Brazil Picks Creationist to Lead Higher Education
Brazil’s pick of a creationist to lead its higher education agency rattles scientists (Goes to Science, more at the link):
São Paulo, 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.
President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration on Saturday named Benedito Guimarães Aguiar Neto to head the agency, known as CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior). Aguiar Neto, an electrical engineer by training, previously served as the rector of Mackenzie Presbyterian University (MPU), a private religious school here. It advocates the teaching and study of intelligent design (ID), an outgrowth of Biblical creationism which argues that life is too complex to have evolved by Darwinian evolution, and so required an intelligent designer.
Researchers are decrying the move. “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’s Institute of Biosciences.