Last week, the Dutch Minister of Education Maria van der Hoeven, of the Christian Democrat Party, said she intended to initiate a debate on the theory of evolution and the idea that there is a creator behind life on earth. The outcome of this discussion, she suggested, could be made part of the educational curriculum.
On her weblog, the minister drew attention to the theory of ‘Intelligent Design’ (ID). The idea, which emerged in the US in the 1990s, assumes there is an ‘Intelligent Creator’ behind the evolutionary process.
Behind Ms Van der Hoeven’s initiative lies a hope that this could help integrate Muslims into Dutch society by including their religious perspective in academic discussions. According to Ms Van der Hoeven, Muslim secondary school and university students sometimes object to the teaching of evolutionary theory because it contradicts the Koran.