‘Creationism’ explodes in the Balkans
11 September 2004
If anyone doubts there is an international plot to assassinate creation, just take a look at recent events in the ‘powder keg of Europe’: Serbia.
Earlier this week, the education minister of this Balkan nation, Ljiljana Colic, announced that eighth-grade biology classes will not be teaching evolution this school year, and in the future the teachers must give equal time to the alternative view that God created.
Based on the reaction, you’d think another world war had started.
An international incident
Headlines shouted, ‘Serbia strikes blow against evolution’ and ‘Serb schools told to drop Darwin.’
A mob of teachers, opposition party leaders and evolutionary scientists descended on the government, joined by Serbia’s most popular cartoonist, who depicted Darwin being booted out of school, while an Orthodox priest was being slipped in.
To stem the revolt, the education minister met with Serbia’s prime minister on Thursday, and they decided to drop the measure.
The face of an assassin
The proposal was shot down with amazing speed. Normally, changes in government take time … unless there is a preexisting network of activists at work behind the scenes.
Such was the case in this situation.
When a Serb newspaper broke the story, it included quotes from a feisty biology lecturer, Nikola Tucic of Belgrade University, who called the education minister’s idea a ‘disaster.’ ‘This is outrageous,’ he fumed. ‘We are slowly turning into a theocratic state.’2
Tucic, it so happens, is a political opponent of the politically conservative prime minister. Once he was assured that his scientific coup against the administration had succeeded, he admitted that he had not worked alone. A pro-evolution activist group in the USA, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), had been offering assistance.
‘They offered us help,’ he acknowledged. ‘They did the same when creationists tried to kick evolution out of school curriculum in Italy.’1
NCSE is run by a self-avowed humanist/atheist, Dr. Eugenie Scott, who has been actively promoting evolution in schools and churches throughout the USA (see How Religiously Neutral are the Anti-Creationist Organizations?).
What can be done?
Clearly a battle has been joined, and the pro-evolution side is deeply committed. But what should Christians do?
It appears that Serbia’s education minister misjudged the level of intensive international scheming to undermine any effort to allow students to hear alternative views on origins.
Unfortunately, her strategy also appeared to be a bit misguided. While students should be free to hear other views, it would be counterproductive to force hostile, pro-evolutionary teachers to teach the creation alternative that gives credit to God.
Instead of relying primarily on the arm of government and secular schools, concerned citizens need to know that the most effective way to ‘turn the world upside down,’ according to the example of the New Testament Christians, is to boldly proclaim the authority of God’s Word and to give solid answers that explain the hope of the Gospel.
The ultimate problem is man’s rebellious heart. As Peter prophesied of ‘scoffers’ in the last days (2 Peter 3:3–7), they would be willfully ignorant of God’s creation and the global Flood, lest they be accountable to the Creator. (See Creation Flood and Coming Fire.)
There are ongoing efforts throughout the Balkans to change the hearts and minds of people, one at a time, including the nation of Bulgaria. It’s slow work, but each of us must do our part.
- Darwin is OK after all, Serbia says, Reuters, <msnbc.msn.com/id/5953639>, 9 September 2004. Return to text.
- Serbia strikes blow against evolution, Reuters, <www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5932128>, 7 September 2004. Return to text.