Monday, July 28, 2008

Meanwhile, Over in Indonesia...

According to local scholars, the teaching of evolution is a problem in Indonesia, as well. Doesn't this sound familiar?

Like the U.S., there are two school systems in Indonesia: State-funded public schools that are mostly secular, and privately-funded schools, like madrassahs, that often incorporate religious education into the curriculum.

In public schools, evolution is taught independent of religion; in a madrassah, evolution is taught alongside religion.

Unlike the U.S., however, Indonesian public school students have to fulfill a religious studies requirement to graduate, despite the secular nature of the public schools. This almost forces any interpretation of evolution to fit within the bounds of Islam; according to many professors, this is not problematic.

"There shouldn't be any disagreements because the Koran is compatible with science," says Fahma Wijayanti, a lecturer at the Biology Department at State Islamic University (UIN). "If we learn more about evolution, we can discover and learn more about God's plan."

Baiq Hana Susanti, another lecturer at UIN, says that Darwin's theory is "largely inconclusive, with many missing links. The Koran fills in these holes or mysterious parts where there is no science to explain them."

Intelligent Design, Islamic-style. Oh, joy.

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