New Scientist - 15 June 2010
Short Sharp Science
Enthusiasts of creationism on the fringes of the American evangelical movement now have the strangest new allies - in a nation that made atheism its state religion.
Yes, creationism has now reared its ugly and evolving head in Russia, the heart of the "Godless communism" that prevailed in the Soviet Union.
And, as pointed out in a superb blog by Michael Zimmerman in the Huffington Post, the Russian rhetoric sounds strangely familiar.
After giving a lecture last week in Moscow, Hilarion Alfeyev, Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, was reported by Reuters saying:...The time has come for the monopoly of Darwinism and the deceptive idea that science in general contradicts religion. These ideas should be left in the past... Darwin's theory remains a theory. This means it should be taught to children as one of several theories, but children should know of other theories too.
The fightback has already begun, and the Reuters item reports Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a veteran Russian dissident, as saying that Russian liberals would fight all attempts to introduce religious teaching into classrooms, especially science. She says:It's a dangerous idea and we will do all we can to stop it. We overcame communism as the state ideology and certain forces want to replace it with Orthodox Christianity.