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South African students may get their first official introduction to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution next year, thanks to curriculum reforms under the new, black-led government. Incredibly, Darwin's century-old grip on schools around the world never took hold in South Africa, where Dutch-descended white Afrikaners considered evolution too controversial for their Christian-based curriculum. TIME Johannesburg bureau chief ScottMacLeod says today's announcement, the de facto abandonment of a state religion, capped five years of subtle changes to break with the Afrikaner culture and symbols. "Lots of little things were done," MacLeod says. "They stopped using the old national anthem so there would be no national anthem, and at the Olympic games in 1992, they used a 'peace' flag, not the South African flag. And the old paper currency had settler heroes' pictures. Now they have elephants."parpar