Friday, July 20, 2007

Atlas of Creation makes an academic splash in the US

Transcript of today's show:

In a follow-up to a previous story about a Muslim creationist coffee table book appearing in France earlier this year, US college professors are seeing the same Atlas of Creation in their mailboxes this week. The Atlas claims that evolutionists are responsible for fascism, communism and terrorism. Professors across America are wondering who financed the one hundred dollar 800 page book and why they received it? [source: New York Times]

Listen to the 1-minute broadcast of this story [mp3]

Sound Off: Science & Faith. Our point/counterpoint regulars Shelley (the voice of science) and Peter (the voice of faith), comment on the story.

The Voice of Science: Shelley Greene, Ph.D., comments:
A letter to the author of Atlas of Creation:

Dear Mr. Harun Yahya,

Or shall I call you Adnan Oktar, which your web site tells me is your birth name. I also see that you have a very impressive CV. Many universities in America would likely confess interest in your education and background, except that it is hopelessly peppered with Islamic fundamentalist ideology, a relentless disgust of Darwin theory, and an unusual penchant for blaming Darwin theory for the world's social, political and economic ills. Our educational system at all levels tries to respect America's embrace of equal opportunity in employment, but I dare say there are some biases that you just couldn't get around or charm your way out of.

Not that your purpose in sending thousands of your big and very pretty books to our universities was to pick up a little work in the land of opportunity. You obviously don't need to. On the contrary, your gift appears to be a good will package designed to win some of us over to your side. A form of what we would call proselytizing, which can be effective, but frankly, you have to go after the ones who you think might have a teeny tiny chance of being open to your alternative viewpoints. I'm not sure you took time to research that, or perhaps you didn't care, or you have a self-confidence that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger look like a wallflower.

If I were you, I wouldn't expect a high return rate on your promotional effort. Look at France's weak response. We are just as stubborn and intractable as they are. And honestly, America does not need another variety of religious fundamentalism. The Christians are causing way too much trouble already. The introduction of Islamic fundamentalism into American society could potentially devastate our culture, educational system, and national mental health. I'm sure national cataclysm isn't what you had in mind when you took the time and expense to print and send all those books to the intellectual elite.

As a concerned American citizen, I beg you, please stay away from our children.

Sincerely yours,

S. Greene

The Voice of Faith: Peter Williamson, M.Div., comments:
As I noted when news of this book first appeared in April 2007, science cannot make faith go away. Where faith exists, secularism has no power nor sway. People of faith around the world indeed do not trust secularism because deep down inside people do not want to live in an atheistic, godless universe. I am not of the Muslim faith, yet I can understand their desire to offer the world a grander vision of life and our origins.

The Atlas of Creation is an inspiring work, and like the beauty of a cathedral, will lift the spirit of those who enter. Even those who aided and abetted the faithless in the Dover case grudgingly admitted The Atlas of Creation is truly a beautiful book. God works in mysterious ways!

When public opinion in Turkey overwhelmingly supported the authority of the Islamic Holy Koran (with roots in the Old testament), the government brought their educational policies in line. Here in America, Christian believers must endlessly contend with the ACLU, atheistic scientists, and liberal judges like Judge John Jones, who turned a deaf ear to the voice of a growing majority, and in the process, turned his back on his own Christian faith.