Darwin’s next fight

“Intelligent Design” battles in the United States get all the media attention (I highly recommend this PBS documentary on the Dover case), but Counterknowledge notes that anti-evolution challenges from the Muslim world are gaining traction:

Darwin’s theory, perhaps fittingly, has always had to fight for its survival, and is fighting still. But while the battlegrounds used to be in the Southern states of America, and the main opponents Christians, a new enemy to Natural Selection is beginning to emerge from the shadows in the Middle East.
A worryingly low number of people across the Islamic world, when polled, agree that Darwin’s theory is “probably or most certainly true.” A troublingly low 60% of Americans agree with Natural Selection, but this is eclipsed by Egypt’s 8%, Pakistan’s 14%, Indonesia’s 16% and Turkey’s 22%.
Islamic scholars are divided on the subject of Creation. Some argue that the Qur’an, unlike the Bible, contains no specific timeframe with which to take up arms against scientific fact. These moderate scholars, such as the author Yahiya Emerick, see no conflict between Islam and evolution, saying:

“Because we do not reject the evidence presented to us by Paleontologists (fossil hunters) and other scientists, we can accept some of what they say, also, about the origins of life on Earth and the existence of dinosaurs and other creatures in the fossil record. However, we read in Allah’s book that He caused it to happen and that by studying it we increase our faith in Him. Therefore, we disagree with those who say everything happened without Allah, by mere chance only.”

However, fundamentalist scholars like Nuh Ha Mim Keller, an American convert now living in Jordan, argue that:

“As for claim that man has evolved from a non-human species, this is unbelief (kufr) no matter if we ascribe the process to Allah or to “nature,” because it negates the truth of Adam’s special creation that Allah has revealed in the Qur’an.”

Worryingly, it seems that the latter view is gaining strength. The vicious anti-Evolutionary sentiment in Adnan Oktar’s book “The Evolution Deceit”, circulated for free in Turkey, seems to have become the prevailing view there. Oktar, writing as Harun Yahya, continues to write against Evolution, and to send unsolicited copies to scholars like Richard Dawkins, as well as distributing them in Turkey.

A sociological experiment: keep an eye on how many people who (rightly) sneer at creationism start making excuses for it, if it becomes a “Muslim” thing.
Damian P.
Update: Charles Johnson posts a “mission statement” for American conservatives who oppose creationism:

There is absolutely nothing “conservative” about wanting to amend the Constitution of the United States, to make it an explicitly Christian document. This goes totally against every principle of the founding fathers — they built in protections against this kind of thing specifically to prevent what Mike Huckabee is advocating.
There is nothing “anti-Christian” about standing against this kind of thing. You are absolutely entitled to believe in any God — or lack thereof — in this country. But you are not entitled to force the teaching of your beliefs into science classes as “intelligent design” or creationism or whatever name these deceptive people put on it. And they currently have efforts under way in at least ten states to do exactly that.
A true conservative respects and honors the US Constitution. He/she does not try to enshrine his/her own religious beliefs as the law of the land. There’s a name for this practice: “theocracy.” It should be repellent to anyone who really believes in conservative principles.

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19 thoughts on “Darwin’s next fight

  1. I wouldn’t make book on that, Damian. Creationism is just as silly when Muslims spout it. It’s just that they aren’t the ones adding ID to the school curriculum in the US at the moment, or offering honorary degrees to the likes of Ben Stein.
    Look: on the wider issue, why do you automatically assume that we on the progressive side of the aisle will invariably be intellectually dishonest whenever Islam is factored into things? I think, with respect, that that’s rather dishonest in and of itself.

  2. “…we on the progressive side of the aisle will invariably be intellectually dishonest whenever Islam is factored into things?”
    Uh, past and present evidence, presented daily here and elsewhere, for your reading enjoyment:
    http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2009/02/a-shameful-and-cowardly-act.html
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/024762.php
    http://www.cfrb.com/node/874733
    http://www.damianpenny.com/archived/012675.html
    …oh Hell, you get the idea. (Well actually you don’t; that’d be the point of your statement Dr.D)

  3. “It’s just that they aren’t the ones adding ID to the school curriculum in the US at the moment…”
    The key words: “at the moment.”

  4. Hell, indeed. I followed every one of these links, and not one has anything to do with intellectual dishonesty. Two are about the UK ban on the neo-Nazi Geert Wilders (the fellow who’s considering collaborating with Vlaams Belang in the European Parliament). I for one have no problem keeping out the Imam who’s been pushing the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” either.
    One is about a foster mom who may or may not have converted a Muslim girl in her care. I’d like to know more. Is it your argument that a Muslim foster family converting a Christian girl to Islam would have escaped this woman’s fate? May we see an example?
    And the last example, mystifyingly enough, is about Omar Khadr. Your point, if you have one, is utterly obscure.

  5. “I for one have no problem keeping out the Imam who’s been pushing the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” either.”
    I think that’s precisely the point: he *wasn’t* kept out of the country, but Wilders was.

  6. But what does that have to do with the alleged intellectual dishonesty of progressives?
    It seems to me we’ve ventured rather far afield from the accusation that prompted this thread–that progressives would start defending creationism just as soon as Muslims were imposing it. With respect, that was off the wall.

  7. “…why do you automatically assume that we on the progressive side of the aisle will invariably be intellectually dishonest whenever Islam is factored into things?”
    As Dan said, past experience. “Progressives” and radical Islamists are BFFs and have been for some time.
    “…that progressives would start defending creationism just as soon as Muslims were imposing it.”
    Why would we think this? I dunno. . . because you guys have tacitly supported Sharia law, suicide bombing, and fatwas against cartoonists and filmmakers? Or the way you’ve fallen silent whenever Islamofascists commit honour killings or female mutilation or execute gays? Might that maybe have something to do with it?

  8. Ellie,
    You’re full of it. There is simply no other way to put it.
    Well, there is, but I have too much respect for Damian to publish it here.
    Watch yourself around all that straw. Spontaneous combustion, y’know.

  9. Whoops, hit a nerve!
    The sublime irony, as others have pointed out, is that if (when?) the Islamist overlords take over, it’s the loose-living leftists who’ll get it in the neck before the rest of us. The crocodile won’t eat you last, Dawg.

  10. No, you didn’t hit a nerve. I’m simply fed up with your low style of arguing, which is simply to throw up a blizzard of stupid accusations. You aren’t alone, of course.
    Prove you aren’t a Nazi! When did I last see you denounce pedophilia? (What does your silence mean?) Why do you go all quiet when the name Timothy McVeigh comes up? Huh? Tacit support, I call that. And what about the mob killings of Muslims in Gujurat? Not a word. More tacit support.
    When you’ve finished addressing those accusations, I’ve got lots more.
    On the other hand, I have errands to run. Far more challenging. Don’t bother.

  11. Sheesh, arguing with liberals: it’s like trying to reason with a teenager. (But without the latter’s excuse of wonky hormones.)
    I could post a bunch of links for Dawg, but what’s the use? Dan’s already tried that, and just got the Lalalala Can’t Hear You treatment. It’s all a waste of time, so I’m signing off too. Anyway my pizza’s ready. . .

  12. We claim the privilege of worshiping almighty God according to the dictates of our conscience, and afford all men the same. Let them worship who, where and what they may.
    (or not at all).
    That conservative enough for you?

  13. “Intelligent Design” battles in the United States get all the media attention ….., but Counterknowledge notes that anti-evolution challenges from the Muslim world are gaining traction:”
    In both cases I think it comes down to too many people marrying (Middle East) or mating with their first cousins.
    BTW – here is a great critique of Adnan Oktar (aka Harun Yahya) by Richard Dawkins. I do like Oktar’s example of a “Caddis fly” – too bad he didn’t remove the fish hook from the photograph or his confusion of a sea snake with an eel.
    http://richarddawkins.net/article,3239,UPDATED-Richard-Dawkins-on-Harun-Yahyas-Atlas-of-Creation,Richard-Dawkins-Council-of-Ex-Muslims-of-Britain
    http://richarddawkins.net/article,2833,UPDATED-Venomous-Snakes-Slippery-Eels-and-Harun-Yahya,Richard-Dawkins

  14. Just a suggestion, Damian; how about making Dr.D’s money quote (his first comment) into a bumper sticker? I’d be happy to pay a couple of bucks for one…”we on the progressive side of the aisle will invariably be intellectually dishonest whenever Islam is factored into things”
    Ummm, never mind, I don’t need my tires slashed and my car torched.
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/Dhimwits.htm

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