July/August 2012 Church & State | AU Bulletin

A group that seeks to remove references to evolution from high school textbooks is making headway in South Korea.

The Society for Textbook Revise sent a petition to the South Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in May, asking that the references be removed, according to Nature. The ministry said many of the publishers of high school textbooks used in the country will now produce revised editions that don’t include some examples of evolution.

The move upset biologists.

“The ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge,” Dayk Jang, an evolutionary scientist at Seoul National University, said, according to Nature.

The Society for Textbook Revise said it aims to remove the “error” of evolution from books in order to “correct” students’ perspectives on the world, according to its website.

The society seems to have a receptive audience in South Korea, where a 2009 survey conducted for a documentary called “The Era of God and Darwin” found that almost one-third of respondents don’t accept the theory of evolution, Nature said.

Jang told the magazine that the scientific community must combat this anti-evolution sentiment, and he is organizing a group to counter the Society for Textbook Revise’s rhetoric.