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St. Petersburg schoolgirl sues authorities over Darwinism

ST. PETERSBURG, March 1 (RIA Novosti, Maksim Leonov) - A St. Petersburg schoolgirl intends to go to court over the compulsory teaching of the theory of evolution at Russian schools.

Maria Shraiber's father, Kirill Shraiber, who is also her lawyer, told a news conference in St. Petersburg that the suit did not seek to abolish the teaching of Darwinism in schools but to give schoolchildren the right to study other theories about the origins of life.

"Darwin only presented a hypothesis that has not yet been proved by him or anyone else," Shraiber said. "Hence, we think that school education imposes this theory on children as the only scientific option, which violates the human right to free choice."

Shraiber said the lawsuit against the Education and Science Ministry would be filed soon at a district court in Moscow.

"We will be represented in court by several lawyers ... who are now drafting the suit," he said.

The Russian lawsuit echoes a string of similar disputes in the United States over teaching creationism alongside Darwinism in the school curriculum.

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