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The Ministry of Education is bringing evolution back to schools: "In order for the students to understand the issue of ecology, it is important to understand the scientific basis for the differences between the species and the similarities between some of them: evolution"

This is what Prof. Nava Ben-Zvi, chairman of the scientific subjects committee for middle schools, said in an interview with the Hidan site, which the committee headed decided that the subject should be taught. According to her, all the professional committees for decades have determined that the theory of evolution must be taught and that it must be lamented that it has disappeared and remains only at the mercy of the teachers * Now it remains to be seen whether the plan will also be implemented in the field

Teaching evolution in schools. Illustration: shutterstock
Teaching evolution in schools. Illustration: shutterstock

It may seem trivial, because evolution is the basis of all life sciences, but in the last twenty years, without any official decision being made on the subject, only a few students in the Israeli education system are exposed to the source of differences between species, to the reason why bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics and to an attempt to find out why many species are extinct and others Thrive in a time of climate change.

For twenty years, this decree of disappearance passed quite quietly, but in the age of social networks it is very difficult to hide public indignation, in particular that this is an issue about which there is no scientific controversy, but the feeling was that an excessive effort was made to silence the ultra-Orthodox who demanded to remove the issue from the agenda (and are still demanding, see today's news On the Shabbat Square website. A few months ago, an active Facebook group was established whose leaders demanded Bring evolution back into the curriculum. In September 2013, we reported that the Ministry of Education said in response to a request from the site of the science: "The subject of evolution is studied as part of extended biology studies (unit 5). Also, the Pedagogical Secretariat is currently examining the expansion of the topic to additional age groups"

Now the professional committee in the Ministry of Education, which oversees science studies in middle school, headed by Prof. Nava Ben-Zvi from the Hebrew University, has decided that the principles of the theory of evolution will be taught in all middle schools - in the state, state religious education and in the Arab sector, as part of ecology studies - a field that deals with the relationship between the different species of animals and plants and between them and the environment and the theory of evolution, according to the members of the committee, provides the full explanation for the question of why species differ from each other and why certain species are more similar to other species, due to their common origin.

"According to the currently accepted theories, the variety of species that exists in our world is the result of evolutionary processes," reads a document from the Ministry of Education which was leaked to the religious-national website 'Kippa'. "The variety of creatures in nature reflects the difference in form, structure and way of life. According to the accepted theories today, the variety of species that exists in our world is the result of evolutionary processes, there is a compatibility between creatures and their environment and there are reciprocal relationships between creatures and between them and their environment."

Over the years, the issue was brought up several times by citizens who were surprised and asked the school administrators, the answers were usually evasive, but it was learned that some of the teachers also admitted that this was a directive designed to humble the controversial issue, so as not to upset the religious. For example, in 2012, then MK Einat Wilf raised a question to the Minister of Education at the time, Gideon Sa'ar Why only 515 students were tested in matriculation on evolution.

It is possible that the fact of evolution's disappearance has something to do with the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's surrender to the Shas and the dismissal of Shulamit Aloni from the Ministry of Education (See a news item on the subject that we published when news of Aloni's death became known)

Prof. Ben Zvi: "The committee deals with three components of the curriculum: content - what they will learn; Methodically - that is, how they will learn; and in teacher training. As mentioned, this is a permanent committee that accompanies science studies in middle school and not a committee established for the purpose of clarifying the subject of studying evolution. "
"The members of the committee are scientists, science educators, teachers from the field, curriculum developers and more. Some of the members are religious, some are secular, some are even Arab, the committee represents all sectors in the country."

How will the subject be taught?

"We did not enter into a debate about evolution. In the middle school classes we deal with theories after the results. As soon as we decided to teach a subject like ecology, which talks about a lot of species and their interactions, it was clear that we were not only talking about the similar molecules and the similar cell structure, but also about the morphological behavior."

"After making the decision to teach ecology, we checked the previous programs and were happy to see that evolution was already mentioned in the 98s in programs that dealt with children with strong scientific tendencies, and again in the program Tomorrow XNUMX' the important program of Prof. Haim Harari, and it was clear to us that we had to include evolutionary theory in ecology studies . It was also clear to us that we would not make a separation between the state sector, the religious state sector and the Arab sector."

Prof. Ben Zvi added: "We will not include in the curriculum a chapter called evolution or an anchor called evolution. Evolution serves as an explanation for the fact that there are many species that are different and some are similar. If the child talks about the similarity between the monkey and the human, then it is clear that this is due to the fact that both were derived from the same source. We had discussions and questions arose, but the members of the committee - both the scientists and the teachers understood that it was important to flood it and not hide the issue behind the last page. It's important to me to see what the study materials will look like, what the book will look like, what the exam questions will look like, what the video will look like, and the programmed material, the chats and the blogs. As in the entire Western world, we need to include this thing in the curriculum."

How did evolution disappear?

Prof. Ben Zvi: "I don't know how it disappeared. It's a shame that the treatment of evolution has disappeared from the curriculum. I assume that the teachers talked about it - especially in the middle school science classes, the teachers who teach science are biology teachers, perhaps those who are physics teachers by training who have not been exposed to the subject were less concerned with it. The reason for the disappearance may be that we as teachers avoid making decisions on all kinds of issues. We want to know that two plus two is four, that the structure of the material is one and not another, and it may be that teachers have difficulty, regardless of whether they are religious or not, dealing with the subject."

The scientist: It is true that this is an improvement to the existing situation which is a complete disregard of evolution, but perhaps it would have been desirable to start with it at a younger age?

Prof. Ben Zvi: "It is possible that because they do not choose a unit in matriculation that deals with evolution, the need to teach it to all students already in middle school so that they understand the principles was raised. As for the question why in the XNUMXth grade and not before? When the issue is brought up to small children they ask questions such as 'Was my grandfather a monkey?' Even in the subjects of inanimate matter, children in elementary school learn about types of energy and types of matter but certainly do not enter into theories explaining why energy is conserved or how matter is built in the various states of aggregation. They study the phenomena and also according to all the psychological theories of constructivism we know that the younger the child is, the less scaffolding he has to understand things. In middle school, they are at an age where they are capable of more abstract thinking and most students can struggle with difficult explanations."
And yet, creation is taught from first grade?
Prof. Ben Zvi: "These are worlds in which people can stand with two feet. The story of the Torah is It's like a snail, it starts with studying the Torah, you skip difficult chapters and come back to them later and in higher grades they deal with interpretations. But in first grade we also learn about the senses and the world around us, and at the end it comes to places with more theoretical explanations."

The science site is proud of the thousands of articles which revealed scientific studies in the field of evolution.

More on the topic of studying evolution on the science website:

And of course Countless reports about the struggles in the USA In the issue of studying evolution and the requirement of religious factors for the same amount of time as studying the 'theory of creation' or in its more sophisticated form 'intelligent planning' instead of exclusivity for evolution.

23 תגובות

  1. Raphael
    Happy holiday!

    But, but... So you claim that evolution does not claim that we and the chimpanzee have a common ancestor from 6 million years ago? If you think so, you are wrong.

  2. Well, I'm not the same Rafael who responded earlier.


    Before you make fun of someone who misspelled one word, and that's to avoid taking a serious look at his response - I have a piece of advice for you - take Korra out of your eyes! Your site is full of spelling and syntax errors and you also get a lot of comments about it from surfers. I personally don't notice it, I'm interested in the content of the article or the comment.


    Regarding the question you asked Shalom - my answer is - no!!!
    And I still think there is no contradiction, but I don't have the strength and desire to get into endless and pointless verbal fights with you.

    Happy Matan Torah holiday to all surfers!
    Let's do it and hear it!

  3. Peace
    According to evolution - man and chimpanzee evolved from the same ancient animal, which lived about 6 million years ago.

    Is that acceptable to you?

  4. When will they realize that there is no connection/contradiction between creation and evolution

  5. On a personal level, there was no need for the humiliation of a Nobel laureate. Dan Shechtman could have been a president at Weizmann's level. And Mr. Rivlin was an excellent president regardless.

  6. Garbanboli
    Look - my reaction was a reaction to the fact that you disqualified Knesset members overwhelmingly from being president.
    The role is not only a representation of Israel. I mentioned other duties of the president, and there are more. We already had a president who didn't understand politics....

  7. Miraculously, the nature of the job is to represent Israel. Indeed, a politician is worthy, as long as he does not sign for himself, does not involve political considerations, and does not receive the direct support of the head of state. There is an inherent conflict of interests in the process.

  8. Garbanboli
    On the other hand - the most suitable candidate was chosen. With all due respect to Shechtman, I don't think it's right to go directly from an academy to the president of a country with so many problems. Do you really think that a science professor can handle the complexity of a pardon for example? Don't you think that legislation and government should be understood first? Did he know how to manage the government properly?

    Please don't make the role a joke.

  9. A modern education system is essential to maintain democracy. Because members of the Knesset elect themselves to the presidency. And this is just a small example of our fragile democracy. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the Supreme Court to prevent MKs from running for the presidency.

  10. Raphael
    If God did create you as requested by your words, the creation called Raphael is not entirely complete. You do not have the divine spark. You need to be returned to the manufacturing plant and urgently treated for 10,000. I hope this will help..

  11. Raphael, they write Beth to obey, they don't even teach you grammar in yeshiva.
    And to your question, contrary to beliefs, in science the facts speak. The facts are so strongly in the direction of evolution that one simply has to be blind not to see them.

  12. Raphael
    When will you come up with your own approach? How long do you want to stay programmed according to what we put in your head at Ponybiz. When will you, your friends and your rabbis begin to understand that the Bible is not a science book. The Bible is indeed a masterpiece, but in one breath you need to know what it is not. Have you ever read a book or article in science for example physics. Believe me, there are enough books on the subject that are written in a language that even those who do not know advanced mathematics will understand. Go out and be smart. It is not wise to display ignorance in an angry way. If I were you I would bury my head in the ground in shame.

  13. Raphael
    Who gave you ownership of the truth? Who are you to determine that there really is a God? Do you believe in God? great. But don't state factually that he created the world. you don't know that
    You know what, Raphael - I'm not sure you even understand what "knowing" is. can you explain me please

  14. Abi Blizovsky, interesting, this is exactly what I think about people like you, who try to force their beliefs on others (those who don't read Zeit are called ignorant, dark, primitive) and also hide the truth (that God created the world and He gave us the Torah) from an entire generation. Maybe explain to me how you are better than the religious?

  15. I have no problem with religious people personally, but only because they try to impose their beliefs and hide the truth from an entire generation of Israelis.

  16. It sounds like the editor of the website is very fond of religious people - it's a shame that he forcefully introduces nuances of his hatred.

  17. I highly recommend a bestseller called "The Selfish Garden"
    He deals with genes and how they are expressed.

  18. Stop being naive and thinking that everything has to do with religion.
    The government determines what will be taught and what will not, and all this as it sees fit regarding what will benefit the government to breed working donkeys in the training system.

  19. God bless you!
    Now there is a chance that thinking students will grow up
    (as opposed to digital students),
    There is a chance that even "believers" will give in to the nonsense of religion
    And they will learn where they came from...
    There is a chance that fewer ignorant people will flood our environment,
    There is a chance for education,
    God bless you!

  20. "We will not include in the curriculum a chapter called evolution or an anchor called evolution"

    Can I get an explanation?

  21. It is indeed a must to learn, that today there is a lot of information accumulated over many years of research, which disproved the hypothesis that existed before that, and new theories were created and no one can explain all the data.
    Some will call it the progress of science, and there are those who will say that the theory of evolution or theories of evolution, whose common denominator is the lack of recognition of the fact that this world was created - they are all incorrect. This is what a modern and advanced person must know.
    Question if this is what they will teach him in school?

  22. When you read comments on Ynet about evolution, with all the possible errors and all the sentences that indicate the abysmal ignorance of the average Israeli ("So where is the missing link?", "If there is evolution, why are there monkeys?" etc.) you realize how important the studies of evolution are , not only for children and youth but also for adults. The saddest thing is that so many ignorant people proudly pretend their ignorance, instead of trying to learn on science websites, on Wikipedia, in popular science books.

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