Serbian Schools withdraw Darwin’s Theory in the curriculum

( [email protected] ) Sep 13, 2004 11:49 AM EDT

Serbia government has suspended the teaching of Darwin’s theory of human evolution for the this school year.

"Accumulated scientific knowledge on the origin and development of man is full of voids," said Education Minister Ljiljana Colic, an Orthodox Christian. Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica’s government supported Colic’s decision.

The country's secular schools will eventually be allowed to resume teaching it in the future only if it shares equal billing with creationism.

Colic said it was “normal that a minister’s personality leaves a mark,” adding: “This is my mark, and time will tell if I was right.”

"Darwinism is a theory as dogmatic as the one which says God created the first man," Colic instated. “Both theories exist in parallel and legitimately in the rest of the world,” “The evolutionist, which says man is descended from the ape, and the one which says God Almighty created man and the entire world.”

Serbian educators have accused the minister of harbouring a desire to raise the influence of the already powerful Orthodox Church in the country's political life.

Formerly a communist state, Serbia kept religion out of education and politics and only recently allowed it to enter the classroom. In 2000, catechism was introduced in primary schools.

A lecturer at Belgrade University, Nikola Tucic said, "We are slowly turning into a theocratic state and in the 21st century we are going back to the Book of Revelation."

Serbia is not the first country to court controversy with the removal of Darwinism from school curricula as more groups are campaigning to teach creationism in schools.