Turkey bans teaching of evolution in schools

Turkey, supposedly a secular state, is apparently banning the teaching of evolution in schools on the pretext that students are “too young to understand ‘controversial subjects'” and one official described it as a ‘debate’.
Story from the BBC here.
Story from the NY Times here.
The idea of a debate or controversy is one that has been used (with some success) in the last few years by creationists in the US, the idea being to imply that there is a some debate, or doubt, in scientific circles about evolution. Of course this couldn’t be further from the truth – evolution has become one of the best supported theories in science and is supported by increasing evidence from many different threads within science. This idea of controversy feeds in to some misplaced sense of fairness where a claim can then be made for creationism to be taught on an equal footing (in science?).
In reality, it is an understanding of evolution that threatens to undermine the more literalist interpretations of religion, as seen in evangelical Christianity (mainly in the US) and in much of Islam (which tends to be more literal) as it undermines the creation mythology and it is within religion that the controversy is really playing out.
There can be little doubt now that there is a real danger that Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is intent on steadily converting Turkey’s democracy into an authoritarian theocracy.

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