Skip to comments.Russia: Creationism Finds Support Among Young
Posted on 03/13/2006 10:10:03 AM PST by SirLinksalot
By Claire Bigg
A 15-year-old Russian schoolgirl has filed a court action to demand that creationism feature in the school biology curriculum, alongside Darwin's evolutionary theory of the origins of life. The idea of introducing creationist views into the classroom seems to find sympathy among a number of Russians, particularly young people. Religious zeal, scientific ignorance, or simple bravado -- what makes young people reject the long-enshrined theory of evolution?
MOSCOW, March 10, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Maria, a schoolgirl from St. Petersburg, is demanding that the Russian Education Ministry rewrite biology textbooks to include the view of creationism -- the belief that God created the universe and all living beings as described in the Bible.
Teaching only the theory of evolution, she says, violates freedom of conscience and religious rights, and therefore runs counter to the constitution.
Tired Of A Secular Curriculum
Schraiber is assisted in her lawsuit by her father, Kirill, and by three lawyers representing the Russian Orthodox, Muslim, and Jewish faiths.
Like in Western countries, the curriculum taught in state schools in Russia is strictly secular. A number of young Russians, however, are not opposed to seeing that change.
Aleksandr, a 19-year-old Moscow student, fully backs Schraiber's initiative. "It seems like a very good thing to me," he said. "Inner spiritual development should definitely have its place in education. I think notions such as ethics should also be included [in the school curriculum]. These are very useful things."
Sergei, a 22-year-old working for a construction firm, does not believe in evolution theories. He says schools should teach children more about religion, without however falling into proselytizing. "I think that God exists," Sergei said. "It is 100 percent clear that we do not descend from the ape, according to Darwin's theory. I am in favor of teaching topics in school that would enable people to choose themselves what religion they will adhere to, without leaning towards one religion in particular."
And Anastasiya, a 17-year-old student, agrees that the theory of divine creation should be added to the theory of evolution in the school program. "Yes, so that children can have a choice, so that they have the possibility of deciding what is closer to them, so that they make this choice themselves," she told RFE/RL.
Not all young people agreed, however. Some thought that creationism had no place in schools.
Darwin In Decline?
At Moscow's imposing Darwin Museum, creationist theories are not an option.
Schoolchildren come here to learn about how species evolved and adapted to their natural environment. On weekends and holidays, the museum, which has three floors teeming with stuffed animals and skeletons, receives about 3,000 visitors a day.
Richard Dawkins, an eminent British ethnologist, famously said that one had to be either "ignorant, stupid, or insane" to deny the theory of evolution.
The director of the Darwin Museum, Anna Klukina, is more diplomatic. But she agrees that those rejecting Darwinism do so out of gross ignorance. It seems like a very good thing to me. Inner spiritual development should definitely have its place in education -- Aleksandr, 19.
"The masses understand neither the theory of evolution nor Darwinism itself. I witness this on a regular basis. The theory of evolution is based on three postulates that cannot be called into question," she says. "The first postulate is the existence of mutability. The second postulate is the existence of the fight for survival. The third is natural selection. But for the masses, Darwinism equates to man descending from apes, and that's all. Darwin, however, never said this, that's the whole tragedy."
Contrary to the common belief that Charles Darwin's theories boil down to the descent of man from the ape, his theory of evolution stipulates that all life forms are related and have descended from a common ancestor.
Darwinism Vs. God
Klukina also firmly rejects the claim that Darwinism precludes the existence of God.
She argues that the late Pope John Paul II publicly recognized evolutionist theories, and that Darwin himself, who studied theology at Cambridge University, was a deeply religious man.
Sociologists, however, say scientific ignorance is not the only factor behind the rejection of evolution theories in Russia.
Some say the spiritual vacuum left by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its atheist ideology is at the root of this trend.
I think that God exists. It is 100 percent clear that we do not descend from the ape, according to Darwin's theory -- Sergei, 22.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels admired Darwin's theory of evolution, which they thought supported their own theory of social evolution. A simplified and somewhat "Sovietized" version of Darwinism therefore occupied pride of place in the biology curriculum of Soviet schools.
According to Lev Gudkov, a sociologist who heads the department of social and political studies at the Yuri Levada Center, creationism signals a desire to reject anything associated with Soviet times: "It is definitely a post-Soviet, exaggerated, insistence on pre-Soviet traditional views. This is observed mostly among young people and among the elderly. We discern an overall tendency towards imitational traditionalism that emerged as a reaction to the vacuum of ideas and beliefs that followed the disintegration of Soviet ideology."
A poll conducted by the Yuri Levada Center last September showed that only 26 percent of those surveyed supported the theory of evolution, while 49 percent of respondents said they believed man was created by God.
Gudkov, however, warns against taking initiatives such as Maria Schraiber's too seriously.
Since the most fervent advocates of creationism in schools seem to be teenagers and young adults, Gudkov says that efforts to publicly reject the theory of evolution is likely to be partly driven by a desire to challenge the established order.
Aha, just what I suspected!
Damn those parents anyway! Who do they think they are, anyway? Who do they think those children belong to?
I'm really surprised that all those addled fools have sense enough to reproduce! Maybe they'll die off or get eaten by predators or something.
More funding is needed, that's for sure.
Yeah, well the battle is far from over so don't get too confident that you can brainwash all the students. As our Russian friends have shown, even young adults are able to make up their own minds.
We are afraid that choldren will get confused about what a theory is and what a belief is. The CRIDers on these threads PROVE there is something to fear.
There is nothing that says a biology teacher can't wax philosophical -- especially if it increases the interest. But as a matter of public policy, science should be taught in science class and religion taught in philosophy class.
When you combine this with your #50, you answer your own question.
No one on here will have his/her mind changed about evolution. All of us who learned about evolution in school had the choice to believe or toss - quite a few of us decided we didn't believe it and tossed it. Those who decided to believe were perfectly free to do so. Why do you have a problem with that? We don't ask you to believe in God.
Well, that pretty much wraps things up here. We have mythology posted as Truth. We can't go any further. I will bookmark this so that everyone knows when you are "arguing" that your real "argument" is "because I said so" or rather "because I said God said so."
Thanks for permanently marginalizing yourself. It leaves more energy for me to get the NEXT CRIDer to admit defeat.
Say "Hi" to your imaginary friend for me.
PH, CGM, B666 -- you may want to join me in keeping this one on file to save yourself time in arguing with this holy roller. If appropriate, you might want to mention it to Icheumon (I can never spell his name right!)
"Well, that pretty much wraps things up here. We have mythology posted as Truth. We can't go any further."
And how do you know that what I posted is "myth"?
No need. I never argue with creationists. It generates ill will, and it doesn't change anyone's mind. All I do is provide information, which they are free to ignore.
It can't be proven. Your Creation Myth is no more valid than the Cherokee Indian, Hindu, Buddhist or any others.
Your paticular myth has no special status in the world of science and argument.
But since you have made it a foundation of your argumentation, your argumentation is rendered meaningless.
But in this case it is fun to have a reference that takes him out of the game when he tries to mislead others.
Just a thought.
You are mistaken. You will be euthenized to help the fittest survive.
"All I do is provide information, which they are free to ignore."
That's not true of American children who are forced to listen to the "theories" of the State Religion of evolution.
I think I posted the Cherokee story earlier, so here is the:
This universe existed in the shape of darkness, unperceived, destitute of distinctive marks, unattainable by reasoning, unknowable, wholly immersed, as it were, in deep sleep.http://www.crystalinks.com/vedic.html
Then the Divine Self-existent, himself indiscernible but making all this, the great elements and the rest, discernible, appeared with irresistible power, dispelling the darkness.
He who can be perceived by the internal organ alone, who is subtle, indiscernible, and eternal, who contains all created beings and is inconceivable, shone forth of his own will.
He, desiring to produce beings of many kinds from his own body, first with a thought created the waters, and placed his seed in them.
That seed became a golden egg, in brilliancy equal to the sun; in that egg he himself was born as Brahma, the progenitor of the whole world....
The Divine One resided in that egg during a whole year, then he himself by his thought divided it into two halves;
And out of those two halves he formed heaven and earth, between them the middle sphere, the eight points of the horizon, and the eternal abode of the waters.
From himself he also drew forth the mind, which is both real and unreal, likewise from the mind ego, which possesses the function of self-consciousness and is lordly.
Moreover, the great one, the soul, and all products affected by the three qualities, and, in their order, the five organs which perceive the objects of sensation.
But, joining minute particles even of those six, which possess measureless power, with particles of himself, he created all beings.
Sorry, your post is definitionally out of bounds. Evolution is a theory, Creation is a myth. You admit that anything you think is true, therefore your post is meaningless.
"It can't be proven."
Do you believe the universe has existed forever, or do you believe it come into being a finite amount of time ago in the past?
The Divine One resided in that egg during a whole year, then he himself by his thought divided it into two halves;
Well, I now have something I can post as I KNOW that life came from a Brahma. And they doggone well better teach it as a theory! ;)
Not surprising. There must be some old Stalinists left over to attack the evolution supporters.
The Russians have been under the fiat of "Darwinist Tyrants" for most of the 20th century.
Your comment makes no sense. The US with its Bible Belt and belief systems and not under the fiat of any particular cosmology or scientific view seems to have done a lot better in terms of scientific research and discoveries than countries where evolution has been state directed policy.
May seem counter-intuitive.
But it's not if one understands conservative principles.
Irrelevant. That is a philosophical discussion, not a scientific one.
Science is looking at the origins, but it is by backtracking data. Not by positing a Brahma in an egg as the beginning of things.
Also known as "scientists". Yeah, we'll be doing real well without scientists [eyeroll]. Who needs medicine and technology driving our economy? Let's roll up in our comfy ball of ignorance instead and waste away.
" Also known as "scientists". Yeah, we'll be doing real well without scientists [eyeroll]."
I'm afraid you are mistaken if you think all scientist are Darwinist tyrants.
Clearly there is a problem in teaching when people are rejecting facts. I'm no happier with that than if you rejected addition or spelling because of your religious beliefs.
> The Russians have been under the fiat of "Darwinist Tyrants" for most of the 20th century.
ERRR. They were under the fiat of *Coomunist* tryants./ Commies *really* didn't like Darwinism, and locked 'em up into the Guklags with especial zeal. Stalin & Co. were big, big fans of Lysenko.
> The US with its Bible Belt and belief systems and not under the fiat of any particular cosmology or scientific view seems to have done a lot better in terms of scientific research and discoveries than countries where evolution has been state directed policy.
The US has done well scientifically in part because our scientists have been trained well. That includes evolution in the biology clases. The Russians did not do as well, in part because their "scientific" training included utter bilge like Lysenkoism.
As for other countries where "evolution has been state directed policy," that woudl be like countries where "gravity has been state directed policy" or "cause and effect have been state directed policy."
> But it's not if one understands conservative principles.
Conservatism means to examine cause and effect and react and plan accordingly. This has *always* meant to push superstition back, as the supernatural does not play well with cause and effect, and nor can superstition be demonstrated to have value.
The Divine OneDidit placemark
Hmm...ok, who are these "Darwinist Tyrants", then?
LOL! The way you phrased it, yes.
"Not by positing a Brahma in an egg as the beginning of things."
Not even by positing a Singularity???
A Singularity doesn't prove your creation myth.
Now how about answering the question? It's germane to your contention that Creation is a "myth".
Cosmology is a scientific endeavor using scientific methods. You say that the Biblical creation myth is truth. I say it is a Brahma in an egg. Both are equally true. And neither is science nor provable.
You can't win this one. You are out of the game.
> We don't ask you to believe in God.
No? Strange. I've seen many instructions to do so, and threats levied against those who do not.
PM has an imaginary doctor friend who is a Creationist.
The fact that 99% of all scientists understand and embrace TToE is always ignored by CRIDers.
There is a meaningles post if I ever saw one.
I suppose you also think that it is a valid reference point that the Biblical creation myth is "Truth?"
Yes. We have a host of Darwinist tyrants here. For the most part they are not scientist and in general they are scientifically illiterate.
Like in the Soviet Union, the tyrants who force certain views usually are interested in that view for ulterior reasons.
99% is conservative but I guess until they ask every single scientist we'll have to stick with that.
The fact that over 99% of scientists understand TToE as good science combined with the fact that over 99.9% of the people who reject TToE are not scientsts should be telling.
Weird comment. The Stalinists were evolution supporters as were/are all the Marxists.
So what do you suppose their ulterior motives are?
I didn't read the whole line.
LOL -- I actually like that pic :)
No. But pushing back superstition has always been part and parcel of Marxist/Communist regimes. The Chinese were especially ruthless in this and millions were murdered for their belief in "the olds".
Incredible revisionism on this thread.
Inculcating atheist belief system so as to be better controlled by the state. Theism can mean allegiance to or belief in an authority even higher than the state which was not to be accepted in communist states.
It's not a mystery, it's history.
> Incredible revisionism on this thread.
Indeed, as your post just demonstrates. To state that studying cause and effect does not help wipe out superstition... revisionism on the order of Holocaust denial and ID.
You know who you are.
> Inculcating atheist belief system so as to be better controlled by the state.
Good one, Mr. Kerry!!!
I didn't state that.
Can you try to be intellectually honest? It doesn't hurt evolution or Darwinism to know that it was official dogma of communist states and they used it for their own purposes.
> PM has an imaginary doctor friend who is a Creationist.
Many Creationists have imaginary friends. It's something of a defining feature.
So you came to that conclusion despite the facts that:
a) Virtually every scientist accepts the basic tenants of ToE as true regardless of their religious beliefs
b) The majority of scientists and the majority of Biologists in the field are also religious.
c) Evolution is not contrary to the majority of theistic religious, mainly just Creationists.
In that light, you're assumption seems a bit off base, does it not? If not downright paranoid? (Or calculated rationalization to fill a hole in the argument).
Now I need to find the FreepSpeak lexicon to properly frame your post...