Evolution under attack in South Korea
In South Korea, a creationist (fundamentalist Christian) group has succeeded in getting that nation's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to ask school textbrook publishers to eliminate examples of evolution from textbrooks. This, is extremely depressing. In the United States, especially in the more religious parts of our country, there is still great opposition to evolution being taught.
Part of the reason is a simple misunderstanding of scientific terms. For example, theory in science (such as evolutionary theory) is a statement of principles that describes observations and data. It is not a guess or even wild speculation, as it is under common language usage.
My use of a computer right now to post this column on the internet is a product of electro-magnetic theory, quantum mechanics theory and relativity theory. These being theories does not mean they are not true, of course. Evangelical or fundamentalist Christianity is strong enough now in South Korea, that it can oppose basic scientific knowledge, as done now in much of the U.S.
Well, in South Korea at least you won't be prosecuted for being an outspoken atheist. In Indonesia, which supposedly is a democratic republic that respects free speech, you will be. Alexander Aan, an atheist in Indonesia, posted on Facebook the statement that "God does not exist" along with satires against Muhammad, the prophet of the Islamic religion.
Well, he was sentenced for 30 months in prison, for the made up crime of "blasphemy". There is a petition to the Indonesian president to get this man released and to respect freedom to criticize religion. You can also e-mail, or/and write, Indonesian authorities to urge his immediate release.
Of course, just a little over a century ago, people like me were imprisoned for blasphemy against the Christian religion. They fought back against the Christian right-wing of their time, now men and women like Mr. Aan need help against their own religious right-wing.