Posted on behalf of Soo Bin Park.
A group of 30 South Korean evolutionary scientists and palaeontologists has released a statement condemning a successful campaign by the creationist group Society for Textbook Reform (STR) to remove some examples of evolution from high-school biology textbooks (see ‘South Korea surrenders to creationist demands’).
The group says that the textbook publishers were wrong to remove examples of the evolution of the horse and the avian ancestor Archaeopteryx, and that, instead, the relevant sections should be updated to include the latest research. They also criticized the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology for failing to oversee textbook revisions. In response to a public outcry, the ministry has said that it will set up an expert panel to oversee future revisions (see ‘Expert panel to guide science-textbook revisions in South Korea‘).
According to the scientists, the STR petition contained so much unverified data, intentional distortion and biased quotes that it would not normally be worth their time to engage with, but because it had been successful, they felt they had no choice but to make an official response.