The Corner

Turkish Delight for Creationists

I’ve been saying for a while, in this space and elsewhere, that Creationism (a.k.a. “Intelligent Design”) is essentially an outgrowth from American folk religion, with little international standing.  Sure, you can find the odd Creationist in Munich or Mumbhai; but then, you can find Taoists in Tallahassee–Taoism is still Chinese.

I may have to retire, or at least modify, this line of argument.  The current issue of Seed has an article (not online apparently) titled “Not In Kansas Anymore” about the burgeoning Creationist movement in Turkey.

“In August, Science published an analysis of global public attitudes toward evolution showing that, out of 34 sample countries, the U.S. and Turkey had the lowest acceptance of Darwin’s theories.  While their cultures may be at war in other realms, the enemies of science in both the Middle East and Middle America are finding common ground…”

The leading sctivist in Turkish Creationism is Adnan Oktar, pen name Harun Yahya, founder of BAV (Bilim Arastirma Vakfi, means “Scientific Research Foundation”–my guess would be that they do about as much actual scientific research as the Discovery Institute does discovering).

“In its latest campaign, BAV has opened more than 80 “museums” in restaurants, malls, and city halls across Turkey, each stocked with fossils, posters, and eager volunteers.  Oktar’s disciples use tactics cribbed from U.S. organizations like California’s Institute for Creation Research, instructing passers-by that evolution cannot explain biology’s complexity [Michael Behe, call your office] and is against the word of God.  But unlike its western counterparts, Oktar’s group claims Darwin is responsible for communism, fascism, and terrorism.  Terrorists, according to Oktar, are ’social Darwinists hiding under the cloak of religion’…”

Is it fanciful of me to see the seeds (sorry) of a Grand Alliance here between Christian and Muslim Creationists, both intent on stamping out modern biology–oops, sorry, I mean “Darwinism”–worldwide? 

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