Good news, everyone. In the battle over whether or not to include examples of evolution in South Korean textbooks, evolution has finally achieved a much-needed (if somewhat belated) victory.
Back in June, a South Korean creationist campaign by the name of Society for Textbook Revise succeeded in getting specific examples of evolution (the Jurassic-era specimen Archaeopteryx, for example) removed from high school text books. Weeks later, reports emerged that Korean scientists were fighting back. Now, the South Korean government is requesting that publishers retain their examples of evolution. Writes Wired's Ian Steadman:
The argument of the Society for Textbook Revise - an offshoot of the Korea Association for Creation Research - rested on there being debate among evolutionary scientists over whether Archaeopteryx could fly, or glide, or merely had feathers for decoration. This disagreement was extrapolated to cast doubt on the whole evolutionary history of birds.
In response, South Korea's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology set up a panel experts to assess the campaign's claims. They disagreed that their Archaeopteryx objection was a valid argument, and said it should remain in the textbooks. The campaign group also claimed that a section on the evolution of the horse was too simplistic, which the panel agreed with - but they have merely recommended replacing it with a more thorough explanation, or a new section on the evolution of another animal like the whale.
To be completely honest, we're a little disappointed that it took this long to get this issue addressed, but this is still great news. You had us worried there for a second, South Korea — but we welcome the win for sanity.