be presented, otherwise what are we really teaching kids? To eschew any viewpoint not accepted by a myopic status quo? This is a dangerous-to-democracy way to go…

    • Hahahaha! This was a good laugh – thank you! 😆

      But you’re keen to note the time frame in which your loss of evolution occurred: during an ELECTION cycle. Which, I think, makes this educational issue quite heinous in that our schools appear to selectively base educational criteria on the views of whichever politician reigns.

  5. I can’t believe the anti-intellectualism grows world wide. How can any cognizant person deny evolution and global warming ? I have no problem with science. The spiritual world is another dimension and Jesus reigns in that one.

    • You make a good point here, Prof. Science & the spiritual world need not be mutually exclusive – something apparently not being considered in this on-going educational debate.

    • Exactly! I feel that students need to be introduced to alternate viewpoints which allow them to develop a well-informed rather than narrow knowledge base – which is the whole purpose of education, is it not?

  6. Is there a Korean sub-titled version of, “Inherit the Wind” that has been made? One of the great movies of all time – on whichever side of the debate you feel you belong.

  7. Hasn’t the world removed enough from the educational process…the more we know, the better. That’s my philosophy. It wouldn’t hurt the world to be more open-minded. Knowing is different from believing. If we learn everything, we can decide what we choose to be right.

    • I couldn’t have said this better. “Knowing is different from believing.” This would make a great sticker to place on all books in schools who have a problem with teaching both theories. 😉

  8. Pingback: Leave Those Kids Alone: South Korea’s Education System | Sylver Blaque

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