Turkey is instituting a “value-based” curriculum, as the Education Ministry deems evolution too advanced for high school. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)
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Students in Turkey are returning to school Monday where they will be taught evolution for the last time in biology classes.Turkey has announced an overhaul of more than 170 topics in the country's school curriculum, including removing all direct references to evolution from high school biology classes.Cagri Mert Bakirci, a biologist who founded an online learning project called the "Tree of Evolution," calls the ministry's claim that evolution is too difficult for Turkish students an "insult" to them and their teachers.The two biologists say evolution was never adequately taught in Turkish public schools in the first place.The head of Turkey's education board, Alpaslan Durmus, insisted it was "utterly ignorant" to say evolution has been scrapped when its mechanisms are still being taught."There is serious fear in universities and in the Ministry of Education that one may be pushed out, and evolution has become one of those scary themes," he said.He said Turkish academics now avoid using the word evolution in project proposals even while studying evolutionary topics.
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