Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Reception of Ardi in the Middle East

Interesting Economist article which it links poor Arab education to bad Arab economies. Turns out there is a direct conflict between faith and national strength. "In much of the Arab world, coverage of the research took a different spin. 'American Scientists Debunk Darwin', exclaimed the headline in al-Masry al-Youm, Egypt’s leading independent daily. 'Ardi Refutes Darwin’s Theory', chimed the website of al-Jazeera, the region’s most-watched television channel."

And later:

"...Saudi Arabia has launched King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a city-sized institution with an endowment of $20 billion. Intended as an oasis of academic excellence, it enjoys an independent board and is the kingdom’s only co-educational institution. This augurs well for the Saudi elite, but one fancy new university will do little to lift the overall standard of Saudi education. And it has been attacked by religious conservatives. A senior cleric who decried the mixing of sexes at KAUST, declaring that its textbooks should be reviewed by religious scholars, was forced to resign from government office."

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