Turkey Will Exclude Evolution Theory from High School

The threat to children's education posed by religious sentiment in Turkey is discussed by Lena M writing @ Atheist Republic.
Evolution Theory
Photo Credits: Futurism
The level of support for evolution among scientists, the public and other groups is a topic that frequently arises in the creation-evolution controversy and touches on educational, religious, philosophical, scientific and political issues. The only country from which evolutionary theory was excluded in school education was Saudi Arabia and now it will happen with Turkey too.

The most recent draft of Turkey’s new national curriculum had been presented to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has approved it. Alpaslan Durmuş, 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.

Durmuş added:

We have undertaken a simplification in the curriculum. It is one of our targets to realize complete learning. In educational programs we are trying to convey basic values, information, skills, capability, sufficiency, attitude, and good behavior to our children. We have tried to add our local and national values to the curriculum.

Academics from top universities in Turkey previously criticized the prospective move: The academics stated:

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.

... adding that "evolutionary biology information should be included in the curriculum starting from fifth grade."

Durmuş also addressed other issues during an Ankara seminar on June 20, noting that obligatory “Religion and Morality” classes would not be included within the curriculum of first, fifth, and ninth graders, but students would be able to choose religion classes as an optional course if they wish. If students from the ninth grade aren’t able to understand the evolutionary point of view, they are also incapable to accept the religious one.

If students learn about evolutionary biology from the fifth grade they would be prepared to have that subject in high school because children should get out of school smarter and more educated and not without any knowledge about evolution. This concept of learning and education will keep Turkish students even more in the dark about science than they already are.


  1. "creation-evolution controversy"

    There is NO controversy. One is fact the other is make believe. Only the religious want us to think there is some sort of debate going on.

  2. Steve R,

    think the author was using a figure of speech rather than aiming for exactitude. But you are wholly right. The Intelligent Design crowd used to shout "teach the controversy" and then claim evolutionists were afraid of the debate. Had creationism any scientific validity it should be taught but it is a creation myth and its place is in the myth class of Religious Education or Religious Instruction. Schools cannot be expected to teach that the US is six inches from Europe in a geography class no matter who shouts "teach the controversy."