I've gotten several e-mails about this sad situation: Serbia has decreed that evolution not be taught.
Serbian Education Minister Ljiljana Colic has ordered schools to stop teaching children the theory of evolution for this year, and to resume teaching it in future only if it shares equal billing with creationism.
The move has shocked educators and textbook editors in the formerly communist state, where religion was kept out of education and politics and was only recently allowed to enter the classroom.
"(Darwinism) is a theory as dogmatic as the one which says God created the first man," Colic told the daily Glas Javnosti.
Colic, an Orthdox Christian, ordered that evolution theory be dropped from this year's biology course for 14- and 15-year-olds in the final grade of primary school. As of next year, both creationism and evolution will be taught, she said.
I'm not exactly thrilled with the peculiar implication that keeping religion out of the classroom has something to do with being a communist state…after all, we have our own creationists trying to manipulate the school system, and they tend to be anti-communist. This is a sad day for the school children of Serbia, unfortunately. Their education is getting compromised.
"Both theories exist in parallel and legitimately in the rest of the world," Colic asserted. "The evolutionist, which says man is descended from the ape, and the one which says God Almighty created man and the entire world."
It's not at all surprising to see a creationist lie like that. No, creationism is not a legitimate theory anywhere in the world.
Belgrade University biology lecturer Nikola Tucic called the education minister's ruling a "disaster."
"This is outrageous…We are slowly turning into a theocratic state and in the 21st century we are going back to the Book of Revelations," Tucic told Glas Javnosti, referring to the final section of the Christian Bible.
"Where did the minister get the idea that Darwin's theory was dogmatic? There were attempts like this in several U.S. states, but they were rejected. It turns out that our fundamentalists are much more successful," he said.
I see how it could be worse here in the US, and we can be thankful we don't have a Ljiljana Colic in charge of our educational system. That doesn't change the fact that this is a waste of many children's minds, and we should all be distressed at this unfortunate turn.