Monday, June 21, 2010

Russia gets creationism, too

The Russian Orthodox Church has also adopted the tactics of the new creationists.  It's the scientists that are closed-minded and dogmatic, while the religious are open-mined and flexible:
"The time has come for the monopoly of Darwinism and the deceptive idea that science in general contradicts religion. These ideas should be left in the past," senior Russian Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion said at a lecture in Moscow.   [. . .]
Hilarion heads the Church's external relations department. His lecture to Russian Foreign Ministry officials in Moscow was dedicated to fighting "fanatical secularism" of liberals hostile to religion, and called for dialogue with moderate secularists and cooperation with Catholics against common foes.
And they make use of the confusion over the word "theory" (a system of rules that explains and predicts observable facts vs a guess):
"Darwin's theory remains a theory. This means it should be taught to children as one of several theories, but children should know of other theories too."
The creationists, however, have a longer way to go in Russia than they do in the USA.  There are Russian religious leaders that would match the fundamentalists we have, but the mass of fundamentalist followers is, so far, absent:
Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a veteran dissident, told Reuters Russian liberals would fight any attempt to introduce religious teaching into Russian classrooms, particularly in science.
"It's a dangerous idea and we will do all we can to stop it," she said. "We overcame Communism as the state ideology and certain forces want to replace it with Orthodox Christianity."
She said it was unlikely religious teaching would replace Darwin in the national curriculum, but it could find its way into some schools with enough pressure from the Church.

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