Italy Waffles on School Darwinism
It’s not just an American thing; the politicians and scientists in Italy, also, are polarizing around Darwin. The education ministry just dropped a requirement to teach evolution in elementary and middle schools as part of a major overhaul of education guidelines. A news brief in the April 28 issue of Science1 claims that pressure “may” be coming from the “far-right” Alleanza Nationale, part of the ruling coalition government. Earlier this year, it sponsored an “Anti-evolution week” in which a spokesman called evolution the “hegemony of the Left” in Europe and the “antechamber of Marxism”
The backlash by “leading scientists” was strong and predictable, reported Access Research Network. Rossella Lorenzi, writing in The Scientist, said that Darwin was back in school the next day, after the minister of education was inundated by letters and emails. Letizia Moratti alleged that it was “absolutely false” that evolution had been banned from primary and secondary schools; she reassured the press that evolution will be taught starting in primary school. She even appointed a committee of scientists to provide guidelines for the teaching of evolution.
One of the pro-evolution scientists is organizing a “Darwin week” in June, “in which universities and natural history museums across Italy will hold seminars on teaching evolution.” Science points out that the Roman Catholic Church has “no objections” to Darwinism, but quips, “As visitors to the Sistine Chapel can see, Italy has a long history of creationism.”
Meanwhile, back in cowboy country, the evolution wars are still raging in Darby, Montana (see 02/27/2004 entry). The “objective origins policy,” that allows for criticisms of Darwinism without offering up alternatives, has divided the community. According to The Ravalli Republic, it’s coming down to the outcome of the next school board elections.
1“Darwin in Italy,” Random Samples, Science, Volume 304, Number 5671, Issue of 30 April 2004.
Interesting that the Italians can connect the dots between Darwin and Marx, but American scientists pretend evolution is religiously neutral. Also notice that Science treats Darwinism and evolution as synonymous. Some evolutionists try to wriggle out of that connection and claim that Darwinism only refers to one discredited mechanism of evolution. Is Darwinism really the hegemony of the Left? We need a research project to see how many hard line Darwinists are also leftists. Bets are the correlation would be high. Most editorials that touch on politics in the elitist science journals usually show a distinctly anti-conservative, liberal-left slant. Even this article didn’t hesitate to label the anti-evolutionists “far-right” but avoided attributing the label “far-left” to the Darwin Party. It is instructive to note that Charlie and his fallen angels were all radical leftists of their day. Just a coincidence, presumably. Also coincidental that Marxists idolized Charlie and closed churches, turning them into museums of atheism.
Science puts the usual spin on the controversy. Creationism is linked with religion on the one hand, but in the same sentence the writer claims the “influential” Roman Catholic church has “no objections” to Darwinism. Well, which way is it? Michelangelo was Roman Catholic, and depicted God creating man instantly ex nihilo, not by millions of years of time and slime. Another spin is claiming that “leading scientists” [read: Big-Science elitists] are leading the protest. The reader is presumably left to deduce that all scientists accept evolution but only a few “far right” religiously-based politicians are against it. The power of the Darwin Party is still formidable. Sadly, the Italian government didn’t have the guts to stand up to their onslaught. It not only caved in, but even gave them more than they had before: a Darwin-Party committee to oversee the teaching of evolution. Anyone want to bet they will recommend “teaching the controversy”?
The news item says, “The government’s rationale, according to an education ministry official, was that students under 14 are far too young to be confronted with such complex material.” Scientist-protestors countered that physics and mathematics are also difficult, but that doesn’t stop us from teaching those subjects. Well, then, why do they use that same rationale, that teaching the controversy about Darwin is too complex and difficult for young minds? A mind that can learn about gravity can just as easily comprehend the fact that Darwinism has major scientific problems. Italy’s motherly-protection excuse is weak. We suggest the opposite approach. Tell the Marxist-Darwinist-Leftists that Italian children are too precocious and perceptive to be fed a diet of evolutionary just-so stories.
Maybe you thought Marxism went out of style when the Berlin wall fell. As long as Darwinism is the hegemony of the Left, the Marxists are waiting in the antechamber. Lest we forget, we should remember what Stalin, the would-be priest who became an atheist after reading Darwin’s abominable volume, did to the “creationists” of his day. Read this account and you will see why the Italians have good cause for alarm. It should be required reading during Anti-Evolution Week.