American Creationists Collaborate with Turkish Islamists

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About a year and a half ago I reported on the collaboration between American creationist groups like the Discovery Institute and Islamist creationists, to spread their atavistic nonsense in Turkey: Audio: The Discovery Institute Collaborates with Turkish Creationists. I got a lot of hate mail over this one from creationists, accusing me of “equating” creationism with radical Islam.

But recently, the Washington Post caught up with this story, in a piece that sheds more light on these disturbing connections: In Turkey, fertile ground for creationism.

ISTANBUL — Sema Ergezen teaches biology to Turkish students interested in teaching science themselves, and she has long struggled with her students’ ignorance of, and sometimes hostility to, the notion of evolution.

But she was taken aback when several of her Marmara University students recently accused her of being an atheist, or worse, for teaching anything but the doctrine that God created the Earth and everything on it.

“They said I was a liar if I called myself a Muslim because I also accepted evolution,” she said.

What especially disturbed — and amused — the veteran professor was that the arguments for creationism presented by some of the students came directly from the country where she was educated in the biological sciences years before — the United States. Translated and adapted for a Muslim society, the purported proofs that Darwinism and evolution were wrong came directly from American proponents of Christian creationism and its less overtly religious offshoot, intelligent design.

Ergezen’s experience has become increasingly common. While creationism and intelligent design appear to be in some retreat in the United States, they have blossomed within Muslim Turkey. With direct and indirect help from American foes of evolution, similarly-minded Turks have aggressively made the case that Charles Darwin’s theory is scientifically wrong and is the underlying source of most of the world’s conflicts because it excludes God from human affairs.

“Darwin is the worst Fascist there has ever been, and the worst racist history has ever witnessed,” writes Harun Yahya, the most assertive and best-known critic of evolution in Turkey, and long a favorite of more conservative American creationists.

The Post’s Marc Kaufman singles out the same creationist groups I identified in my 2008 post:

To John Morris, president of the Institute for Creation Research in Dallas, however, the news could hardly be more encouraging.

“Why I’m so interested in seeing creationism succeed in Turkey is that evolution is an evil concept that has done such damage to society,” said Morris, a Christian who has led several searches for Noah’s Ark in eastern Turkey. Members of his group have addressed Turkish conferences numerous times.

The Discovery Institute of Seattle, which researches and promotes intelligent design as an alternative to creationism and evolution, also sent speakers to Turkey after being invited by the Istanbul municipal government in 2007. President Bruce Chapman said the institute helped bring Turkish evolution critic Mustafa Akyol to a 2005 Kansas school board hearing on teaching critiques of evolution.

Note that after my 2008 post, Bruce Chapman of the Discovery Institute wrote a sleazy, deceptive hit piece on me at the Discovery Institute’s blog, calling my exposure of their Turkish connections a “smear,” “slander,” and a “fantasy:” When Disco Dudes Attack.

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