Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Damian Thompson, at Counterknowledge, draws our attention to a lecture scheduled today at UCL as part of 'Islamic Awareness Week' at the university.

The talk, entitled “the Collapse of the Evolutionary Theory”, was originally booked for the Darwin Lecture Theatre but, after protests from scientists appalled at the insult to Charles Darwin’s memory, has now been moved – to another UCL lecture theatre.

Quite apart from what kind of 'awareness' this is supposed to promote (other than that of how pathetic religion can be), it is a shame that the university is now providing a platform for the scheduled speakers.

As Thompson observes:

The publicity material says: “Dr Oktar Babuna and Ali Sadun Engin are from the Science Research Foundation, which produces the Harun Yahya series of books and DVDs. They will provide an insightful view into the reality of evolution and the shaky grounds upon which several of the theories are based.”

Insightful? Let me tell you a bit about Harun Yahya. It’s the pen name of a series of writers flooding the Islamic world with books and DVDs that present Darwinism as part of a diabolical conspiracy. This is a particularly poisonous form of counterknowledge.

I have in front of me a book by Harun Yahya called The Dark Clan, which explains that evolutionary science is inspired by “a dark clan behind all kids of corruption and perversion, that controls drug trafficking, prostitution rings”. Evolution is the “greatest deception in the history of science”.

Yahya's silly-but-slickly-produced Atlas of Creation found its way to The Wife's university department last year, so I got to have a look at the book sent round the world. (Though it was apparently not sent to everyone.)

I'm happy that UCL moved the lecture out of the Darwin Lecture Theatre. It would have been a travesty.

(As previously noted, the same building contains an excellent -- if tiny -- zoology museum. They deserve your support.)

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