Darwin's expulsion sparks protests
BELGRADE - Serbia's Education Minister was ridiculed in cartoons and pelted with resignation demands on Thursday for ejecting Darwin from school classrooms in favour of Old Testament 'creationism'.
The minister, Ms Ljiljana Colic, had forecast some opposition to her order to stop teaching evolution theory this year, but it triggered a deluge of protest, casting doubt on her position.
The Social Democratic Union youth party asked President Boris Tadic to have her removed from office for a step that 'takes us centuries back by putting an equal sign between the scientifically founded Darwin theory and church dogma'.
The Civic Alliance political party demanded Ms Colic resign. The Centre for the Rights of the Child said she was breaking the law as she had not consulted the National Education Council. – Reuters
Darwin gets new Serbian imprimatur
BELGRADE -- Friday – Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is to be returned to the eighth grade syllabus in Serbian schools after a week in limbo, Deputy Education Minister Milan Brdar has said.
“That means that I’m here to confirm that Charles Darwin is still alive,” Brdar told journalists, adding that he was making the announcement because Minister Ljiljana Colic was away on business.
Colic stunned the world last week by declaring unilaterally that Darwin’s work was hypothetical and no more valid than creationist theory.
Because of this, she said, evolution would no longer be taught. She has been the butt of satirists and cartoonists in Serbian media since the announcement was made.
Colic is a member of Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica’s Democratic Party of Serbia.
Darwin is OK after all, Serbia says
After ridicule, government reinstates evolution theory
Serbia reverses Darwin suspension
Darwin's theory of evolution is dominant in the scientific world
The Serbian government has reversed an order to ban Charles Darwin's theory of evolution from schools, following widespread criticism from scientists.
"I have come here to confirm Charles Darwin is still alive," said deputy education minister Milan Brdar.
His boss, Ljiljana Colic, who had announced the controversial policy, had gone "away on business", he said.
She had proposed banning the evolution theory this school year, until creationism could be taught alongside.
Both Darwin's theory of natural selection and the Old Testament view on the beginning of life were equally dogmatic, the minister had said.
After a deluge of protest from scientists, teachers and opposition parties, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica called Ms Colic in for a meeting.
They agreed to drop the move, Mr Brdar said.
Biologist Nikola Tucic described the original ruling as "outrageous" and said it showed Serbia's Orthodox Church was interfering in politics.
"We are slowly turning into a theocratic state and in the 21st Century we are going back to the Book of Revelations," he said.
However, an influential figure in the Orthodox Church, Bishop Ignjatije, acknowledged Darwin had a place in schools.
Darwin "spoke about ways that humans and the rest of the nature are connected. The connection must not be ignored by anybody, not even by us theologists", he said.
Creationism accepts the Old Testament account of the beginning of human life, in which God created Adam and Eve.
Darwin's theory of evolution is the dominant explanation of man's origins within the scientific community.
His theory is that life evolved over billions of years through natural selection, from microbes to man; with man and modern apes sharing a common ancestor.