The Turkish Creationist Movement

The cover story to the September 2007 edition of NCSE Reports, the monthly publication of the National Center for Science Education, dealt with the impact of Harun Yahya’s Atlas of Creation. The article, written by the Pennsylvania State University evolutionary anthropologist Pat Shipman, said:

“… The talk, ‘The Collapse of Darwinism and the Fact of Creation’, was given … with a very professional-looking presentation … hundreds of books, articles, pamphlets, videos, and PowerPoint presentations are credited [to Harun Yahya] 

Harun Yahya espouses a strongly creationist view … Harun Yahya is working hard to remove evolutionary theory from the education system and replace it with creationist doctrine. In 2006, hundreds of free copies of a very glossy text featuring numerous color photographs — entitled the Atlas of Creation — were sent to schools all over Turkey in an attempt to promote adoptions. The same book, in French translation, was sent to educators all over France early in 2007.

In 2007, representatives of Harun Yahya have been contacting Muslim student associations in colleges, universities, and community centers offering to give presentations. In Pennsylvania alone, I was able to track recent talks by the same group, under identical or near-identical titles, at the University of Pittsburgh, Lehigh University, Villanova University, and Temple University. A similar talk was held at the University of Buffalo on January 29 and at Albany University on February 1, 2007.

I expected a slick and well-orchestrated presentation, and I was not disappointed. … The first section attempted to link evolutionary theory with evil and social injustice; the second presented calculations intended to show that the proteins and cells of living organisms were irreducibly complex and could not have arisen ‘by coincidence’; and the third attacked the fossil evidence that should support evolution as either absent or intentionally deceptive. …”