Creationist kerfuffle in Brazil

"The appointment of a creationism advocate to lead the agency that oversees Brazil’s graduate study programs has scientists here concerned—yet again—about the encroachment of religion on science and education policy," reports Science (January 26, 2020).

Benedito Guimarães Aguiar Neto, formerly the rector of Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo, was appointed to run CAPES, the agency within the federal ministry of education responsible for graduate-level programs at Brazilian universities.

Both Mackenzie Presbyterian University and Aguiar Neto himself are sympathetic to "intelligent design" creationism: a recent press release quoted Aguiar Neto as recommending the addition of "intelligent design" to Brazil's public school science curriculum.

"It is completely illogical to place someone who has promoted actions contrary to scientific consensus in a position to manage programs that are essentially of scientific training," said evolutionary biologist Antonio Carlos Marques of the University of São Paulo.

Glenn Branch
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Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.

branch@ncse.ngo

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