World View: Turkey Removing Evolution from Textbooks, Adding More About Jihad

In this March 29, 2017 file photo, schoolchildren visiting the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, poses for pictures with their teachers in Ankara, Turkey. (Lefteris Pitarakis / AP)
Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Next, Turkey will teach that the sun orbits around the earth
  • Stanislav Petrov, “The man who saved the world,” dies at age 77

Next, Turkey will teach that the sun orbits around the earth

High school students in Istanbul protest the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in Turkish high schools. This protest occurred prior to the July 15, 2016, coup (BBC)
High school students in Istanbul protest the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in Turkish high schools. This protest occurred prior to the July 15, 2016, coup (BBC)

Secularists in Turkey are outraged that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is to be removed from high school textbooks and curricula on biology and replaced with claims that forms of life are unchanged. Supposedly, mechanisms like adaptation, mutation, and natural and artificial selection will still be taught, but students apparently will not be permitted to conclude that these mechanisms cause life forms to evolve.

At the same time, there will be more classes on Sunni Islam religion, and the new textbooks have increased emphasis on the importance of jihad or holy war, saying that it means “love of homeland.”

The new curriculum will also have much less information about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the revered founder of Turkey after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Ataturk declared that Turkey would be a secular state, with freedom of worship for people of all religions, including Jews and Christians.

The reason being given for all of these changes is that they are necessary for the protection of Turkey, following the aborted coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has declared that he wants to create a “pious generation,” and these changes are necessary.

However, as usual for Erdogan, that is a lie. For years, starting long before the coup attempt, Erdogan has been aggregating power to himself and has been changing Turkey’s character from a secular state to a conservative Islamist state.

In June of last year, a month before the coup attempt, a wave of protests transpired in hundreds of schools across Turkey over restrictions on student freedom on overtly religious grounds. Students protested restrictions on holding concerts at school, on not allowing girls’ hockey teams, and on secular literature or poetry societies. They feared that ordinary high schools would turn into strict religious schools, where girls and boys are segregated, with increased emphasis on teaching Sunni Islamic religion and religious practices.

Since the coup, Erdogan has ordered the firing or jailing of well over 100,000 people in all professions, from waitresses to judges. This purge has included the firing of more than 33,000 of the nation’s teachers, about 4 percent. In addition, nearly 5,600 academics have been dismissed and about 880 schools closed for alleged links to terror groups. AP and Hurriyet (Ankara) and BBC (21-June-2016)

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Stanislav Petrov, “The man who saved the world,” dies at age 77

It has been revealed that Stanislav Petrov died on May 9 at age 77, though his death only became widely known this month.

Petrov is credited as being “The man who saved the world” because of events that transpired on September 26, 1983.

Petrov was on duty at a Russian nuclear early warning center when a siren sounded, and he received a computer readout saying that the United States had launched a missile. The big, back-lit red screen had the word “launch” on it. According to Petrov in 2013, “A minute later the siren went off again. The second missile was launched. Then the third, and the fourth, and the fifth. Computers changed their alerts from ‘launch’ to ‘missile strike.'”

Petrov was frozen in place. He believed that if he passed the alert up the military chain, the Soviet Army would immediately launch a retaliatory missile strike. Instead, he debated with himself what to do and ended up doing nothing: “Twenty-three minutes later I realized that nothing had happened. If there had been a real strike, then I would already know about it. It was such a relief.”

Petrov violated military protocol, but he was not reprimanded for doing so. Instead, he received an official reprimand for not correctly updating his log book.

It is possible, as many people believe, that Petrov’s hesitancy saved the world from a nuclear war, but I actually doubt that conclusion. Russia was in a generational Unraveling era, where the entire Soviet bureaucracy, just like Petrov, would have been extremely hesitant to take the word of a computer that a war had begun. I think that it is most likely that the military leadership would have taken a few minutes to verify the attack before launching a counterattack, and war would have been averted anyway. But that’s just my guess. We’ll never know for sure. Russia Today and BBC (26-Sep-2013)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Turkey, Tayyip Recep Erdogan, Charles Darwin, Soviet Union, Stanislav Petrov
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