I’ve discussed the introduction of American Bible-belt style creationism to Turkey on this blog before (see the entries under ‘Science’). The Muslim version doesn’t accept that humans descended from primates, but otherwise leaves the science intact. (click here) The fundamentalist Christian version, on the other hand, is based on a reading of the Bible and claims that the earth is only 6,000 years old (so nothing like evolution would have happened; everything was created as it is now). This short-history (“young-earth”) view is not part of Islamic understanding of creation at all. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran — in none of those nations is teaching evolution a problem. God created the world. Period.
The Turkish creationist cult leader Harun Yahya takes his photos and other “evidence” from US creationist institutions. In effect, he and now the Turkish Ministry of Education are importing Christian doctrine into Turkey. Given the enormous fear of conversion by Christian missionaries that has infected Turkey in recent years, it is bizarre that the Turkish government itself is doing the missionaries’ job for them.
Here are some excerpts from a recent article about the subject (click here for the full article):
…“Turkey is the only secular state which officially has creationism in its biology curriculum,” says Aykut Kence, Biology Professor at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. Kence has taught for 40 years, and says that starting in the mid-1980s paragraphs on creationism began to enter Turkish school textbooks….
The socially conservative government that took control after the junta relinquished power changed the science curriculum in schools, Kence says. After the 1987 U.S. Supreme Court case “Edwards v. Aguillard,” which prohibited the teaching of creationism in American public school science courses, he says creationists’ gaze moved abroad. Turkey came calling.
“In collaboration with American creationists, the Minister of Education in Turkey called the Institute for Creation Research and asked for their help,” he says. New textbooks were printed and distributed, and over time teachers began to teach creationism and evolution side by side.
A spokesperson at the Ministry of Education confirmed that government-sanctioned biology textbooks label evolution as a theory, as do scientists everywhere, but also teach creationism alongside it, as a rival theory…
The Institute for Creation Research, founded in the 1970s and based in Texas, promotes teaching science and history through a literal interpretation of the Bible. For years, Institute researchers have been searching for archaeological evidence of Noah’s ark around Mount Ararat in Turkey, for example.
The Institute’s books are now banned in American public schools…