Anti-Evolution Suit in Russia:

A Russian school girl is challenging the teaching of evolution as a violation of her religious liberty. Kristi Bowman has some details (and is looking for more) on BioLaw here.

Ilya Non-Somin:
The Principal: "...this is stupid and serves no purpose."
Leave to the Russians to come up with a meaningful, nuanced, and sensitive statement.
12.18.2006 8:48pm
Colin (mail):
Slashdot posted this a little while ago. An anonymous assertion was made that the girl's father works for a PR firm that was in need of, and now has, some publicity. In support of those assertions, a commentor named Cyberax posted two links:

I don't think I'll send these to Ms. Bowman, as she seems to be looking for English-language material. I barely understand written Russian, but it looks to me as if the first article (the second won't encode properly for me) includes a quote expressing outrage that the ToE holds that Jesus and Mohammed were descended from apes. Sigh. It also points out that the United States still hasn't moved past this crap. Double sigh.

A question - what does "черный пиар" mean? Is it an idiom, or am I just not reading it correctly?
12.18.2006 9:02pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Why should Americans have a monopoly on ignorance?
12.18.2006 9:25pm
M (mail):
"черный пиар" is "Black PR"- generally negative public relations material, often phoney or otherwise cooked up but sometimes real and perhaps collected by security organizations. It's used to hurt one's enemies, planted in newspapers and the like. (Buying a story in a newspaper is quite common in Russia.)
12.18.2006 9:48pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Ilya, blunt as that statement made be, it is precisely accurate.
12.18.2006 9:48pm
Heh, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Also the Russians cannot come up with anything new since 1991, seems like they just watch CNN and half a year later come up with the stuff that has already been done and redone here. Lame-o.

P.S. well nothing new, except for extra-judicial killings and the like...
12.18.2006 10:26pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
A short list of things that Russia has ripped off from the US since 1991:

- awful action movie-making
- gay=cool
- lame white kids rapping

and now, (drumroll please),
- Christian fundamentalism
12.18.2006 10:33pm
Randy R. (mail):
Having just returned from Moscow, I would hardly say that being gay is considered 'cool' in Russia. It isn't even 'cool' in the states, so I don't know what Mike is referring to.

However, there is a growing trend towards acceptance of gay people in the states. Whether this will happen in Russia remains to be seen. Regardless, it's hardly 'ripping off' something when you are merely granting basic rights to a group of people.

Russia is moving towards a more open society, depite Putin's actions recently. And moreover, the people actually have hope for a better society in the future, and that's a major change from a decade ago.

Nonetheless, I agree this is a pretty stupid action on the part of the student. She should study more, and be indoctrinated less.
12.18.2006 11:19pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Randy, it's a joke, dude. And Boris Moiseyev is one example of what I am referrin to.
12.18.2006 11:25pm
Colin (mail):
Oh, of course. "PR" transliterated as "piar." Thanks, M.
12.19.2006 10:17am
John Armstrong (mail):
Am I correct in reading the article that "she" brought the suit, but it's really her father's doing? Sort of a mirror of the "under God" case from back in 2002?
12.19.2006 11:10am
Colin (mail):
I think that's right. I'm not very familiar with Russian law, but I assume that it's similar to ours in that a minor can't bring a suit on her own. She needs a parent, guardian, or legal steward to file the action for her.
12.19.2006 11:40am
plunge (mail):
Slightly off topic, but the final chapter on the whole Sternberg controversy seems to be being written, and Sternberg
doesn't come off too well on his accusations.
12.19.2006 1:05pm
Wince and Nod (mail) (www):
We should at least consider the notion that teaching which directly contradicts a religious belief is an imposition on religious liberty. It may be a permissable imposition, like campaign finance laws, but it is still an imposition. As such, it should be minimized, perhaps by encouraging school choice.

12.19.2006 1:26pm
John Armstrong (mail):
Colin: My point wasn't just proccedural, but that this may not be the 15-year-old's opinion so much as her father using her as a pawn.
12.19.2006 4:11pm
Colin (mail):
Oh, I see. Well, I agree - I think that the suit is both procedurally and substantively her father's doing.
12.19.2006 4:29pm
Randy R. (mail):
Sorry Mike! Sometimes on these boards it hard to tell the jokes from the jerks, and I assumed the later. Thanks for making it the former!
12.19.2006 8:17pm
Randy R. (mail):
"My point wasn't just proccedural, but that this may not be the 15-year-old's opinion so much as her father using her as a pawn."

Now it all makes sens! One thing the Russians are very good at is playing chess.

12.19.2006 8:18pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Randy, no sweat. :)
12.19.2006 10:12pm