[This is somewhat old news, but I think it is worthy of posting.]
Discovery Institute President Bruce Chapman reports:
Which Religious Sins Will Sink the Scientist
The Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Education, Dr. Gavriel Avital, is being called upon to resign because he has defied two religious doctrines. No, not Jewish doctrines, but secular doctrines of the “scientific consensus”, evolution and global warming.
Pharyngula reported on February 22, 2010The Don McLeroy of Israel
Prior to his appointment, Avital said in a video interview with Machon Meir, a religious-Zionist Jewish studies institute, “Another scientific field that is problematic is biology, or life and environmental sciences. When your doctrine is based on Darwin’s theory of evolution and its implications, you are standing on unreliable foundations – that is, there is no God, there was only something primeval, and then there are certain random developments which led to the apex of all creation, the human being.
“Today I am pleased that more and more scientists engaged in pure science, rather than being employed in the name of an ideology, are reaching the conclusion that the world must have a master. Nothing is given to chance,” he said. “These are my opinions and I won’t deny them just because I was appointed to an Education Ministry position.”
The National Center for Selling Evolution (NCSE) reported on March 5, 2010 that Avital has “recanted”Controversy over Evolution in Israel
Avital, the recently appointed chief scientist in the ministry, sparked a furor by questioning the reliabilty of evolution and global warming, eliciting a chorus of condemnation from Israel’s scientific establishment as well as a disavowal from the minister of education, Gideon Sa’ar, who told Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, “Avital’s statements regarding evolution and the environment are not consistent with the Education Ministry’s policy and are not acceptable to me.”
In his letter, Avital wrote, “Following statements that were published which related to quotes from statements that I made before I assumed [m]y position, and following my conversations with the two of you, I wish to make it clear that the ministry’s policy as presented by the education minister at the Knesset is acceptable to me without reservation and I will act accordingly in the context of my position as chief scientist of the Education Ministry.”