Education

Evolution vs. Faith

The removal of the theory of evolution from the curriculum will be remembered as one of the most important actions of Turkey’s ruling party, Ak Party. Evolution has been used for centuries as an instrument by those opposing the religious idea of creation in order to spread irreligious thoughts and atheism. This artificial theory was also used to prevent the spread of religion in society, to accelerate secularization and to dig a hole on the walls of religion.

Evolution is not factual but an alternative theory against the idea of creation, which suggests that Adam and Eve are the parents of all humanity. I am sure that nobody would mind this archaic theory, especially given that it can’t be proven scientifically however religion is very effective among people. Furthermore some scientists insist on spreading evolution though it isn’t scientific, all the while they choose to deny religion whose theories they can’t disprove.  Engaging in science that requires absolutism but trusting a theory which has never been proven, is indeed a very strange case for scientists.

Advocates of evolution, not surprisingly, are furious at the Turkish government for dropping evolution courses from the school curriculum. Not only Turkish evolutionists but also foreign advocates have united against this change. They claim that Turkey turns its back on science and gives more room to religion in education.  As I wrote above, the theory of evolution isn’t scientific. Hence, throwing evolution away doesn’t mean it’s distancing itself from science. Actually, pro-evolution groups are against  anything  that remind them of religion. None can claim that they are in a scientific debate. All their attitudes are ideological and political.

Meanwhile, one should not ignore the unreasonable demand made by the evolutionists.  They request that evolution lessons be taught not only to their children but also to children of those who don’t believe in the theory.  If they had wanted selective courses just for their children, they could be understood to some extent. However they want to impose their beliefs on others by demanding that all children be taught the same courses, which is an act of disrespect to others.

When we say others, we mean 95% of the population of Turkey. Such a huge majority trust in God and they do not wish for the theory of evolution to be taught. However, in the past they and their children were forced to learn (maybe to believe) in evolution.  Knowledge is like food. If it is healthy, then, no problem. If it isn’t, it may cause confusion with respect to your existing beliefs.

It is a pity that all these actions were made with the mask of modernism. Whereas, while Europe was going through the industrial revolution, Charles Darwin was a little kid. So, we can argue that the idea of evolution has nothing to do with modernism. This is the case for Turkey, too. Dropping evolution from the curriculum won’t lead to the destruction of the Turkish economy.  In addition, the Turkish economy wasn’t performing well when such thoughts replaced the “pillars of religion”. As a supporting fact to my argument, the Turkish economy has become the 17th biggest economy in terms of GDP (nominal)  during the tenure of religious people. As for GDP (PPP),  it has even a higher ranking, 13th.

Consequently, we can make the claim that teaching evolution doesn’t modernise a country, by the same token teaching religion doesn’t make a society obscurantist. Let people learn what they choose to believe in. Evolution-like theories can still be taught but it should be stated during classes that they are archaic, can’t be proven and shouldn’t be seen as an alternative to religion. Because this theory and its supporters have already been defeated by religion and its defenders.

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About the author

İbrahim Karataş

İbrahim Karataş

İbrahim Karataş is a columnist at Yeni Akit, a daily newspaper based in Istanbul.

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