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保護香港的演化論和科學教育! Protect the education of evolution and real sciences in Hong Kong!
Closed on Jun 30, 2009
Petition Background (Preamble):
2009/05/30, 12:00nn - 2009/6/30, 12:00nn
In Hong Kong, the new senior secondary school biology and combined science curriculum effective from September 2009 contain a statement in the part of evolution that may encourage unscientific theories to be propagated in science classes. The related passage reads:
"In addition to Darwin's theory, students are encouraged to explore other explanations for evolution and the origins of life, to help illustrate the dynamic nature of scientific knowledge."
News media reported that at least 31 secondary schools in Hong Kong have already admitted to teach Creationism and/or Intelligent Design as an alternative to the theory of evolution during science lessons. The Education Bureau first turned their back to the complaining scientists from the University of Hong Kong, but later stated in a TV program that creationism is not “considered as an alternative to Darwin’s theory”.
In the same TV program a secondary school principal lashed out at the scientists for being narrow-minded by expelling religious ideas. Another secondary school principal said on the newspaper that "Our religious belief does not approve of evolution" . In early May 2009, a group of 62 people, including educators and scientists, signed a statement calling for controversial guidelines to be retained because it is "stimulating, balanced, non-biased and has worked well" .
To date, the theory of evolution is the only robust and established scientific theory regarding the biodiversity on Earth. It has stood numerous tests ever since publishing, and is supported by overwhelming evidence and confirmed by other areas of sciences like biochemistry, genetics, anatomy, physics and geology. This central theory in biology has substantially contributed to many of the greatest scientific and technological advancements in modern medicine and agriculture, thus has saved many lives and improved their living.
The other "explanations", such as Creationism or Intelligent Design, are not even consistent with the definition of science, and have been dismissed by scientists worldwide as pseudo-sciences with strong reasons. Scientists have already stated openly and widely that these unscientific ideas should not be taught in science classes .
The problematic statement in the new biology and combined science syllabuses will open a loophole for pseudo-sciences, resulting in a great damage to quality education in Hong Kong, whereby knowledge on the theory and fact of evolution of life on Earth are being concealed, denied, or confused with ideas or notions not testable by science, and thus contradicts the objectives of science education.
There are evidences showing damages have already been made to science education, as schools and teachers with religious background unscrupulously teach Creationism and Intelligent Design during science classes. Education Bureau, as stated in its vision statement, is responsible for providing quality education to our next generation; it must address this problem seriously and with urgency, and clearly expresses their position publicly, to prevent this problem from further spoiling Hong Kong’s international image.
To know more about the issue or to support us, please visit our website.
2. 澄清教育局在事件上的立場。2009年4月24日教育局在香港電台節目「The Pulse」發表聲明說：「創造論不被認為是達爾文理論外的其他解釋」。為貫徹始終，當局須發表類似的公開聲明，說明：「智慧設計論不被認為是達爾文理論外的其他解釋」。
1. 請用你的真實英文姓名，姓氏須全部大寫（如CHAN Po-Ming, TSE Johnny等）。
2. 顯示您所住區域，如「觀塘」， 「大埔」或「大嶼山」等。
4. 請只簽署一次 -- 如有不肯定或中途發生故障，請重新訪問網站和檢查簽署頁，看看是否已經成功簽署。
To Education Bureau, HKSAR Government,
We, the undersigned, are concerned about the future of science education in Hong Kong, strongly object to the confusion of religion and science education, and petition that immediate action is taken by the Bureau to:
1. Issue open statement to emphasize the teaching of sciences and evolution's underpinning importance in biology, to allow students learn the best of scientific knowledge, to distinguish what is scientific theories from what is not (E.g. Creationism and Intelligent Design), and review the curriculum along this direction. Education Bureau should clarify what kind of discussions is encouraged in science class, and emphasize the purpose of such discussions is to be in accordance with the aim of science education.
2. Clarify the position of Education Bureau on the matter. On the RTHK Program "The Pulse" on April 24, 2009, the Bureau made a statement saying "Creationism is not considered as an alternative to Darwin’s theory". To be consistent, a similar open statement that declares "Intelligent Design is not considered as an alternative to Darwin’s theory" should be issued.
3. Rectify the damaging remarks by school principals, teachers and the group of 62, which distort science and advocate the teaching of pseudo-sciences. These people are being dishonest in using Intelligent Design/Creationism proponents' materials without disclosing the source (thus their Intelligent Design/Creationism position) to the public and legislative council.
We thank you for taking time to read this letter and will very much appreciate your prompt response. We wish to work together for the best of education in Hong Kong.
(Instructions for signers:
1. Sign with your real name in English, all caps for surname / family name (e.g. CHAN Po-Ming, TSE Johnny etc)
2. Show the district you live in, such as "Kwun Tong", "Tai Po" or "Lantau Island" etc. If you are not a Hong Kong citizen, please enter "not a Hong Kong citizen" or any similar words to indicate so.
3. Provide method of contact (it will not be shown on the petition publicly, and is only for the group committee's use to contact you if needed).
4. Sign once only -- if you are not sure or a failure occurred midway, check the signatories when you revisit the site to see if you have successfully signed.
5. Invite your friends to sign this petition, to help protecting science education in Hong Kong. Thank you very much for your support.)
The 保護香港的演化論和科學教育! Protect the education of evolution and real sciences in Hong Kong! petition to Education Bureau, HKSAR Government 香港特區政府教育局 was written by Concern Group for Hong Kong Science Education and is in the category Education at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: hong kong, science, education, evolution, creationism, intelligent design, 香港, 科學, 教育, 進化, 演化, 創造, 智慧設計