The history of biology lessons for young Greeks

Biology was introduced in Greek schools in 1931 as an adjunct to the existing «biological lessons» in the third year of high school. – The first textbook, «Elements of General Biology,» was issued in 1933 with «Evolution of the Organic World» as its fifth and final chapter. – In 1951, in the last edition of the same book, was the following phrase: «Natural selection is not correct according to the latest research.» – The first book was replaced in 1952 by «Elements of General Biology,» which was taught in schools until 1976. Evolution was again included in the final chapter, which said that «the major problem of how beings evolved, like other biological problems, has not yet been resolved.» It went on to say, «The entire world is revealed to us as a wonderful harmonious whole, an unequaled work of Divine Creation which was ‘created in wisdom.’» – In 1969, biology was made a separate subject in third- and sixth-year high school. In the third year «Elements of General Biology» was taught and in sixth the textbook «Lessons in General Biology» was introduced, again including evolution in the final chapter. – In 1976, two new books were published for third-year junior high, in which, again, evolution was only mentioned in the final chapter. An exception was made in the new book for third-year senior high (by Krimbas-Kalopisi) that had an extensive unit on evolution, and not the final one. Still, the paragraph specifically referring to the evolution of man and his relationship with the higher apes was removed without the approval of the authors, as Krimbas himself said. This book was taught to third-year senior high from 1977 to 1983 and second-year high from 1983 to 1999. – Since 1999, evolution has only been included in third-year junior high textbooks (in the last chapter, which is not usually taught) and in third-year senior high, when the relevant chapter was the first. In the latest edition of the book, still being used, it is the final chapter, but not included in the examination material. – The subtitle of the chapter is «Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution» (Theodosius Dobzhansky).

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