Islamic Creationism Update
The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting article on the Islamic creationism phenomenon. The Monitor's analysis makes it clear that the campaign I referenced earlier involves far more than just publishing a single glossy book:
On a recent afternoon inside Istanbul's busiest subway station, a young man beckoned commuters into a subterranean "fossil exhibit" full of skulls and insects dating back millions of years.
But this was no mainstream scientific display. One colorful poster advertised the "myth" of the evolution of the horse. Another, displaying a flying pterodactyl, denounced the evolution of birds as "fake."
The display is one of many traveling shows put on by the Foundation for Scientific Research, an Islamic creationist group that has become a household name in Turkey. Now, the groups says it is distributing its books – published in 59 languages including Arabic, Chinese, Swahili, and Polish – to 80 countries.
"Turkey is now the headquarters of creationism in the Islamic World. This is no longer only Turkey's problem, it is now the problem of the whole civilized world," says Haluk Ertan, a professor of molecular biology at Istanbul University. He's one of a handful of Turkish scientists who have been working to counter creationism's spread in the country.
Emboldened by its success at home over the past decade, the foundation, known by its Turkish acronym BAV (for Bilim Arastirma Vakfi), is now aggressively trying to export its unique brand of Islamic creationism well beyond the borders of Turkey to the Middle East, Europe, and even the United States.