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Friday, November 13, 2009

Jerry Coyne's demagoguery

In an article with the sensational title, "Axis of evil: Discovery Institute + Harun Yahya," Jerry Coyne said,

According to yesterday’s (Nov. 8) Washington Post, there seem to be some ties forming between the Turkish creationists, headed by Harun Yahya (aka Adnan Oktar), and the Disco ‘Tute. This is truly an unholy alliance . . . .

Coyne's evidence of an "unholy alliance"? The Washington Post article said,

The Discovery Institute of Seattle, which researches and promotes intelligent design as an alternative to creationism and evolution, . . . . sent speakers to Turkey after being invited by the Istanbul municipal government in 2007. President Bruce Chapman said the institute helped bring Turkish evolution critic Mustafa Akyol to a 2005 Kansas school board hearing on teaching critiques of evolution.

However, Harun Yahya (Adrian Oktar) has denounced ID and the Discovery Institute:
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In order to alienate people from true religions, Masons have devised many false religions of complex description assembling them all under the heading New Age.

Their purpose in this is to inculcate in that large segment of people who are abandoning materialist ideas, a new way of living and thinking. They want to establish a new system ornamented with metaphysical language and totally divergent from the true religion and faith in Allah (God) as revealed in the Qur’an. It is an irresponsible system with nothing to offer . . . .

. . . In order to alienate people in Islamic countries from true religion, Masons are intent on offering the idea of intelligent design as the most appropriate alternative in these countries . . . . .

. . . . . the Discovery Institute . . . represents this movement . . .

Salman Hameed, an expert on Islamic views on evolution, said in a comment under Coyne's article,

Actually, Disco institute tried to work with one of Yahya’s former disciples, Akyol. However Akyol now seems to have backed away from ID (he is now a fine-tuner). Yahya on the other hand hates ID – partly because of his early messy split with Akyol. He even links ID proponents with the free masons (hey – why not?).

This was not the first attempt to try to paint the Discovery Institute as being in league with Islamic extremists -- the Little Green Footballs blog also made such an attempt [link].
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