'Anti-Darwin' Serb minister quits

Serbia's education minister has resigned after causing outrage by telling schools to restrict teaching of Charles Darwin's evolution theory.

An official statement said Ljiljana Colic was stepping down because of "problems that had started to reflect on the work of the entire government".

Mrs Colic had said Darwin's theory was no more legitimate than the idea that God created all creatures in the world.

Her policy was quickly reversed after a storm of protests.

The Glas Javnosti newspaper on 7 September quoted Mrs Colic as saying that in future Charles Darwin's theory would only be taught alongside creationism.

Teachers would have to skip a chapter in biology textbooks on Darwin until a new curriculum was worked out, she said.

Ms Colic said the two theories were equally dogmatic.

Later media reports said she had argued against compulsory teaching of foreign languages and computing.


Correspondents say the anti-Darwin move shocked educators in a republic where religion only recently began to be taught.

Biologist Nikola Tucic described the ruling as "outrageous" and said it showed Serbia's Orthodox Church was interfering in politics.

Creationism is the belief that the Old Testament account of God's creation of the world is true.

Darwin's theory of evolution is the dominant explanation of man's origins within the scientific community.