However, a survey of trainee teachers in the country concluded that religious belief was not a strong determinant of their acceptance of evolution3. It also found that 40% of biology teachers agreed with the statement that “much of the scientific community doubts if evolution occurs”; and half disagreed that “modern humans are the product of evolutionary processes”.
Until now, says Dayk Jang, the scientific community has done little to combat the anti-evolution sentiment. “The biggest problem is that there are only 5–10 evolutionary scientists in the country who teach the theory of evolution in undergraduate and graduate schools,” he says. Having seen the fierce debates over evolution in the United States, he adds, some scientists also worry that engaging with creationists might give creationist views more credibility among the public.
Silence is not the answer, says Dayk Jang. He is now organizing a group of experts, including evolutionary scientists and theologians who believe in evolution, to counter the SRT’s campaign by working to improve the teaching of evolution in the classroom, and in broader public life.