Monday, October 19, 2009
Muslims Quoting PZ
... and favorably at that!
Sheila Musaji, in The American Muslim, reviews The Atlas of Creation by Harun Yahya (otherwise known as Adnan Oktar). She notes:
Yahya has offered a huge sum of money ($10 trillion Turkish lira or $8,010,890,000,000. Eight trillion, ten billion, eight hundred and ninety million dollars) to any scientist who can bring forward an intermediate fossil, however, it is doubtful that there is any scientific evidence that he would accept. One scientist, P.Z. Meyers, at the University of Minnesota said: "The US government should immediately send a plane to pick up Mr Oktar, bring him to our country, and take him on a guided tour of the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History, accompanied by Niles Eldredge, Kevin Padian, Jerry Coyne, Sean Carroll, and the entire scientific staff of those museums. Afterwards, they can accept the check from Mr Oktar, run down to the local bank and cash it, and use one trillion dollars to resolve the current financial crisis, seven trillion can be sunk immediately into the American educational system, and they can send the change left over to me as a reward for coming up with this brilliant plan. Unless… You don't think… Adnan Oktar couldn't possibly be lying about how much money he has, could he? And he couldn't possibly by planning to weasel out of accepting any honest evidence, could he?" This offer by Yahya has also been made by Christian creationists, but with much smaller amounts offered.
Amusingly, despite, as Ms. Musaji points out, resorting to all the standard creationist and IDeological fare -- misrepresentation of science, confusing evolutionary theory with social Darwinism, quote mining, claims of the imminent demise of "Darwinism," etc., etc. -- Oktar actually accuses ID of being a Masonic conspiracy to foist Deism on an unsuspecting world.
Henry Morris was (and here's a phrase I never thought I'd utter) more nuanced in his approach to ID, recognizing that:
[ID} is not really a new approach, using basically the same evidence and arguments used for years by scientific creationists but made to appear more sophisticated with complex nomenclature and argumentation. ...
[ID advocates are guilty of] use of the same arguments and evidences we Biblical creationists have used for years, while simultaneously trying to distance themselves from us. Our adherence to Biblical literalism is ridiculed by evolutionists, and the ID advocates would be embarrassed to be tarred with the same brush.
Dembski himself may not believe such nonsense, but he is trying to build a very large tent, allowing anyone except pure materialists to take refuge there.
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