Israeli educator fired after pushing creationism

Tuesday, October 05, 2010 |  Ryan Jones

Dr. Gabi Avital, the chief scientist of Israel’s Education Ministry, was fired on Monday after reiterating his position that evolution is just a theory, and that it should be taught alongside creationism as the two most widely held beliefs regarding how our world originated.

In an interview with Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper last month, Avital insisted that “the conditions [for life on earth] were not accidental. [Charles] Darwin was a great scientist, but he took his theory in dangerous directions, and we need to teach the flaws of that theory, too.”

Speaking to Israel National News a day after being fired, Avital insisted the education of Israel’s young people is incomplete because it does not take into account the “numerous studies that refute the science of evolution” and show that a human being is not just a “substance without a soul.”

Shortly after being appointed to the post of chief scientist in December 2009, Avital advocated for adding creationism to the school curriculum.

The office of Education Minister Gideon Saar (Likud) issued a statement on Monday claiming that Avital had been hired on a trial basis, and that his trial period had simply expired without a decision to keep him on in the position of chief scientists.

But Avital told Israel National News that there was no question that Saar decided not to keep him because of the Ma’ariv interview. “Apparently, he did not like it.”

Being a scientist who also believes strongly in the Bible, Avital was regularly attacked by the liberal Israeli media from the moment he was hired by the Education Ministry.

The most vicious attacks came from the radical left-wing newspaper Ha’aretz, which in addition to his views on evolution, faulted Avital for saying global warming is a farce used by liberal environmentalists to advance their political agendas.

Avital has maintained that industry and technology have had only a very minor effect on the global temperatures and the climate in general, and that the “green” agenda is more about economic interests.

Avital noted the ludicrous message that his firing sends - that a chief scientist, a recognized expert, cannot and should not be heard if his findings and views oppose those of the established mainstream.

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