What Does Radical Creationism Look Like?

A reminder, if anyone needed one, that radical creationism does not always look like what you might think. This week Turkish arch-creationist Adnan Oktar is heading off to trial. For Americans who think creationists all look like Christian televangelists, the story is worth a look.

Unlike the American stereotype, Adnan Oktar’s brand of firebrand creationism is Islamic, not Christian. And unlike most of America’s radical-creationist leaders–except maybe Jerry Falwell Jr.–Oktar surrounded himself with roomsful of belly-dancing “kittens.”

Adnan Oktar–who wrote under the name Harun Yahya–was arrested last year on a list of charges ranging from sexual abuse of children to blackmail. If the name sounds familiar and you can’t quite remember why, it is probably because of Harun Yahya’s big creationist splash back in 2007.

harun yahya atlas of creation

Proof of creation! Also, bellydancing.

Back then, Harun Yahya sent unsolicited copies of his radical-creationist book Atlas of Creation to scientists and journalists worldwide. Religion and science agreed, according to Harun Yahya. Both had clearly “refuted the theory of evolution. . . . We never underwent evolution; we were created.”

What’s our takeaway? I have no idea if Adnan Oktar is guilty or innocent. I DO know that his expensive distribution of Islamic creationism didn’t seem to pay off. Most of all, this story serves as a reminder that radical creationism is not limited to northern Kentucky or the Texas state school board.

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3 Comments

  1. I try to follow the creation/evolution debate, at least casually. So I’m aware of Harun Yahya. But he is a very minor figure.

    The thing to remember, is that the scientific evidence all support evolution. The only support of creationism comes from religion. And, in the USA, most creationists avoid anything Islamic.

    The creationist arguments that I see mostly originate with Ken Ham’s AIG, with ICR, and with the Discovery Institute (or “discotute”).

    Reply
    • Love “Discotute.” And as you know, there HAVE been high-level contacts and interchanges between Christian and Muslim creationists. As I noted a while back:

      As Ronald Numbers pointed out in The Creationists, in the mid-1980s, the Institute for Creation Research received a telephone call from the minister of education of Turkey, requesting teaching materials (Creationists, 2006, pg. 421). In 1992, a Turkish creationism conference invited ICR stalwarts Duane Gish and John Morris as keynote speakers. Professor Numbers also describes the founding in 1990 of the Turkish Science Research Foundation (Bilim Arastirma Vakfi, or BAV). In Numbers’ words, “For years BAV maintained a cozy relationship with Christian young-earth creationists, feting them at conferences, translating their books, and carrying their message to the Islamic world” (Creationists, 2006, pg. 425).

      Reply
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