Presentation on theme: "Pseudoscience in the Periphery: The History of Islamic Creationism in Turkey Taner Edis Department of Physics, Truman State University Amy Sue Bix Department."— Presentation transcript:
Pseudoscience in the Periphery: The History of Islamic Creationism in Turkey Taner Edis Department of Physics, Truman State University Amy Sue Bix Department of History, Iowa State University
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery2 Recent history Past few centuries dominated by need to catch up to modern, especially Western world. West has technological advantage military and commercial power. Need science!
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery3 Importing science Borrow technology but guard against foreign cultural influences. Materialist aspects of science (as seen in popular 19 th century materialist literature, such as by Ludwig Büchner) undesirable.
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery4 Responding to Darwin Early response to Darwin and evolution in the context of westernization and elite debates over materialist philosophy. Largely ignored, or denounced as an offense to religion. Accepted by radical secularizers but not Muslim modernists.
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery5 Said Nursi
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery6 Secularist impositions Turkish example: most radical secularist experiment in Muslim world. 1920s, 30s. Darwinian evolution part of state science education. But only minor offense to traditional religion, when compared to much more serious injuries.
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery7 Underground creationism Until 1970s Turkey, little public creationism outside of conservative Muslim subculture. (Passive resistance to evolution.) 1970s: Islamists in coalition. Opposition to evolution a culture-wars theme. Indirect way of opposing secularism. Grassroots modernist movements push pseudoscience.
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery8 Official creationism 1980: military coup. Conservative policy. Mid-1980s: conservative government, Islamists in Ministry of Education, Nur influence. Creationism in secondary education. Translations from US literature, distributed to teachers. Creationist paragraphs in Turkish textbooks, even today.
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery9 Harun Yahya In 1997, Harun Yahya literature took Turkey by storm. Creationism central theme. Borrows from Christian creationists; Adds more traditional Islamic themes. Uses media very well. Modern, but religious image.
2009Rejecting materialism10 Successful creationism Scientists (e.g. Turkish Academy of Sciences) publicly oppose creationism. Ineffectual. Many Turkish academics express skepticism about Darwinian evolution. Muslim opposition to evolution is intellectually mainstream. Defense of evolution entangled with a discredited secularism.
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery11 TÜBİTAK controversy March 2009: Censorship of popular science and technology magazine.
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery12 Global Islamic Creationism Turkish origin (Harun Yahya), but internationally popular. Grassroots pseudoscience; theme of harmony between science and traditional religion.
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery13 Quran Evolution? 15:26 “We created man of potter’s clay of black mud altered.” 24:45 “And God created all animals from water: some of them travel on their bellies, some travel on two legs, some travel on four. God creates what God will; God is capable of all things.”
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery14 Guided evolution Many accept limited evolution –Common descent somewhat OK, but more problematic where humans are concerned. –Explicitly guided, non-Darwinian process. Creativity cannot reside in the material world. Attractive as a middle path, but even guided evolution always controversial.
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery15 Academic creationism Well-known philosophers of science Seyyed Hossein Nasr (Iran, US), and Osman Bakar (Malaysia, currently US) are creationists. Darwinian evolution goes against top-down, God- centered view of reality demanded by religion. “Intelligent design” also finding an audience.
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery16 Doctrinal conservatism Liberal Muslim views weaker than Christian counterparts. Reinterpretation, seeing religion as human strongly opposed. Even modernists, democrats can be cultural conservatives. Rejecting materialism conditions both popular and intellectual discourse on science.
2010Pseudoscience in the Periphery17 Plug Taner Edis, An Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in Islam (Prometheus Books, 2007).