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Is Nature Presenting the Whole Story about South Korea?

As Sal pointed out earlier, Nature is running a story about “creationists winning” in South Korea, and “remove references to evolution from high-school textbooks”.

If you were to just read the Nature article, and not put on your baloney detector, what you would walk away with is the idea that the entirety of evolutionary theory has been scrubbed from South Korea’s textbooks.

But that’s not at all what appears to have happened.

Now, I’m not in S.K., so I can’t say for sure. However, my first instinct whenever someone says something like this is to look for the facts. If they are talking about legislation, look for the bill. If they mention a group, look for their website. Basic stuff. In this case, I can’t find either, but what I did find was a report that was from South Korea, and, well, it paints a different story.

Basically, what appears to have happened, is that South Korea, like many other countries, has science textbooks that include arguments for evolution and ideas about evolution that evolutionists themselves have disowned. That means their only purpose in the textbooks (since evolutionists have disowned them), is to prop up a theory for ideological reasons. A group petitioned to have the arguments removed that have been discredited by the evolutionists themselves. Then the arguments were removed, and, in some cases, replaced by newer, better arguments.

What Nature failed to tell you, for instance, is that one textbook publisher agreed that the horse series was a bad example, and put in the whale series instead. In fact, many of the textbooks did reviews and agreed that the examples were out of date. What did they do? Removed them or updated them! Isn’t that what is *supposed* to happen with out-of-date material?

I imagine that if an evolutionist had made the exact same request Nature would have had no problem with it.

Darwinian Demagogues (like Nature Publishing Group) are mad not because the changes are bad, but simply because a creationist made them. Because, when you are a demagogue, conceding any point is not allowed. Creationists are simply wrong by definition, and it doesn’t matter what they actually say or argue. Even if they agree with you they are in error. So they must be stopped, and their every action must be questioned, even if it was something that both sides agree should have been done anyway.

Here’s the last paragraph of the article from Korea

The experts blame the passive and reactive approaches by the scientific community. The professor of genomics at Seoul National University Jang Dae-ik said ‘the problem is that the writers of the science textbooks have neglected the new materials on the theory of evolution over the several decades. It even contains the references to Ernst Haeckel’s recapitulation theory (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, get it?) which has been disproven a long time ago. This kind of lapse in up-to-date knowledge invites such an attack [from the CREIT].’

In other words, the evolutionists haven’t bothered to keep the textbooks up-to-date with evolution, and it became so bad that the creationists had to point it out to us before we got anything done.

Now, the big problem in all this, is the very disingenuous way that Nature wrote about it. I’m not sure anything in the article is directly untrue, but they leave out so much information, and write it with such a slanted perspective, that literally the *entire* blogosphere believes that South Korea has removed evolution from their textbooks!

Even ID’ers had trouble seeing past this one. I’ve had several ID friends see this article and lament that the debate is being squelched rather than advanced in South Korea (because, contrary to what Nature would have you believe, ID’ers actually *want* evolution taught *well*). But that’s because Nature simply took an issue and distorted it to the rest of the world.

Thanks, Nature Publishing Group. I can’t say it wasn’t expected.

So, all of that to say, perhaps a better title for Sal’s article isn’t “Darwinists Defeated in South Korea”, but rather, “Darwinists forced to Keep Textbooks Up to Date in South Korea Despite Vigorous Protest From The Darwin Lobby”.

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3 Responses to Is Nature Presenting the Whole Story about South Korea?

  1. 1.
    (Uncommon descent): If you were to just read the Nature article, and not put on your baloney detector, what you would walk away with is the idea that the entirety of evolutionary theory has been scrubbed from South Korea’s textbooks.

    (Nature): A petition to remove references to evolution from high-school textbooks claimed victory last month after the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) revealed that many of the publishers would produce revised editions that exclude examples of the evolution of the horse or of avian ancestor Archaeopteryx.

    (Response): The nature article does not say that “the entirety of evolutionary theory has been scrubbed.” It gives the specific references to evolution that have been removed. Also, since you read the koreanbang.com article, you must have read this section in the article which clearly states that not all references have been removed yet.

    [Koreabang]: The CREIT also plan to submit petition to remove other references to the theory of evolution such as ‘the evolution of human’ and ‘the adaptation of finch beaks based on habitat and mode of sustenance’, admitting that their end-goal is to change the educational structure that teaches the Darwinian evolution as the orthodox.

    2.
    (Uncommon descent): I’m not in S.K., so I can’t say for sure. However, my first instinct whenever someone says something like this is to look for the facts…If they mention a group, look for their website. In this case, I can’t find either…

    (Response): South Koreans speak Korean. The facts and website will be in Korean. Having a competent translator will solve this problem. http://www.daum.net/ OR http://www.naver.com/

    3.
    (Uncommon descent): …what I did find was a report that was from South Korea, and, well, it paints a different story.

    (Response): Here, you ARE saying that your information is from ‘one’ source. Let’s look at the information you found.

    4.
    (Uncommon descent): Basically, what appears to have happened, is that South Korea, like many other countries, has science textbooks that include arguments for evolution and ideas about evolution that evolutionists themselves have disowned.

    (Koreanbang): The experts blame the passive and reactive approaches by the scientific community. The professor of genomics at Seoul National University Jang Dae-ik said ‘the problem is that the writers of the science textbooks have neglected the new materials on the theory of evolution over the several decades. It even contains the references to Ernst Haeckel’s recapitulation theory (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, get it?) which has been disproven a long time ago.

    (Nature): …many of the publishers would produce revised editions that exclude examples of the evolution of the horse or of avian ancestor Archaeopteryx. The move has alarmed biologists, who say that they were not consulted. “The ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge,” says Dayk Jang, an evolutionary scientist at Seoul National University.

    (Response): There are publishers of science textbooks and biologists who are not publishers including Dayk Jang (aka Jang Dae-ik). The latter group, the actual biology experts, were not informed of the changes being made by the Ministry. They were left out of the decisionmaking. The publishers left out-of-date information on recapitulation theory in their textbooks. Koreanbang quotes Dayk Jang saying this was a problem. Although the article says at the end that this “lapse” by textbook companies “invites an attack by CREIT”, it does not say that CREIT used this as a reason to remove references to the evolution of the horse and archaeopteryx from textbooks.

    5.
    (Uncommon Descent): That means their only purpose in the textbooks (since evolutionists have disowned them), is to prop up a theory for ideological reasons.

    (Response): The article does not say this. Remember you’re getting your information from one source. You’ve admitted, ” I’m not in S.K., so I can’t say for sure.” You have jumped to an irrational conclusion, and your argument goes as follows: the outdated theories are in textbooks –> therefore –>the publishers left them in there for ideological reasons. But, then why would this have been pointed out as a problem by Jang Dayk, professor of genetics and one of the leaders? According to your argument, he should be in favor of leaving these outdated theories in textbooks.

    6.
    (Uncommon Descent): A group petitioned to have the arguments removed that have been discredited by the evolutionists themselves.

    (Response): Each group is petitioning to have DIFFERENT things removed. The creationist group petitioned to have references made about the evolution of archaeopteryx and horse removed. The scientific community discredited the antiquated theory of recapitulation theory. You have misread this:

    (Koreabang): A number of core references to the theory of evolution contained in the science textbook such as archaeopteryx and ‘the changes of horse over time’ have disappeared from the textbooks. This was the result of the Christian organization’s petition.

    ‘The Committee to Revise Evolution In Textbook’ (CREIT) also submitted for the removal of the reference ‘archaeopteryx is not an intermedium between reptile and bird’ found in the six science textbooks and as a result all of them had to be revised or removed altogether.

    The biological science community is concerned about the removal of the iconic bird-reptile together with the depiction of the evolution of horse, which was portrayed as the best model for demonstrating the evolutionary process. Some scholars have initiated the counter-petition to ‘recognize the paleontological significance of archaeopteryx.

    The professor of genomics at Seoul National University Jang Dae-ik said ‘the problem is that the writers of the science textbooks have neglected the new materials on the theory of evolution over the several decades. It even contains the references to Ernst Haeckel’s recapitulation theory (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, get it?) which has been disproven a long time ago.

    7.
    (Uncommon Descent): Then the arguments were removed, and, in some cases, replaced by newer, better arguments.

    (Response): Koreanbang does not say they were “replaced by newer, better arguments.” Please read the article again.

    8.
    (Uncommon Descent): … many of the textbooks did reviews and agreed that the examples were out of date. What did they do? Removed them or updated them! Isn’t that what is *supposed* to happen with out-of-date material?

    (Koreanbang): The professor of genomics at Seoul National University Jang Dae-ik said ‘the problem is that the writers of the science textbooks have neglected the new materials on the theory of evolution over the several decades. It even contains the references to Ernst Haeckel’s recapitulation theory (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, get it?) which has been disproven a long time ago.

    (Response): Koreanbang does not say that textbooks “agreed that the examples were out of date.” It does say that scientist Jang Dae-ik was concerned that this out-of-date material was left in the textbooks. Creationists are not discussed here.

    9.
    (Uncommon Descent): I imagine that if an evolutionist had made the exact same request Nature would have had no problem with it.

    (Response): It was an evolutionist that made this request. His name is Jang Dae-ik. Again, you misread the article.

    10.
    (Uncommon Descent): In other words, the evolutionists haven’t bothered to keep the textbooks up-to-date with evolution,…

    (Response): There are publishers who work for the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology and they did leave in some out-of-date material. And there is the rest of the scientific community not involved in publishing.

    11.
    (Uncommon Descent): …and it became so bad that the creationists had to point it out to us before we got anything done.

    (Response): Again, it was evolutionist Jang Dae-ik that pointed this out, not creationists. Your only Korean source is Koreanbang. Your misunderstanding of the article is hurting your argument. Koreanbang says:

    (Koreanbang): The professor of genomics at Seoul National University Jang Dae-ik said ‘the problem is that the writers of the science textbooks have neglected the new materials on the theory of evolution over the several decades. It even contains the references to Ernst Haeckel’s recapitulation theory (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, get it?) which has been disproven a long time ago.

    12.
    (Uncommon Descent): Now, the big problem in all this, is the very disingenuous way that Nature wrote about it. I’m not sure anything in the article is directly untrue, but they leave out so much information, and write it with such a slanted perspective, that literally the *entire* blogosphere believes that South Korea has removed evolution from their textbooks!

    (Response): Reader, if you’re reading this, notice that Uncommon Descent claims Nature is being disingenuous but provides no specific quotes from its article. Uncommon Descent also claims it is “leaving out so much information” and writing “with such a slanted perspective”. Again, Uncommon Descent does not provide support for this. As we’ve already seen, Uncommon Descent has also misread what the Koreanbang article says and doesn’t say.

    13.
    (Uncommon Descent): I’m not sure anything in the [Nature] article is directly untrue, but they leave out so much information, and write it with such a slanted perspective, that literally the *entire* blogosphere believes that South Korea has removed evolution from their textbooks!

    (Response): South Korea has indeed removed references to evolution from their textbooks. Whether the *entire* blogosphere believes this would require an extensive survey, but yes indeed, the underlined part of the sentence is true.

    14.
    (Uncommon Descent): I’ve had several ID friends see this article and lament that the debate is being squelched rather than advanced in South Korea

    (Koreanbang) The decision to remove the evolution of the horse and archaeopteryx from Korean science textbooks is proving to make quite a stir on the internet, attracting thousands of comments within hours on web portal site Daum, leading netizens to condemn what they see as the Christianization and falsification of education.

    (Response): At the beginning of your post, you state the following: “Now, I’m not in S.K., so I can’t say for sure. However, my first instinct … …In this case, I can’t find either, but what I did find was a report that was from South Korea…

    You admit you’re getting your information from one Korean source, an article from Koreanbang which says at the beginning of the article that this has stirred a debate online. A debate is happening. Go to naver.com or daum.net with a translator and you’ll see the debate is happening.

    15.
    (Uncommon Descent):…(because, contrary to what Nature would have you believe, ID’ers actually *want* evolution taught *well*). But that’s because Nature simply took an issue and distorted it to the rest of the world.

    (Response): Please provide evidence by using specific quotes from Nature’s article to support your argument. How did Nature distort this issue to the rest of the world?

  2. 2

    S Korea is always presented as a nation with the highest number of evangelicals relative to the population outside North America.
    Then it has a Catholic population also quite assertive.
    So it follows creationism is punchy and noticable over there.
    Since therefore evolution is taken on then its having a poor case is more revealed and it suffers in reputation.
    S Korea is a nation on the rise and seeing through evolutions weakness prompted by a very religious population.

  3. I think part of the problem is in your fourth paragraph where you state that you are not in S.K.

    I am, and I’ve been wondering why my middle school students (9th graders) who attend different public schools have not heard of Darwin or evolution and natural selection….

    The Nature article seemed to explain why, but now – since you doubt it – do you have a better explanation why they aren’t teaching anything about Darwin or evolution to their students?

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