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Symbiartic

Symbiartic

The art of science and the science of art.

Iran’s Position on Evolution? Not What You Might Expect.

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If you had asked me before yesterday what the official Iranian position on evolution was, I would have shrugged my shoulders and said, "skewed?" As such you can imagine my surprise when I found out that Neil Shubin's popular book, Your Inner Fish, has been translated into Persian:

Persian translation of Your Inner Fish

Persian translation of Neil Shubin's "Your Inner Fish"

And here I must admit: I'm more than a little ignorant on the topic of science education in Iran. According to these recent papers on the subject (here and here), Iran's science textbooks are relatively untouched by religion, at least compared to its Muslim neighbors. It would seem that Iranians are getting a fairly accurate explanation of what evolution is and how it works. So perhaps it's not so surprising to see Your Inner Fish in Persian after all.

Further Reading:

Elise K. Barton, the author of the papers above, was kind enough to point me in the direction of several other researchers studying the state of science education in the Muslim world:

Irtiqa: a blog by Salman Hameed, a professor at Hampshire College, that "tracks and comments on news relevant to the interplay of science & religion - with a focus on scientific debates taking place in the Muslim world."

A forthcoming book by Jorg Matthias Determann, on networks of biology and evolution in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf countries

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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