Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

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Turkish Delight in Intelligent Design

Thanks to an informed and irenic Turkish blog that I follow (thewhitepath.com), I already knew much of material covered in a Reuters story on Turks' dislike of Darwinism. But it probably is news to many in this country, including the media. The Darwinists' propaganda trope is that six-day creationism is the same as intelligent design, or might as well be the same. Yet it is obvious that Turkey really is primarily creationist--following a literalist reading of the Quaran rather than the Bible, of course--and that the creationists in Turkey have substantial funding, while ID has virtually none

Still, like certain creationists in the United States and Britain, those in Turkey do seem to make use of some of the same scientific research employed by Darwin critics who are not creationists and they likewise also may support some tenets of intelligent design. The ID movement, as such, is more limited, but enjoys substantial influence among officialdom, media and academics. Several Turkish scientists have signed the Dissent from Darwin statement.

No one in the Middle East has covered ID with such enthusiasm as the cultured and adroit science writer, Mustafa Akyol in Istanbul. His rejoinder last year to an article by the biologist Jerry Coyne in The New Republic was delightful. Writing in National Review Online, Akyol ran a shish-kebab skewer through Coyne's professed fear that ID, supposedly the product of fundamentalist Christians, is the sort of thing that would worsen the West's relations with the Muslim world. As Akyol observed, Muslims are not bothered by scientific arguments against Darwinism and for design. On the contrary, what they object to in the West is the strident secularist promotion of Darwinism and its pernicious public policy progeny. Poor Dr. Coyne, there he sat with his own argument running down his face.

Mustafa Akyol's writing in Turkey and elsewhere covers myriad subjects in addition to ID. It can be accessed at the aforementioned blog, thewhitepath.com. (Akyol translates to The White Path in English.) It is a useful resource for anyone trying to understand the domestic Turkish politics surrounding the current visit to Istanbul by Pope Benedict XVI.