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Interview with Turkish Darwin doubter Adnan Oktar

On March 2, 2009, the controversial* Turkish intellectual Adnan Oktar responded to my questions about doubting Darwin in Turkey.

Turkey is of increasing interest in Western circles because of its application for membership in the European Union. And materialist atheists have been freaking out in the pop science press about Darwin doubt in Turkey.

Modern Turkey emerged from the breakup of the Ottoman empire, under secularist Kemal Ataturk.**

I became interested years ago when a Turkish friend kindly sent me a number of the books produced by Adnan Oktar and his associates, under the pen name Harun Yahya. I finally got a chance to correspond with him. Here are his responses to my questions. (I will also shortly post a review of Evolution Deceit, the most succinct and comprehensive of the critiques of overblown claims for Darwinian evolution that I have ever read.)

O’LEARY: How did you become interested in the evolution controversies? The conventional wisdom offered by many media sources in North America is that doubts about Darwin are a product of American evangelical Christianity in the deep rural South, and can only be understood with reference to that culture. Unless I have lost the plot, your doubts could not stem from that culture. From what, then, did they stem?

ADNAN OKTAR: I realized while I was still in high school that there was something odd about World War I, World War II and revolutions. Because people do not suddenly wake up one day and decide to start slaughtering their neighbors or ruining and devastating a country. I did some investigation and saw that the Darwinist materialist mindset lies behind all wars, revolutions and anarchy. I was terribly distressed by the way people were suffering so much, by the oppression and injustice they were being subjected to, and decided to wage an intellectual campaign against Darwinism to the utmost of my powers.

Darwin teaches people that they are supposed animals, that all life is the work of chance and they have no responsibility to anyone. There can obviously be no peace and order in a society made of people who regard themselves and others as so-called animals, who believe that the strong must survive and who consider ruthlessness a virtue. In other words, there is no need to have any particular cultural roots in order to see what a scourge Darwinism is.

In addition, this, the idea that Darwinism is only criticized by a few evangelicals, is itself Darwinist propaganda. Darwinists try to give the impression that nobody apart from a handful of individuals is opposed to Darwinism. But the fact is that the entire world sees that Darwinism makes irrational claims and that those claims have nothing to do with science.

But Darwinists have established a dictatorial regime. The great majority of people are afraid to raise their voices under pressure from that dictatorial regime. If school students fail to provide answers in favor of evolution in their exams, they have to repeat the year again. Academics, teachers or scientists lose their jobs if they so much as hint that they harbor doubts about evolution. There is generally almost no chance of a politician who is critical of Darwinism coming to power. That is why there are so few people who have the courage to openly say that Darwinism is a lie.

Of course, by Allah’s leave, major changes have been taking place in the wake of my book Atlas of Creation. You will have seen, if you follow the European press, how students listen with smiles on their faces to teachers who tell them about evolution and how even if they provide the kind of answers their teachers want, they also attach a note on the back page saying they do not in fact subscribe to evolution.

People openly say they do not believe in evolution in opinion polls, and that will continue growing in the future. Darwinism has totally collapsed in the present century, and Darwinists’ throes of death will benefit them nothing at all.

O’LEARY: Many claim that if people do not embrace Darwin and his followers’ theories, they cannot have an advanced technological culture. Others point out that the United States, arguably the world’s leader in science, features a population of which the majority doubts Darwin. Would you care to comment on that?

ADNAN OKTAR: This is totally classic Darwinist propaganda. Darwinists often resort to the idea that anyone who thinks scientifically has to be a Darwinist. For one thing, Darwinism is a pagan religion whose roots go back to the Sumerians and Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians also believed that life emerged spontaneously from the muddy waters of the Nile. The theory of evolution is a superstitious belief that has been around ever since and that is not supported by a shred of scientific evidence.

On the contrary, no matter what branch research or investigation may be conducted in, it has every time been proven that evolution is not possible. It is in fact Darwinists themselves who fly in the face of science, reject the facts revealed by science and who blacken the name of science by frauds of one kind and another.

If they really think rationally and scientifically, let them offer a scientific explanation of how the first cell came into being. Chance has no place in science, yet if you ask them, they will answer in terms of chance. We ask how the first protein formed, and they say by chance. We ask how the eye or wing formed, and again they say by chance. In other words, all we are looking at is a string of fantastical tales.

Yet we have come up with 100 million fossils, fossils belonging to fully formed and perfect life forms that all show evolution never happened, and they have no rational answer to give. A profound silence reigns whenever the subject of fossils is raised. And everyone can see that. That is why Darwinists are desperately striving to keep Darwinism propped up with slogans and propaganda.

O’LEARY: How do you see the intelligent design controversy playing out in Turkish culture today?

ADNAN OKTAR: The number of people in Turkey who believe in Darwinism has fallen almost to nothing over the last 30 years. Turkey is the country with the lowest level of belief in Darwinism in the world, because the Turkish people are highly intelligent and foresighted.

There has been a huge intellectual struggle going on in Turkey for the last 30 years, millions of works have become accessible to everyone, more than 2000 conferences have been held and, most important of all, people have seen fossils at exhibitions with their own eyes. They have personally witnessed how there is no difference between life forms dating back 100 or 200 million years and life forms of today. There is no need to say anything more.

If a life form has remained unchanged for tens of millions of years, if it possesses the same characteristics today as it did 200 million years ago, then it is impossible to speak of evolution. That is why people in Turkey are fully aware. Nobody can easily deceive the Turkish public with Darwinist lies any more.

O’LEARY: By the way, you published for some years under the name Harun Yahya? Is there a special significance to that name?ADNAN OKTAR: The Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) asked Allah for a helper. And Allah gave him his brother Aaron (pbuh) as an assistant. John (pbuh) is the helpmate who so loved and supported the Prophet Jesus (as). John is the light of Allah. He supported the Prophet Jesus (as) with all his might and told everyone of him. Since it is also my intention to serve the faith of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) I have taken these names in order to emphasize my role as helper of the faith.

*Here is a pro statement and here is a con statement. It is a messy business.

** Ataturk, like Darwin, became the object of a secularist cult.

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58 Responses to Interview with Turkish Darwin doubter Adnan Oktar

  1. Ah, some really great quotes out of that!

    “I did some investigation and saw that the Darwinist materialist mindset lies behind all wars”

    So before Darwin, what exactly was the cause of war?

    “…supposed animals, that all life is the work of chance and they have no responsibility to anyone”

    So the thinking is that if we are animals we should act like animals? Even if you follow that twisted bit of logic, how is it that bad? Male penguins looking after the egg while the female goes off… gorillas spending many years to teach and nurture their young… Bower birds building beautiful structures for their female interests. Nature isn’t all bad!

    “For one thing, Darwinism is a pagan religion whose roots go back to the Sumerians and Ancient Egypt”

    So if I grow a mustache, and Hitler had a mustache, it means I support Nazism? Just because there is some remote similarity between ideas/events does not mean they are related.

    “Yet we have come up with 100 million fossils, fossils belonging to fully formed and perfect life forms that all show evolution never happened, and they have no rational answer to give. A profound silence reigns whenever the subject of fossils is raised.”

    100 million? Where he find that number? Profound silence? What utter hogwash.

    “because the Turkish people are highly intelligent and foresighted”

    Oh yes, they certainly are! I especially like how the Turkish Council of State ruled that homosexuals should not have custody of children…

  2. 2

    Who translated the responses? I understand he speaks only Turkish. Also, I wonder if The Holocaust Lie and Judaism and Freemasonry were among the books sent to you.

    Adnan Oktar = jumping the shark.

  3. Eintown:

    I suspect I do not agree with many of the claims — and probably more of the way it is expressed (even after due allowance for second-language expression gaps) — of Mr Adnan Oktar, but we must not throw out the baby with the bath water.

    For key instance, here is H G Wells, student of Huxley, writing c. 1897, on the implication of Darwin’s “preservation of favoured races in the struggle for existence” — the sub-title of Origin on its initial release — in the opening of his veiled prophetic warning sci fi novel, War of the Worlds:

    ______________________________

    . . . across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us . . . . looking across space with instruments, and intelligences such as we have scarcely dreamed of, they see, at its nearest distance only 35,000,000 of miles sunward of them, a morning star of hope, our own warmer planet, green with vegetation and grey with water, with a cloudy atmosphere eloquent of fertility, with glimpses through its drifting cloud wisps of broad stretches of populous country and narrow, navy-crowded seas. And we men, the creatures who inhabit this earth, must be to them at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars . . . .

    ____________________________________

    There are a few issues to be pondered there; or so the ghosts of a few dozens of millions are wailing.

    GEM of TKI

  4. The number of people in Turkey who believe in Darwinism has fallen almost to nothing over the last 30 years. Turkey is the country with the lowest level of belief in Darwinism in the world,

    One of those rare moments where I’m not so sure this would be good thing.

    Of the wars and quasi-wars going on today, Darwinism can’t really be blamed as the source.

  5. Denyse asked Oktar/Yahya: “How do you see the intelligent design controversy playing out in Turkish culture today?” – and he ducked the question, remaining silent on intelligent design! (And Denyse didn’t catch on.)

    Oktar/Yahya has as little respect for intelligent design as he has for evolution. See http://us1.harunyahya.com/Deta....._THEORY___ and http://www.harunyahya.com/new_.....design.php among many others.

    And Oktar/Yahya’s bogus “Atlas of Creation” has colorful pictures of fly fishing lures described as insects and arachnids, along with other gross mis-identifications – see http://pandasthumb.org/archive.....y-a-1.html for a discussion on Denyse’s utter misunderstanding of Oktar/Yahya.

  6. Some commenters here depressingly confirm a problem that many journalists have noted over recent years: the rapid growth of “new authoritarians”, perhaps akin to “new atheists”.

    I wanted to hear from Oktar – in his own words – in order to start to understand what is going on in Turkey.

    This does not imply identification with or agreement with any of his causes. I was aware of all the issues raised above, but that is a matter for a subsequent story.

    First, I wanted readers to hear him in his own words.

    It makes sense, of course, that Darwinists would not see the point of such primary evidence, because primary evidence so rarely assists their own causes.

    It’s always been fundamental to mine.

  7. You may be interested in an interview Adnan Oktar gave the “SPIEGEL” last September in which he stated:

    I find the concept of intelligent design rather dishonest. One should openly stand up for the existence of Allah, should sincerely stand up for religion, for Islam. Or, if one is a Christian, one should honestly stand up for Christianity. This is a theory which claims that things have somehow been created, but it is unknown who created them. I find this rather dishonest, actually. The followers of intelligent design should openly and clearly declare the existence of Allah as the Creator.

    link:
    http://www.spiegel.de/internat.....31,00.html

  8. Every once in a while I see a report like this pop up in the media. Usually the title of the article makes some wild claim about a “breakthrough” related to evolution. Invariably when you dig deeper, you find that the claim is completely overblown nonsense. I have a feeling this article falls into that category. The title I saw was “Scientists may have found how life began” and it led me to this link:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20.....0513210508

  9. Denyse wrote: “I wanted to hear from Oktar – in his own words – in order to start to understand what is going on in Turkey.”

    You asked him “How do you see the intelligent design controversy playing out in Turkish culture today?” and he totally avoided answering you. Why did you let him get away with that?

    Perhaps you could have asked him about his statement “Intelligent Design Is Another of Satan’s Distractions” – http://www.harunyahya.com/new_.....design.php. Do you think there’s a clue there about what he thinks about intelligent design?

  10. PaulBurnett: I didn’t “let him get away with that.”

    I wanted to hear and record his first response.

    This isn’t either a police station or talk radio, it is a recorded public medium. Duly recorded, and to be followed up.

    I realize that for growing numbers of people – influenced by Darwinism and many similar causes – the idea of just letting someone have their say is outrageous.

    Well, get used to it. That’s how we do it here.

    PS: The fact that we shut down trolls is irrelevant, because the whole point about being a troll is that there is nothing to understand. If a troll, devoid of ideas, wants to bawl insults, he can do it somewhere else.

  11. 11

    eintown,

    Well, at least you’re trying to defend your position supporting evolution. I say keep it up, because, quite honestly, your defense is the sort that convinces folks that evolution is bankrupt.

  12. sparc,

    Thank you for making the point that ID is not considered religious.

  13. jerry,
    i think the point oktar was making is that ID is religious but pretends not to be.

  14. “I think the point oktar was making is that ID is religious but pretends not to be”

    Let me know what religious ideas ID stands for. I am clueless on this.

  15. Ms. O’Leary,

    I wanted to hear from Oktar – in his own words – in order to start to understand what is going on in Turkey.

    Thanks for clarifying your purpose in publishing this. It is interesting (and unfortunately depressing at times) to read Oktar’s own words. Have you formed an opinion as to whether Oktar is a net benefit or a burden to Turkey? Whatever his contributions concerning materialism, his role in perpetuating antisemitic and antifreemasonry myths has got to have some cost.

  16. “the Darwinist materialist mindset lies behind all wars, revolutions and anarchy…”

    Looking at the record of materialists (Lenin and Stalin, most prominently), it’s hard to argue the point. However, he can’t ignore the Crusades or Ireland’s Troubles, both of which have their origins in religion.

    “Darwinists often resort to the idea that anyone who thinks scientifically has to be a Darwinist.”

    This is true. If you don’t believe in evolution, you’re a creationist. It’s a false dichotomy.

    Eintown wrote “100 million? Where did he find that number?”

    From here: “There are a hundred million fossils, all catalogued and identified, in museums around the world.”—Porter Kier, quoted in New Scientist, January 15, 1981, p. 129.

  17. I apologize Barb, I looked into it, that number seems correct. One source even had “hundreds of billions”. I’m not sure what qualifies as a fossil now…

  18. “There is superstition in science quite as much as there is superstition in theology, and it is all the more dangerous because those suffering from it are profoundly convinced that they are freeing themselves from all superstition. No grotesque repulsiveness of medieval superstition, even as it survived into nineteenth-century Spain and Naples, could be much more intolerant, much more destructive of all that is fine in morality, in the spiritual sense, and indeed in civilization itself, than that hard dogmatic materialism of to-day which often not merely calls itself scientific but arrogates to itself the sole right to use the term. If these pretensions affected only scientific men themselves, it would be a matter of small moment, but unfortunately they tend gradually to affect the whole people, and to establish a very dangerous standard of private and public conduct in the public mind.” Theodore Roosevelt, “The Search for Truth in a Reverent Spirit,” Outlook, Dec. 2, 1911.

  19. Barb, were Stalin and Hitler evolutionary biologists? I am failing to understand your connection….

  20. eligoodwin @ 20 -
    No, they were materialists who believed firmly in survival of the fittest.

  21. Barb, you realize “social-Dawrinism” is not the same as evolution, correct? Because, I am not seeing your connection, nor Mr. Oktar’s assertion of all conflicts can be traced back to Darwinists–I haven’t heard of Darwinists blowing up abortion clinics, federal buildings, flying airplanes into buildings, committing honor killings, etc. Evolutionary biologists aren’t really the war faring type.

  22. 22

    Here is a guy who is rejecting “evolution”- even beyond the obviously flawed Darwinian Evo model.

    Now you have said on multiple occasions Oleary that you are in agreement with the theory or model of universal common ancestry- but it seems here he is saying the fossil evidence does not point to any evolution- that things have not changed and morphed like model predicts.

    Could you let us know what you think of this- the most interesting- part of your article?

    I am just curious- because as I have to admit there are some good ape/ man like fossils and possibly those whale/ land dwelling intermediates- I am wondering how he makes his claims sin light of those classic icons of evolution.

    This is the most interesting part of view to me.

  23. 23

    The evolutionists are always telling us that the moral consequences of Darwinism have no relationship to its truth. Enter an alternative scientific opinion, however, and suddenly they’re regurgitating accusations of Oktar’s sexual impropriety that were thrown out of Turkish court years ago.

  24. #24
    If you are going to complain about such comments, perhaps you should also complain about Arrington and O’Leary’s continual use of such fallacious arguments.

    I reject any view presented by Oktar because he is a notorious crank–see Holocaust Denialism–and they are delusional. Darwinism has roots in ancient Babylonia? Behind are major conflicts of the 20th century? Are we talking to a rational person?

  25. 25

    Look Eli- I don’t know if he is a Holocaust denier or not- but you are the one claiming such- also one can debate about how many were killed in the holocaust- there are arguments for a smaller or greater number of people euthanized by the Dogmatic Darwinian Atheist Nazis.

    I don’t reject all of his views simply in light of perhaps some more extreme ones. I dont play the fallacy by authority- Each one of his claims should be debated on its merits. I probably agree with most of what he says about chance not being a adequate scientific explanatory mechanism- where my interest lies is in his apparent total rejection of evolution. I would like to see how he handles the few respected transnationals.

    That’s all…

  26. the Darwinist materialist mindset lies behind all wars, revolutions and anarchy…

    I doubt if Darwinism was much of an issue before Darwin. It seems to me that war has always been with mankind: 1. Kings: 015:032 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.

  27. Some people here seem to simply miss the point that I want to record the man’s views in his words first, before moving on to questions.

    First, we must establish what he thinks he is doing.

    If that is a problem for you, examine your own methods of information gathering, not mine.

    My methods are conventional and time-tested.

    Yours could be tainted by the new authoritarianism. (= We already know what MUST be true, so new information is irrelevant.)

  28. 28

    Holocaust schmolocaust, as long as he’s anti-evolution.

    I still would like to know how the interview was translated, since I don’t believe he speaks English.

  29. eligoodwin: 22

    eligoodwin: Barb, you realize “social-Dawrinism” is not the same as evolution, correct?

    Evolution is the theory that all life can be traced back to a single ancestor and through random mutations and natural selection, the fittest representatives of each species survive.

    And, from Merriam Webster:
    Main Entry: social Darwinism
    Function: noun
    Date: 1887
    : an extension of Darwinism to social phenomena ; specifically : a sociological theory that sociocultural advance is the product of intergroup conflict and competition and the socially elite classes (as those possessing wealth and power) possess biological superiority in the struggle for existence.

    Because, I am not seeing your connection,

    Look up. Social Darwinism is an extrapolation of the biological sciences to sociology.

    …nor Mr. Oktar’s assertion of all conflicts can be traced back to Darwinists–I haven’t heard of Darwinists blowing up abortion clinics, federal buildings, flying airplanes into buildings, committing honor killings, etc. Evolutionary biologists aren’t really the war faring type.

    Then why do they insists that IDers have declared war on science? Why do they go on the defensive when someone questions the methodology of evolution?

    FYI, the Bible does condemn acts of violence. If you blithely assume that Jehovah/Allah/YHWH/whomever promotes or condones the actions you posted above, you are deluding yourself.

  30. 30
    Barry Arrington

    After [19] above, Marduck will not have to worry about posting on UD.

  31. Barb, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be “fit.” It doesn’t mean the strongest, healthiest, smartest, wealthiest, are the fittest, that is only one part of the equation. The other and more important part is do such individuals reproduce more frequently than average? What works better on the average, not the ultimate in superiority, is selected for.

    Science does not advocate what should be–no where in the Neo-Darwinian synthesis will you find any remote mentioning of “btw, society should round of the weakest members of society, including the mentally feeble, any unfavorable races or political dissidents, and murder them wholesale.” Evolutionary theory does not advocate human beings to act inhuman to one another, that is a choice people make. People like Oktar present such fallacious arguments and it has NOTHING to do with sceince–it is comparable to stating nuclear physics advocates the wholesale destruction of this planet many times over.

    The “war” between science and creationism was over long ago (I am not aware of any bloodshed though….). IDists claim they have the science to back up their position–where is the primary research, the models, and the experiments verifying ID? Every once in awhile, one of the contributors will post an article claiming it verifies ID, even though the investigators were not testing specifically testing ID. If ID wants to be treated like science, it needs to act like science.

  32. 32

    Barb,

    Haven’t you seen the movie Idiocracy? The more “fit” people that eligoodwin is referring to, will be the trailer park types, who have many many out of wedlock and in wedlock babies. And over time…..we’ll see where that fitness will get us.

    In all seriousness, these evolutionists have to base fitness on something, and since there can be no running or weight lifting competitions among animals, they base it on reproduction. It seems, more than anything, to be the only measure that they can use that doesn’t seem instantly absurd. But they start to act as if they’ve found a real law of nature, and not an arbitrary standard of fitness that only exists by consensus. They act as if they’ve discovered a “natural law” of “fitness”, observable in reproduction, when it is really only a convention, an arbitrarily chosen guiding measurement, because nothing else, no other measurement will work for their purposes. But, just keep it out of your mind that it’s a convention, and let the evolutionists tell you that “you don’t understand their convention”, er, I mean, “law of fitness.”

  33. eligoodwin — you have a fundamental misunderstanding of where right and wrong come from.

    The other and more important part is do such individuals reproduce more frequently than average?

    And if one should acquire power and deem those having a particular line of heredity less strong, less healthy etc. and eliminate them, they will certainly produce less frequently than average.

  34. Haven’t you seen the movie Idiocracy? The more “fit” people that eligoodwin is referring to, will be the trailer park types, who have many many out of wedlock and in wedlock babies.

    Clive, I thought of “Idiocracy” too when reading eligoodwin’s post. Does eligoodwin have any ideas as to how to go about stopping such a thing from happening?

  35. Something else to ponder: the most prolific man in history

    Now, compare him to, say, George Washington or St. Francis.

    Without God, nothing makes sense.

  36. 36

    tribune 7,

    The Genghis Khan reference is brilliant. That’s “fitness” if I’ve ever seen it.

  37. Some people here seem to simply miss the point that I want to record the man’s views in his words first, before moving on to questions.

    Do you mean that this was not the complete interview or do you imply to make a second one?

  38. BTW, please support Çi?dem Atakuman who has been EXPELLED from Turkish academia.

  39. Clive,

    In all seriousness, these evolutionists have to base fitness on something, and since there can be no running or weight lifting competitions among animals, they base it on reproduction.

    My knowledge of biology approaches zero, but isn’t “fitness” supposed to measure the genetic contribution of a particular organism to future generations? That seems to me as if it would be pretty central in the study of evolution, which many IDers participate in of course. I’m not sure I understand why you are criticizing the notion.

  40. Mr. Oktar:

    Please carefully consider the kind of people you are dealing with. Dumping the propaganda of materialistic atheism onto unsuspecting populations is nothing new. Auguste Comte, for example, used it to literally manipulate the opinions of the masses to his advantage in France after the revolution. His team infiltrated mainstream media, publishing organizations, and the government, and buried citizens in pamphlets and popularized books meant to usher in a new age of materialistic atheism. Why all this?

    What must be realized is that trying to “convert” people to atheism and popularize the Darwinist mindset is just a means to a much broader set of goals. For Comte, that goal (as explicitly outlined by Comte himself) was to situate society in a way that a circle of wealthy scientific men could influence its direction in ways that they perceived would be “better for humanity.” Under this model, populations would be easier to control and wars could be waged for the interests of those in charge, whether for financial gain or for controlling the direction of evolution to minimize undesirable genes.

    Although many people think eugenics ended with Hitler, much of the mindset is still around today. One must ask oneself why, for example, wealthy men like atheist Bill Gates and David Rockefeller donate millions to eugenics projects? Dawkins has publicly declared that eugenics “may not be bad” after all. His Foundation also has intimate ties to the modern “transhumanist” movement (a movement that has been described as one of the deadliest threats in the world, by philosopher Francis Fukuyama). Like eugenicists, wealthy transhumanist scientists are concerned with altering the gene pool by modifying themselves to the point where they can “transcend” mere humans. (It doesn’t take long to reflect on the ominous ways in which such power could be used.) As it turns out, the head trustee of the Dawkins Foundation in the US is a transhumanist activist, and Dawkins describes her as playing a key role in his book The God Delusion. As Dawkins says, she “played a vital role in the writing of The God Delusion. She pored over every draft and redraft of every chapter, to the point where she knows the book as intimately as I know it myself. Like a sculptor with a fine chisel, she is responsible for many detailed improvements.”

    Why are transhumanists and eugenicists involved in atheistic propaganda today, and why have they been involved in it in the past? Why, in the past, were they so interested in eliminating moral and religious objections to their programs? It is a much broader goal at stake: population control and influence over the directionality of evolution itself.

  41. 34
    I haven’t made any claims regarding morality and your right about such individuals being reproducing less than average, but how does evolutionary theory advocate this? All men regardless of their stance on the existence of a god(s) are capable of great evil. You can point a finger at Stalin (atheist), and say evil while I can point a finger at Popes (theists) during the Crusades, Inquisition, and the Holocaust and say evil. But, we have only shown man is capable of behaving badly towards other men.

    35
    I will take your bait. What should be done? Not much. The only thing I advocate is educating the public about the difficulties in being a single parent and the dangers of over population and the humanitarian disasters created.

  42. 42

    Frost (#26) wrote: “Look Eli- I don’t know if he (Oktar/Yahya) is a Holocaust denier or not…”

    Islamist organization Bilim Arastirma Vakfi (Foundation for Scientific Research), led by Adnan Oktar…continued to slander Jews. … Oktar is notorious for his virulent attacks on Israel, Jews and Freemasons. In 1996 the foundation distributed…”Holocaust Lie: The Inside Story of the Secret History of the Zionist-Nazi Co-operation and the Lie About Jewish Genocide”… – http://www.axt.org.uk/antisem/.....turkey.htm

    And Oktar/Yahya does not support intelligent design at all: “I find the concept of intelligent design rather dishonest. One should openly stand up for the existence of Allah, should sincerely stand up for religion, for Islam. Or, if one is a Christian, one should honestly stand up for Christianity. This is a theory which claims that things have somehow been created, but it is unknown who created them. I find this rather dishonest, actually. The followers of intelligent design should openly and clearly declare the existence of Allah as the Creator.” – http://www.spiegel.de/internat.....31,00.html

  43. Barb, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be “fit.” It doesn’t mean the strongest, healthiest, smartest, wealthiest, are the fittest, that is only one part of the equation. The other and more important part is do such individuals reproduce more frequently than average? What works better on the average, not the ultimate in superiority, is selected for.

    Okay, fine. I’ll demonstrate below how scientists, enamored of Darwinian evolution misintepreted “fitness” as I did.

    Science does not advocate what should be–no where in the Neo-Darwinian synthesis will you find any remote mentioning of “btw, society should round of the weakest members of society, including the mentally feeble, any unfavorable races or political dissidents, and murder them wholesale.” Evolutionary theory does not advocate human beings to act inhuman to one another, that is a choice people make. People like Oktar present such fallacious arguments and it has NOTHING to do with sceince–it is comparable to stating nuclear physics advocates the wholesale destruction of this planet many times over.

    One nasty, unpleasant word: eugenics. Like it or not, eugenics occupies a place in scientific and human history, and we all have to deal with it.

    “The modern field and term were first formulated by Sir Francis Galton in 1883,[10] drawing on the recent work of his cousin Charles Darwin.” (from the “Eugenics” article on Wikipedia).

    Darwin himself supported this view; read “Descent of Man” sometime.

    The “war” between science and creationism was over long ago (I am not aware of any bloodshed though….). IDists claim they have the science to back up their position–where is the primary research, the models, and the experiments verifying ID? Every once in awhile, one of the contributors will post an article claiming it verifies ID, even though the investigators were not testing specifically testing ID. If ID wants to be treated like science, it needs to act like science.

    The research is ongoing. Dr. Dembski occasionally posts links to papers he’s writing. Other ID-supported papers are also linked here. The problem is getting the funding to do the research in the first place given that the fact that if you hold a pro-ID position in academia, you are likely to be shunned by peers and supervisors.

  44. Over at PT it seems Denyse’s talks with Oktar have become something of a LIGHT talking point.

  45. eligoodwin –while I can point a finger at Popes (theists) during the Crusades, Inquisition, and the Holocaust and say evil.

    Actually, you can’t, at least not objectively. You have no means of objectively defining evil.

    The only thing I advocate is educating the public about the difficulties in being a single parent and the dangers of over population

    Those who ignore the education will be the most prolific breeders, hence the most fit as per Darwin.

  46. Following up:

    A few lessons on eugenics, social Darwinism and “preservation of favoured races in the struggle for survival.” (BTW, why not convert that sub-title of the earlier editions of Origin into its dual: elimination of UNFAVOURED races in the struggle for survival . .. “? [For, if unpublished and changed terminology in certain books circa 1991 are held by Judge Jones and his enthusiastic supporters to be relevant to the inferred -- or even projected -- intent of the authors, surely book subtitles that appeared in the first and four following editions of Origin are, too . . . ])

    It seems to me there are a few remarks that therefore need to be a generally known part of our discussion:

    1] Uncle Charlie:

    Ch 6, Descent of Man, 1871:

    Man is liable to numerous, slight, and diversified variations, which are induced by the same general causes, are governed and transmitted in accordance with the same general laws, as in the lower animals. Man has multiplied so rapidly, that he has necessarily been exposed to struggle for existence, and consequently to natural selection. He has given rise to many races, some of which differ so much from each other, that they have often been ranked by naturalists as distinct species . . . .

    At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

    Of course, in general, Darwinism is — right from the outset in Origin — an application of Malthusianism to the natural world, so running back and forth between biology, economics, class- and race- oriented socio-political views and agendas is natural. So, complaints that Social Darwinism is an [improper] extension from biology to society should be abandoned. For, right from the outset, the thesis has been that the same Malthusian rules apply in both cases. That is why eugenics was so triumphantly announced as a “science” and a chief — perhaps, the principal — application of biology.

    Moreover, the specific view of DARWIN, in so many words, in black and white circa 1871 [and, would-be anti evo talking point posters, that little quote on a letter to a commander of a Negro regiment in the US Civil War is before the next edn of Descent, in which the above appears UNCHANGED . . . ], is that as a result of that competition across RACES, “inferior” human races will be eliminated.

    2] Why TURKS should be concerned . . .

    Of course, I am not endorsing Mr Oktar and his views or agendas in general. However, I do think he has certain grounds for concern.

    For instance, CD’s letter to Mr Graham of July 3,1881 — and cultured Victorian Englishmen of eminence probably realised their correspondence would be the subject of historical investigation (and so posterity is an implied onward audience) — is highly relevant to the legitimate concerns of Turks about the implications of Darwinism:

    I could show fight on natural selection having done and doing more for the progress of civilization than you seem inclined to admit. Remember what risk the nations of Europe ran, not so many centuries ago, of being overwhelmed by the Turk, and how ridiculous such an idea now is! The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.

    I’d say that if I were a Turk, I would be concerned about the implications of a theory that announces itself on such premises and with such specific applications.

    Indeed, as one of Negro, Irish and Scottish extraction, I too am concerned. (And attempts to exculpate Mr Darwin on his participation in committees that condemned Governor Eyre on the Morant Bay rebellion and its parallels to the mass death of Irish due to the Potato famine do NOT allay my concerns, especially in light of the history of C20.)

    This is of course the context for H G Wells’ warning in the opening chapter of his famous Sci Fi novel, War of the Worlds, where he subjects Darwin’s Saxons [Ch 5 Descent, i.e the English specifically] to a little activist eugenics at the hands of an imagined master race invading from Mars.

    So, next, let us look at . . .

    [ . . . ]

  47. 3] H G Wells’ prophetic warning, 1897 – 98:

    Opening words, ch 1, War of the Worlds, excerpted:

    . . . across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us . . . . looking across space with instruments, and intelligences such as we have scarcely dreamed of, they see, at its nearest distance only 35,000,000 of miles sunward of them, a morning star of hope, our own warmer planet, green with vegetation and grey with water, with a cloudy atmosphere eloquent of fertility, with glimpses through its drifting cloud wisps of broad stretches of populous country and narrow, navy-crowded seas. And we men, the creatures who inhabit this earth, must be to them at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars . . . .

    Substitute a few terms and see how relevant this 1897-8 warning was to what happened across C20, and now rolling on into C21. (Don’t forget to listen to the faint wails of 48 million ghosts of unborns slaughtered in the womb . . . )

    Notoriously [and as was underscored in recent discussion threads here at UD], we cannot derive an ought from an is that does not embed the ought already.

    So, those of us concerned about the impact of the term “science,” its strong association with evolutionary materialism, and the extensions of evolutionism into eugenics and worse, have serious grounds for concern.

    Until the evolutionary materialists and their fellow travellers can show us that they can solidly ground morality and rationality on their worldview, we have right to demand that they meet a burden of proof that they are not promoting theories that ever so easily lend themselves to self-referetnial incoherence and absurdity, to radical secularist misanthropy, as well as to nihilism, abusive and the destructive propagandistic manipulation of key, time-tested traditional cultural moral norms, as well as worse. (NB: As we Christians watch our civilisation ever more begin to living out of Romans 1 as such evolutionary materialism driven radical secularisation takes ever deeper root, we see reason to be ever more concerned.)

    4] A certain solution to the “but the inferior people have more kids . . .” question

    Herr Schicklegruber summarises the status of the science of eugenics circa 1925 on that little puzzle posed by Darwin on the example of the Irish, Scots and English in Descent, ch 5:

    Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents . . . Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level. Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life . . . The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development of organic living beings would be unthinkable.

    The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves. The fox is always a fox, the goose a goose, the tiger a tiger, etc., and the difference can lie at most in the varying measure of force, strength, intelligence, dexterity, endurance, etc., of the individual specimens. But you will never find a fox who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice . . . .

    In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak and sickly or less determined succumb, while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. [That is, Darwinian sexual selection.] And struggle [read, war and its cognates] is always a means for improving a species’ health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher development.

    If the process were different, all further and higher development would cease and the opposite would occur. For, since the inferior always predominates numerically over the best, if both had the same possibility of preserving life and propagating, the inferior would multiply so much more rapidly that in the end the best would inevitably be driven into the background, unless a correction of this state of affairs were undertaken. Nature does just this by subjecting the weaker part to such severe living conditions that by them alone the number is limited, and by not permitting the remainder to increase promiscuously, but making a new and ruthless choice according to strength and health . . . [Bk I Ch XI "My Struggle"]

    Clear enough?

    GEM of TKI

  48. Thank you, Mrs O’Leary. There has never been enough humor published on UD.

    I personally am eagerly awaiting Mr Oktar’s new work, “Fly Fishing Among the Armenians and Kurds of Eatern Turkey – A Continuing Problem of Freemasonry”.

  49. 49

    Speaking of Armenians, if anybody talks to Oktar/Yahya again, ask him about the World War I-era genocide committed by the Turks against the Armenians. See http://www.conservapedia.com/Armenian_genocide for a discussion (wherein Darwin is not mentioned).

  50. KF @47 & 48

    So is your point that eugenics is still a modern concern in this century? (even though you cite sources from 1871, 1881, 1896-7, and 1925 – and one of these is a fictional source).

    No offense but I frequently find your writing style so longwinded, obtuse and convoluted at times it’s honestly difficulty at times to parse what your point is.

  51. Congratulations Denyse for your effort to interview Adnan Oktar. As a former atheist and Darwinist (from the UK), who became a Muslim, a doubter of Darwinism and then an ID supporter, I can understand why Adnan came in for some stick. I am not particularly happy with Adnan’s approach in all areas and have made this clear to other Muslims, but at the same time, I do not wish to throw the baby out with the bath water. I notice that ID proponents manage to deal with Christian YEC’s, atheists and agnostics constructively and hope the same allowances can be made for Muslims. If ID proponents settle into a narrow intolerant comfort zone, however intellectually justified they think it is, ID will fail to inspire the main stream. The intolerant sect of Darwinism will be replaced by an equally intolerant ID variety and the victory will ring hollow. Lets learn from the mistakes of the Darwinists, not repeat them.

    I recently found myself happy to be advising a Christian on ID, who was in the middle of a crisis of faith as a result of having read “The God Delusion”. Surely this is what ID is all about. There is currently a glaring absence of Muslims involved in ID. Despite the rhetoric, the majority of “genuine” ID proponents are from a Judeo-Christian background and in my experience, many would like to keep it a Judeo Christian affair. On rare occasions when Islam or Muslims are mentioned, it tends to be in hushed tones and with the usual negative connotations. I have yet to see a reference to the fact that Muslims instigated the first universal science effort and were the first to try to systematically harmonise secular and sacred knowledge. Is it any wonder that when Islamic knowledge filtered into Europe, via Muslim Spain that Christian theists dominated science. Where is their chapter in the history of ID?

  52. 52

    I think one of the misunderstandings that Oktar has inregards to ID is that he thinks ID says “we cannot determine who the designer is”- but in effect ID actually makes no claim about the identity of the Designer at all- ID only tells you if something is designed. Certainly there can be creationist- or theological cases but ID is just one specific theory that is devoted to detecting design. There is nothing dishonest about that.

  53. Nakashima-San:

    Darwinism, as you will observe from the name, is about 150 years old this year. (I am aware that the Wallace paper came to CRD in June 1858, and precipitated presentations of papers that year.)

    In that context, I am dealing with fundamental principles of Darwinism [citing relevant foundational sources], and their implications (as sadly proved on the ground), by making reference to relevant sources — including (i) Darwin’s 2nd major book, (ii) a widely read warning by way of science fiction scenario on the cusp of the Century in which Darwinism’s socio-cultural implications were to play out on the ground, and (iii) a sadly important specific case in point that cost dozens of millions their lives through triggering World War II. (And BTW, pardon, but some of Japan’s activities in China and wider Asia in the 1930′s – 40′s unfortunately fit in under the same themes.)

    To see just how foundational to Darwinian thought the themes and sources are, we may observe from the introduction to Origin [6th Edn]:

    the Struggle for Existence amongst all organic beings throughout the world . . . inevitably follows from the high geometrical ratio of their increase . . . This is the doctrine of Malthus, applied to the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms. As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive; and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected. From the strong principle of inheritance, any selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form. This fundamental subject of Natural Selection . . . almost inevitably causes much Extinction of the less improved forms of life, and leads to what I have called Divergence of Character . . . .

    In short, 200+ year old Malthusian socio- cultural thought — contrary to the attempts to dismiss “Social Darwinism” above — is written into the foundation of Darwinism, and is deeply embedded into the concept of Natural Selection.

    So, Social Darwinism is simply closing the circle and carrying back home to humans a principle of competition to survive that started from a particular analysis of relations between people and means of economic survival and thriving, and was then extended to the animal world.

    (A principle, I beg to remind, that fails to appreciate the power and impact of creativity to multiply potential for economic prosperity; which moves us from a world of geometrical population growth tending to outstrip linear growth in production of food etc. Thus, we see revealed the logic of Hitler’s demand for “living room” for the Nordic- Aryan “race” at the expense of “inferiors” and thus also much of the “population bomb”- thinking driven cry for unrestricted abortions etc in our day; as well as the demand of certain deep ecology spokesmen for a collapsing of the human population to 1/3 – 1/5 or less (in some cases, MUCH less) than its current size. Which makes the matter considerably more current and relevant than some might think.)

    Further to this, I find that current Darwinists too often distract from and dismiss rather than cogently address this foundational concern, one that has a history that speaks in warning tones. (In this context, pardon an aside: I find your taking up the rhetoric of the Anti-Evo spokesmen here, rather unimpressive and below the former standard of your remarks. My notes above were by way of commentary surrounding key citations from major sources, including one that would throw a key side-light to why Mr Oktar — as a Turk; a specifically named “inferior” race beaten “all hollow” in the struggle for existence — has legitimate concerns, whatever his own problems may be. And, root history and foundational ideas are always cogent.)

    So, again, I must ask that today’s Darwinists deal foursquare with this foundational cluster of ideas, and the history that unfortunately stemmed from it. On that histry, they — in particular, evolutionary materialists and their fellow travellers — have to show an adequate grounding for mind, reason and morality that convincingly shows that the ideas and tendencies that have already had such sad consequences have been properly tamed.(I will append on that subject, to document my more general concerns.)

    If they refuse or fail to do so, those of us who look on will have to take warning and act prudently in our defence.

    For, those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    GEM of TKI

  54. PS: Why Evolutionary Materialism is of serious concern, and not just to the Adnan Oktars of this world. I excerpt from my appendix 8 the always linked:

    ________________

    . . . [evolutionary] materialism [a worldview that often likes to wear the mantle of "science"] . . . argues that the cosmos is the product of chance interactions of matter and energy, within the constraint of the laws of nature. Therefore, all phenomena in the universe, without residue, are determined by the working of purposeless laws acting on material objects, under the direct or indirect control of chance.

    But human thought, clearly a phenomenon in the universe, must now fit into this picture. Thus, what we subjectively experience as “thoughts” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as unintended by-products of the natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains. (These forces are viewed as ultimately physical, but are taken to be partly mediated through a complex pattern of genetic inheritance ["nature"] and psycho-social conditioning ["nurture"], within the framework of human culture [i.e. socio-cultural conditioning and resulting/associated relativism].)

    –> So far, this is descriptive

    –> But, it has some consequences that must be addressed . . .

    Therefore, if materialism is true, the “thoughts” we have and the “conclusions” we reach, without residue, are produced and controlled by forces that are irrelevant to purpose, truth, or validity. Of course, the conclusions of such arguments may still happen to be true, by lucky coincidence — but we have no rational grounds for relying on the “reasoning” that has led us to feel that we have “proved” them. And, if our materialist friends then say: “But, we can always apply scientific tests, through observation, experiment and measurement,” then we must note that to demonstrate that such tests provide empirical support to their theories requires the use of the very process of reasoning which they have discredited!

    Thus, evolutionary materialism reduces reason itself to the status of illusion. But, immediately, that includes “Materialism.” For instance, Marxists commonly deride opponents for their “bourgeois class conditioning” — but what of the effect of their own class origins? Freudians frequently dismiss qualms about their loosening of moral restraints by alluding to the impact of strict potty training on their “up-tight” critics — but doesn’t this cut both ways? And, should we not simply ask a Behaviourist whether s/he is simply another operantly conditioned rat trapped in the cosmic maze?

    In the end, materialism is based on self-defeating logic . . . .

    –> Drawing out the evident implications and concerns over quesitons of morality and policy

    –> Which then would have serious consequences, some of which sound all too familiar . . .

    In Law, Government, and Public Policy, the same bitter seed has shot up the idea that “Right” and “Wrong” are simply arbitrary social conventions. This has often led to the adoption of hypocritical, inconsistent, futile and self-destructive public policies.

    “Truth is dead,” so Education has become a power struggle; the victors have the right to propagandise the next generation as they please. Media power games simply extend this cynical manipulation from the school and the campus to the street, the office, the factory, the church and the home . . .
    ________________

    Such concerns have often been dismissed or distracted from. What they need is to be cogently addressed.

  55. 55

    Nakashima,

    —–”Thank you, Mrs O’Leary. There has never been enough humor published on UD.”

    But we’re never short on sarcasm, thanks to the commenters.

  56. Clive,

    “But they start to act as if they’ve found a real law of nature, and not an arbitrary standard of fitness that only exists by consensus.”

    Phillip Johnson does a masterful job of explaining the four ways in which Darwinists employ the term “Natural Selection” in chapter 2 of “Darwin on trial”. It is available free to view as a PDF here: http://talebooks.com/images/bs/291.pdf

    He points out that Darwinists employ the term natural selection most often as a tautology, a deductive argument or a philosophical necessity. When it used as a scientific hypothesis open to refutation, the examples given refer to microevolution.

  57. I do not agree with Adnan Oktar when he makes the bold claim that there is not a single example of gradual evolutionary transformation documented in the fossil record. Guided by the Darwinian paradigm, many have been “identified”. All the Darwinists then have to do is point out a single case of a transitional sequence to refute his claim, casting doubt on much of his good work.

    In order to avoid unnecessary battles, it is better to argue that the relatively small number of gradual fossil sequences provided by Darwinists are not representative of the dominant patterns found and may well be works of imagination and wishfully thinking. Having learned about the Cambrian explosion, stasis, the frequent abrupt appearance of new forms in the fossil record and the extent to which naturalism had previously clouded my thinking, I am personally less certain than ever that these alleged sequences tell us anything about how new species emerged. I know longer feel compelled to believe that some form of evolution from different forms is the only possible explanation and will reserve my judgement until we can see the fossil record interpreted honestly and critically, without the Darwinian blinkers.

  58. Wait… WAIT! The irony of this seems clearly lost on Denyse and Adnan… the similarity of this idea of life springing from the muddy waters of the Nile doesn’t look more similar, say, to your own creation myths? God creating Adam from the soil, etc?

    For one thing, Darwinism is a pagan religion whose roots go back to the Sumerians and Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians also believed that life emerged spontaneously from the muddy waters of the Nile. The theory of evolution is a superstitious belief that has been around ever since and that is not supported by a shred of scientific evidence.

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