Creationism sometimes considered a purely American issue resulting from right wing Christian fundamentalism. Of course, many people understand that fundamentalist Islamic states have a similar point of view towards evolution. Ironic, isn’t it? Antievolution forces do exist in other countries, but they seldom have the ability to push their religious beliefs into the educational system of those countries. Except, that’s not quite true.
A creationist campaign to remove references to evolution from high school biology textbooks in South Korea succeeded in May 2012, according to a report in Nature (June 5, 2012), when “the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology revealed that many of the publishers would produce revised editions that exclude examples of the evolution of the horse or of avian ancestor Archaeopteryx.” Also in the sights of the creationist campaign are references to the evolution of humans and the adaptations of the beak of the finch. All four are favorite targets of creationists, including the “intelligent design” movement. South Korean biologists are complaining that they were not consulted about the revisions; Dayk Jang, an evolutionary scientist at Seoul National University, told Nature, “The ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge.”
The campaign was led by the Committee to Revise Evolution In Textbooks (which Nature calls “the Society for Textbook Revise”), an independent offshoot of the Korea Association for Creation Research. Support for creationism in South Korea is high: in The Creationists (Harvard University Press, 2006), Ronald L. Numbers described the country as “the creationist powerhouse” in Asia. Dayk Jang faulted the South Korean scientific community for its inaction and is now organizing a group of experts to counter the creationist campaign
Actually, American Creationists aren’t this good in pushing evolution into the American school system (though Texas comes close). South Korea’s Ministry of Education just did whatever they please, which seems to be a regular event. Given that a much higher percentage of South Koreans, as opposed to Americans, accept the science of evolution, so this move seems way out of synch with the populace.
We can be happy that the USA doesn’t have such a centralized educational system, because you could almost guarantee that a future Republican Department of Education would immediately copy the South Korean method.
See Korean Creationism – Finding One’s Soul and Discovering Genesis for the perfect juxtaposition between the Korean Hyundai Genesis and Kia Soul automobiles at the Ken Ham‘s science denying Creation Museum.