Friday, December 12, 2008

Salman Hameed on Islamic Creationism

The New Scientist has an interview with professor Salman Hameed of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, on the spectre of creationism in predominantly Islamic countries. To the question of how evolution is perceived in these countries, he replies:

If you ask the question of whether you accept evolution or not, we find that a large portion of people, vast majorities, reject evolution. Compared to the US, where 40% are comfortable with evolution, in the Muslim countries that would go down to 10, 15, or 20%. In Turkey, one of the more secular Muslim countries, the level is between 22 and 25%.

As to why this is the case, he says:

In some instances, evolution becomes a symbol for Western dominance and a sign of modernity. Evolution can act as a lighting rod, as a symbol of the West and everything that is bad about the West - usually translated as material culture or materialism.

He also points out something that seems to be missing in this country:

There is tremendous respect for scientists in the Muslim world, and I think biologists and other scientists should write in newspapers and magazines for Muslim audiences - write why we accept evolution, what is the evidence for evolution. I think this will be a great service.

As he and others have also noted, Harun Yahya is EVERYWHERE! Read the whole thing. Hat tip to Little Green Footballs.

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