The Guardian in the UK has this on their science blog: Creationist challenges Dawkins. The sub-headline reads: Richard Dawkins has been challenged to a public debate by an eccentric Turkish creationist. Here are some excerpts:
Richard Dawkins is used to being provoked by loony American evangelical creationists. But his latest challenge comes from a strange Turkish figure called Harun Yahya whose lavishly produced (and frankly preposterous) four-volume tome The Atlas of Creation caused a stir last year when it was sent to thousands of academics across Europe.
Yahya (real name Adnan Oktar) has invited Dawkins to debate Darwin’s theory of evolution with him publicly. Yahya believes the theory “has lately suffered a global collapse”.
This is surprising — not the challenge by Harun Yahya, but his ability to do it. The last we heard, he was appealing a conviction, as we reported here: Creationist Harun Yahya (Adnan Oktar) Is Interviewed. Anyway, more about his challenge to Dawkins:
Although coming from a Muslim rather than a Christian perspective, Yahya’s approach to promoting the creationist argument will be familiar to evolutionary biologists. He selectively quotes from scientists. He claims tiny statistical probabilities that biological structures could have appeared by chance – but conveniently ignores the fact that the jump from nothing to complete structure that these probabilities imply is entirely different from the gradual changes produced by natural selection. He triumphantly cites the Piltdown Man hoax as evidence that evolutionary biologists are out to dupe us all, even though the century-old fake is irrelevant to the evidence for evolution.
This is good stuff! We recommend that you read the whole article. Oh, we must add this last excerpt:
In the Turkish courts, Yahya’s organisation is currently using blasphemy laws to fight the publication of Dawkins’ book The God Delusion. [Emphasis supplied.]
“We are not against democracy, but no one can insult or defame our belief,” Yahya’s press assistant Seda Aral told me.
Ah yes, blasphemy laws. That’s how it will be here too if the creationists ever get their way.
The article mentions that Dawkins is unlikely to accept this challenge. We understand his unwillingness to give unwarranted publicity to a creationist — but an event like that would certainly be entertaining.