DARWIN DAY: Islamic Creationism: The Turkish Model

Abstract: Creationism is often thought to be a primarily American, Protestant phenomenon. But rejection of evolution is particularly strong in Muslim populations. In Turkey, which was once thought to be an example of successful political secularism among Muslim countries, the re-Islamization of the last 50 years has been accompanied by stronger opposition to evolution, including promotion of creationist fake science that goes beyond religiously-motivated passive rejection of evolution. The details of the Turkish model of creationism partly depend on specifically Turkish circumstances, which may limit its applicability to other Muslim populations. Nonetheless, the Turkish example still broadly illuminates Muslim resistance to evolution worldwide.

Muslimish Mission is to create a safe, supportive, and open-minded environment for the exchange of thoughts and ideas among current and former Muslims; to foster a pluralistic society that respects the rights of all individuals to live according to their conscience, and to abolish blasphemy and apostasy laws across the globe. Muslimish.org

Taner Edis is a professor of physics at Truman State University in Missouri. His research is largely in the history and philosophy of science, examining controversial claims at the fringes of science. His latest book is Weirdness!: What Fake Science and the Paranormal Tell Us about the Nature of Science.

Abstract: Creationism is often thought to be a primarily American, Protestant phenomenon. But rejection of evolution is particularly strong in Muslim populations. In Turkey, which was once thought to be an example of successful political secularism among Muslim countries, the re-Islamization of the last 50 years has been accompanied by stronger opposition to evolution, including promotion of creationist fake science that goes beyond religiously-motivated passive rejection of evolution. The details of the Turkish model of creationism partly depend on specifically Turkish circumstances, which may limit its applicability to other Muslim populations. Nonetheless, the Turkish example still broadly illuminates Muslim resistance to evolution worldwide.


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