What does Internet Explorer 6, Moltemyr skole (school), Twestival and a couple of Norwegian bloggers who are testing political impact through social media have in common?
Not much necessarily, except for mostly a Norway connection and new digital tools. Well, I’ll give you the red thread.
And I’ll start with the most recent case, Moltemyr skole, which was hit by a Twitter storm today. I’ll follow up with the other cases in separate blog posts.
Early this morning, I read a tweet from @forvirranerd that said: Norwegian public school is denying Darwin.
In addition to me being clumsy and spilling Belgian beer all over my kitchen floor when I was trying to clean up after breakfast (note – no drinking), it certainly made for a bad start.
I’m used to reading American religious schools are denying Darwin and prefer teaching intelligent design, but hey, Norway is among the least religious countries in the world, why on earth would a Norwegian science teacher argue that “even though the evolution theory is tenacious, researchers are about to dismiss it”. (“Selv om utviklingslæren er seiglivet, er forskere i ferd med å avlive den”).
As I’ve been going through links tonight, it seems @virrvarr was the first to post about this story this morning, just after 7am (correct me if I’m wrong).
As you can guess, the story spread among Norwegian Twitter users, one guy told me he had sent an email to the principal asking whether this was the official view of the school (the principal later denied it in an article), another guy mentioned that this case should be reported to Utdanningsforbundet, the Norwegian directorate for Education and Training. The controversy got its own #moltemyr (I think @forteller was first), and you can follow what has been said during the day here.
In the story in Agderposten (local newspaper from the same area as the school), the science teacher says (not direct quote) that he suspects he has become victim of an organized plot from science forums in Trondheim or Oslo, which have a strong focus on Darwin and evolution theory.
That would have been an incredible interesting plot, even better than I could have dreamed up myself, but sorry Mac, it seems like this was the grass root that was making its lovely/ugly voice heard (choose what you prefer). Through Twitter mainly, but also some blogs, such as these: Digital Hverdag, Ra Ajax, Skepsis blog, Skogholt, Elevombud, Raag Raaum.
Short conclusion so far: The science teacher and the principal at Moltemyr school are still wondering what hit them, and even though the article is “removed”, nothing is properly removed from the internet. Scary or lovely as it is, this is social media in action, on a small scale. Technology has evolved (for the better, I would argue), just like Darwin argued that humans have evolved. We will see more stories like this, trust me.