Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow and Middle East creationism

We got a little snow this week. Seven inches. Best part? It's still there! Usually any snow we get melts the same day or maybe the next day at the latest. Not this week! It's wonderful. Makes me feel like the Tennessee winter has a purpose at last.

Though I'm still recovering from my chimp genome marathon series, I thought I'd point out a fascinating article in the latest Evolution by Elise Burton on "Evolution and creationism in Middle Eastern education: a new perspective." She shows that the equation of Islamic education with antievolutionism doesn't hold up. In truth, some Israeli schools are more antievolution than the state-run schools of Iran. Other Muslim nations are more antievolution in their approach:
The fact that "secular" Turkish education has creationist trends similar to those in the authoritarian-religious Saudi state, whereas authoritarian-religious Iran endorses evolution, further challenges recurrent assumptions about the relationship between government secularism and acceptance of evolution.
She highlights social and historical differences between Muslim states as factors that complicate a country's acceptance of evolution. Definitely worth reading (and unfortunately available only to subscribers, individual or institutional).

Burton. 2011. Evolution and creationism in Middle Eastern education: a new perspective. Evolution 65:301-304.

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