Darwin’s Theory Ban– Following Saudi Arabia, Turkey has banned the instruction of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in High Schools.
President Erdoghan’s administration claims that the theory was too cumbersome for 9th graders to comprehend. Second and most important of all is that the topic contradicts their moral and faith values.
As a matter of truth, Turkey has debated the theory for years. Report says that the issue an intense scrutinyat the beginning of the year. Universities and academics argue that evolution theory should be moved to the undergraduate level.
Alpaslan Durmus, the head of the Education Ministry’s curriculum board said,
“We have excluded controversial subjects for students at an age unable yet to understand the issues’ scientific background. As the students at ninth grade are not endowed with antecedents to discuss the ‘Origin of Life and Evolution’ section in biology classes, this section will be delayed until undergraduate study,”
“The subjects of Science and Technology classes in elementary schools should be presented with a perspective that allows students to connect it to subjects they will encounter in future years. It should provide them with an evolutionary point of view,”
“We made the simplification of redundancies. Elements inappropriate to our values have been removed,”
The new national curriculum will be released after the Eid al-Fitr holiday. From the 2019 school year, Darwin’s Theory Ban will reflect in biology textbooks in Turkey- the theory will be exempted from the textbooks.
It is believed that the Darwin’s theory does not fit into Turkey’s conservative goals of recent. Erasing it will be taking the country aback from the secularist tendencies launched by Turkey’s first president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Darwin’s theory of evolution states that humans evolved from lower species.
“All species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce.”
The theory as contained in Darwin’s 1859 book On the Origin of Species, suggests that human beings evolved from apes. From the moment of its assertion till date the theory has been a source of controversies and irreconcilable arguments.
Generally this scientific theory contradicts faith issues. Turkey insists that the popular secular theory of evolution challenges morality, faith and is in fact unbelievable.
Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, thus their stance against the credibility of Darwin’s theory. Saudi Arabia for instance considers the Theory of Evolution as a blasphemous theory,
Likewise the Muslim country has started challenging the eurocentric world view. This step resonates with the point of view of Africa and many parts of the world in recent times.
Gone are the days when the world swallowed hook, line and sinker, every ideal or piece of knowledge from the western world.
Africa is a largely religious continent. Whether Christianity, Islam or the African traditional religion(ATR), Africans believe in the supreme being who is the creator of all things.
Thus having schools teach that man developed from apes does not go down well with a majority of Africans. However the theory is very much existent in schools’ curriculum.
Recep Tayyip Erdoghan whose presidential power was boosted with the foiling of an attempted military coup in January is on a mission to mitigate the secularist line of thought in Turkey.
Music classes in the country will also be less focused on the west but more on the musical history and trend of Turkey.
Some Turkish academic personalities argue that erasing the theory in its entirety from the curriculum is perhaps an anti-eurocentrism gone too far. They disagree that the government equates the scientific theory to atheism.
With all of the mixed reactions following the Darwin’s Theory ban, it is certain that Turkey wants its own national values, culture and Islamic origin upheld.