Darwin’s claims were of course based on no scientific evidence or findings.
– Harun Yahya (pen name of Adnan Oktar)
Harun Yahya is this Turkish Muslim creationist dude who recently sent tens of thousands of copies of his book Atlas of Creation to various biology labs and professors throughout America. This might be less notable except for the fact the book is 800 pages, full of illustrations, and printed on glossy paper. The sheer amount of money that must have been expended printing and shipping this thing is rather staggering.
UPDATE! PP Adds, for PZ, who didn’t get any Oktar love!:
Scientists can be found puzzling and giggling over this thing here.
There is some speculation that HY is connected to right-wing American Muslims and that the right wing think tanks here contribute to his backing.
HY has a huge website where online versions of his books are all available free. He even has a section on Muslim theories about the Second Coming of Christ.
The level of argumentation apparently never gets much above the quote included above. Here’s some of the introduction to Atlas of Creation:
Darwin’s claims were of course based on no scientific evidence or findings. But since the scientific understanding and technological means available at the time were at a fairly primitive level, the full extent of the ridiculous and unrealistic nature of his assertions did not emerge fully into the light of day. In such a climate, Darwin’s scenarios received general acceptance from a wide number of circles.
The foundation of Darwin’s theory of evolution was materialism. Therefore, it didn’t take long for his theory to be adopted by materialists. Since materialist circles denied the fact of creation, they blindly grasped at the theory of evolution, and even declared that it was supposedly the scientific basis of their own world views.
By carrying out a great deal of research and investigation, and by establishing artificial environments in laboratories, they sought to come up with findings that would corroborate Darwin’s theory. However, every piece of research and every new finding they obtained, only constituted evidence that refuted evolution rather than confirming it. Science and technology had made rapid progress since the beginning of the 20th century, and refuted the theory of evolution. All the branches of science concerned with the subject–such as microbiology, biomathematics, cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, anatomy, physiology, anthropology and paleontology- -revealed countless proofs that totally undermined the theory of evolution.
The fossil record is perhaps the most important evidence that demolishes the theory of evolution’s claims. Fossils reveal that life forms on Earth have never undergone even the slightest change and have never developed into one another. Examining the fossil record, we see that living things are exactly the same today as they were hundreds of millions of years ago—in other words, that they never underwent evolution. Even during the most ancient periods, life forms emerged suddenly with all their complex structures–with the perfect and superior features, just as do their counterparts today.
This demonstrates one indisputable fact: Living things did not come into being through the imaginary processes of evolution. All the living things that have ever existed on Earth were created by God. This fact of creation is once again revealed in the traces left behind them by flawless living things.
This guy is to scientific argumentation what Alberto Gonzales is to competence and veracity.
Following are a couple of comments left on a discussion of Turkish creationism from several months ago.
The first gives a perspective from someone living in Turkey:
I live in Turkey, that shithole of a country, and the things I see every day are extremely discouraging.
The likes of Harun Yahya have been trying to push creationism to give islamic movements a foothold in the traditionally secular government. Their modus operandi is more like a mafia ring, they avoid cash transactions and print their books by exchanging villas and sports cars to printers’. They prepare little trailer exhibitions which they cart off everywhere and anywhere. They have the best friends in all the high places. But they hardly need to try that hard, because evolution has been toroughly ignored by the government’s education policies since the fifties.
Today, even most of the most modernized, secular Turks will find evolution hard to accept, not because they have been corrupted by the likes of Harun Yahya, but simply because they never got a true idea of evolution in the first place. Furthermore, the most vocal defenders of evolution here are communist extremists, whose understanding of evolution is a horribly outdated mishmash of Lamarck and Lysenko, which proves too easy to knock down.
Other then them, those who understand evolution clearly are limited to academic cycles and (some of) the well-off minority, who can pay for quality education. I believe our biggest mistake was remaining mild and silent, thus letting the brain rot take over.
Another concerns HY’s reputation outside of Turkey:
Harun Yahya extends his baleful influence well outside Turkey. Indonesian bookshops have dozens of his science books in Indonesian translation on their shelves. Most look by their titles to be straight science textbooks, but among them you can find such gems as “The Human Disaster that is Darwinism” (my translation of the Indonesian title), with pictures on the cover of such closely associated figures as Darwin, Marx, Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin, along with a special CD. Last year I saw a notice for a conference in Jakarta on Harun’s books, which he was to attend.