Tens of thousands of Italians have expressed their disagreement with a plan by the minister of education, universities, and research, Letizia Moratti, to ban the teaching of evolutionary theory to young teenagers.

Fearing the measure will pave the way for creationist teaching, more than 40,000 citizens—and the number is still increasing—have subscribed a petition launched last week by some of the country's top scientists through the daily La Repubblica.

The document, signed by Nobel laureates Rita Levi Montalcini and Renato Dulbecco, together with scientists including Luca Cavalli Sforza, Bruno Dallapiccola, and Alberto Piazza, urges Moratti to “review the secondary schools programs and to rectify an oversight which is detrimental to the scientific culture of future generations.”

“Ignoring the theory of evolution is a cultural limitation sacrificing the scientific curiosity of youth. It's unquestionably fair to point out that Darwinism and the theories that derived from it show gaps...

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