Russian schools to teach creationism?

The Reuters news agency reports that

The Russian Orthodox Church called Wednesday for an end to the “monopoly of Darwinism” in Russian schools, saying religious explanations of creation should be taught alongside evolution.

Reuters reports senior Russian Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion saying at a lecture in Moscow that

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.  . . .  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.

Yes, there are other stories, which might be taught in a course on “Origin Stories.” But evolution theory, as  developed since the time of Darwin, is the scientific theory behind the Science of Biology; and it would be mis-educative to have children thinking that the variety of other stories about origins are also “theories” in the same sense — i.e. in the sense of serving as a scientific theory, like cell theory, atomic theory, etc.

Superficially, it might look like there is nothing to see here but a recurrence of the same issues and arguments that have been playing out in the United States. There is a difference, though, reflected in the observation that

The atheist Soviet state, which collapsed in 1991, used Darwin to disprove religious teachings.

Public school science curriculum in the United States has not been used for teaching such a dogma: the dogma that the truth that’s found in science somehow disproves religious teachings.

While there are some in the West who do draw such conclusions, others insist that doing so requires stepping outside of what a scientist can say, qua scientist.

For more on this, see Creationism in Russia? at ncse.com.

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