Sunday, February 21, 2010

Yet another reason for Israel to become the 51st of the United States of America

For they too have, among the top echelons of their government, "scientists" in charge of public education who do not accept the evidence for evolution or global warming! Wow:
The Education Ministry's chief scientist sparked a furor among environmental activists and scholars Saturday with remarks questioning the reliability of evolution and global warming theory. The comments from Dr. Gavriel Avital, the latest in a series of written and oral statements casting doubts on the fundamental tenets of modern science, led several environmentalists to call for his dismissal.

"If textbooks state explicitly that human beings' origins are to be found with monkeys, I would want students to pursue and grapple with other opinions. There are many people who don't believe the evolutionary account is correct," Avital said yesterday.

"There are those for whom evolution is a religion and are unwilling to hear about anything else. Part of my responsibility, in light of my position with the Education Ministry, is to examine textbooks and curricula," he said. "If they keep writing in textbooks that the Earth is growing warmer because of carbon dioxide emissions, I'll insist that isn't the case."
Now isn't that further evidence of the strong cultural ties between the US and Israel? Doesn't it lend support to the long-argued case for making Israel the 51st state of the US? Further evidence of a shared anathema to science comes courtesy of the NCSE, suggesting that this anti-scientific rot is not limited to the political upper echelons of Israeli government, but may be rather widespread among the general populace as well:
Unfortunately, Avital's views on evolution may be shared by a sizable segment of the Israeli public. A 2006 survey of public opinion in Israel by the Samuel Neaman Institute found that "a minority of only 28% accepts the scientific theory of the evolution [sic], while the majority (59%) believes that man was created by god," while according to the 2000 International Social Survey Programme, a total of 54% of Israeli respondents described "Human beings developed from earlier species of animals" as definitely or probably true, placing Israel ahead of the United States (46%, in last place) for its public acceptance of evolution, but behind twenty-three of the twenty-seven countries included in the report.
And I'm (sadly) gratified to find a shared brotherhood with my biologist colleagues in Israel who find themselves rather unexpectedly having to bat down this kind of inanity.



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