Intelligent Design Flourishes in Turkey

Along with the rest of the Islamic world, Turkey is mostly a creationist country. We’ve written about this before — see, e.g., Creationism Progresses in Turkey, where we said:

Everyone has heard of Adnan Oktar (a/k/a Harun Yahya), about whom we once wrote Harun Yahya Offers Eight Trillion Dollar Prize. And as we mentioned here, the Institute for Creation Research has been active in Turkey for years. The Discoveroids also send speakers to Turkey (see Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Islam), and other creationist groups probably do too.

Today we have a good example of Discoveroid outreach into the non-Western world. They’ve just posted Adventures in Ankara at their creationist blog. The author is Paul Nelson, a Discoveroid “fellow.” This is his write–up at the Discoveroids’ website: Paul Nelson, Fellow. The last time we mentioned him was to describe his appearance at Another Discoveroid Revival at Biola.

Nelson teaches at Biola University — a California bible college founded in 1908 as the Bible Institute Of Los Angeles. We’ve previously posted about the interlocking relationships between the Discoveroids and Biola. And as we reported earlier, for the celebration of their centennial year, Biola honored Philip E. Johnson: Godfather of Intelligent Design.

That’s enough background. What happened at Nelson’s creationist pilgrimage to Turkey? He says, with bold font added by us:

Last week, I hit the road for Ankara, Turkey, to participate in the 3rd International Congress on Evolution Under Scrutiny. This conference, organized entirely by Turkish students, was held at Yildirim Beyazit University in Ankara, and featured several of the leading figures who deal with evolution and its relation to other fields, in Turkish (or Middle Eastern) science and philosophy. Among the speakers: [list of creationists omitted].

Ooooooooooooh — it must have been exciting! Let’s read on:

I spoke on “Why Is the Origin of Animal Body Plans Still Unsolved?” in the last session of the conference.

Nelson doesn’t give us the answer, but we can guess — it’s because the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — works in mysterious ways. Nelson continues:

Discussions before and after the talks were lively, with questions ranging across biology, philosophy, and Islamic theology. I was able to overcome a bad case of jet lag, and found several new Facebook friends among the conference participants, with whom I look forward to interacting in the months to come.

Isn’t that sweet? At the end, he adds an even more personal touch:

And by the way, the lamb and chicken kebabs at the reception following the conference were alone worth the trip.

Verily, a heart-warming experience. We are pleased — and not surprised — to see that the Discoveroids’ version of science is making so much progress in the Islamic world.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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29 responses to “Intelligent Design Flourishes in Turkey

  1. “Discussions before and after the talks were lively, with questions ranging across biology, philosophy, and Islamic theology.”

    The Discoveroids have always been interested in imposing Christian sharia, a component of which is biblical creationism, in America, and who better to learn from than Islamic creationists.

  2. Diogenes' Lamp

    If I may be permitted to self-promote, as usual when the topic of Harun Yahya, aka Adnan Oktar, comes up, I will link to my blog post on Harun Yahya’s antisemitic, Holocaust-denying, religious sex slavery cult, and how they copied their best ideas with direct help from the American creationists of the ICR, and how the Discovery Institute fellows react to allegations of other IDers’ sex slavery and Holocaust denial with a shrug of the shoulders and a big “So what?”

  3. And the most note worthy point were the Kebabs!!! That says a lot about what was discussed.

  4. Doctor Stochastic

    On my last trip to Turkey, there were lots of “Darwinian” books for sale in the book stores around the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Lots of other scientific and technical books too; there were lots of art and literature books too but not too many religious tomes. The current Turkish President may support the creationists though.

  5. docbill1351

    I’ve listed below Turkey’s contribution to science:

  6. As DocBill is from the same country that produced illuminates as Casey Luskin, Paul Nelson and David Rives, a country where also Ol’ Hambo flourishes, a simple European like me cannot expect him to look at the other side of the border.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istanbul_observatory_of_Taqi_ad-Din

    Or being capable of finding this guy on internet.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gazi_Yaşargil

  7. michaelfugate

    International Congress on Evolution Under Scrutiny which I am going to pronounce “I See Us” because given the participants, they should be saying “I see us being idiots” or “I see us practicing (bad) theology” and so on and so forth.

  8. Discovery Institute and Islam’s apologists: politics and pseudo-science both make strange bedfellows. (And the fact that the pseudo-scientists at the conservative Discovery Institute have bedfellows at all is amazing. The fact that their “creation science” bedfellows are Islamic makes it even more so. )

    So, now that I have seen it all, I can die and decompose peacefully. (I used to wait for Henry Morris to tell me that everything I told him was right all along–but that didn’t happen.)

    For that matter, both Morris and Gish would roll over in their graves if they read my Bible.and.Science.Forum blog for today: a rehash of my old article: “If evolution had given us four fingers per hand, we’d be using the DuoDecimal Metric System.”

    Dr. Morris once told me that I was a fool not to recognize the Metric System as a communist threat. Many “creative science” speakers in those days were warning, “If you bring the metric system into the U.S. and adopt it as standard, the next thing you know, the Detroit auto industry will be destroyed and you’ll all be driving a bunch of cheap Japanese cars!”

    All sorts of things were seen as a “Communist conspiracy” back then:
    The Duodecimal Metric System: If only we had evolved with one less finger per hand!

  9. Professor Tertius says of the Discoveroids:

    The fact that their “creation science” bedfellows are Islamic makes it even more so [amazing].

    I’m not amazed at all. They have a great deal in common: they’re anti-science, anti-Enlightenment, and therefore anti-Western Civilization. They were made for each other.

  10. If we had evolved with four fingers per hand we’d be using an octal system, that is base 8. That system was in common use in the computer world before the now ubiquitous hexadecimal system (base 16) became common. If you have a good quality calculator it will likely permit operations in those systems – my HP calculator does and I’m sure that other manufacturers have models that do also.

  11. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    It’s good to see Paul Nelson helping people come to Mohammed (pbuh) and see the truth of the one true god Allah.

  12. If I were a right-wing Bible-pounder, I’d be careful about crowing about attending the Third International anything. Don’t these people know any history at all?

  13. The Curmudgeon wrote: “They have a great deal in common: they’re anti-science, anti-Enlightenment, and therefore anti-Western Civilization. They were made for each other.”

    This is yet another instance where I have a flashback to my favorite of all Woody Allen movie scenes. The main characters are on their way to some destination but they first have to drop off their travelling companion, the local village idiot. He is headed for a convention in another town. As they drive down main street, one sees the large festival banner stretched ahead of them, over the entire width of the street: “WELCOME IDIOTS!”

    [I hope some auto-filter doesn’t delete that.]

    So whenever I hear about some conference of YECers or IDers meeting somewhere, I always think of the local Chamber of Commerce chairman or the Convention Center Director saying to an assistant, “Time to put up the banner again.”

  14. If we had evolved with four fingers per hand we’d be using an octal system, that is base 8.

    I didn’t delve into the topic in my blog but plenty of civilizations did not focus on the fingers in selecting the base for their numeric system. The Babylonians used a base 60 system. In the pre-Columbian Americas, the Mayans used base 20, some others used base 60, but the Incas used base 10. Before decimal money was introduced, the British liked to use base 12 in their money. So that tells us that the total number of our “digits” was not absolutely certain to be in our own hands, so to speak.

    So I wouldn’t want to leave the impression that the number of fingers absolutely dictated what would eventually be the base of our numeric system. The “predictive” nature of our anatomical endowment quantities was meant to be read tongue-in-cheek. A base 8 number system has practical limitations/deficiencies of its own, so we can only speculate as to what might have happened had evolution given us the finger (so to speak) in quantities of one less per hand.

  15. Professor Tertius says: “we can only speculate as to what might have happened had evolution given us the finger (so to speak) in quantities of one less per hand.”

    I think we were intelligently designed to have the digits we do. When you think about it, everything works better when all those big numbers — like a million — can be neatly divided by ten. [End creationism mode]

  16. SC said:

    When you think about it, everything works better when all those big numbers — like a million — can be neatly divided by ten.

    You’re thinking of 1,000,000 in base 10. There’s also 1,000,000 in base 8. For example, 10 in base 8 = 8. 100 in base 8 = 64. Continue on this trek, and what we consider to be 1,000,000 would still be 1,000,000. It’s just that the number of objects in our base 10 system would be only 8^6 = 262,144. We would still be writing 1,000,000, so you could still have “1 MEEELLLION dollars”, it just wouldn’t be as much as it would be in base 10.

  17. I should have used a smiley.

  18. Doctor Stochastic

    Marduk has always been partial to base sixty. Give him a minute and you’ll get the second degree.

  19. I should have used a smiley.

    Yep. There’s always that risk. If Poe has a law, there’s gotta be one for this phenomenon–because somebody new to a forum is always bound to miss what just flew over their head.

  20. Don’t forget our computers use the binary and octal counting methods. So 8 is not so strange, though creationists would like ascribe an 8 finger system to negative intelligent design.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octal#In_computers

  21. Just ran across this bit of stupidity in Louisiana:

    Sinking Ships: New Bill Would Allow A Louisiana-Based Ark Park

    https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/sinking-ships-new-bill-would-allow-a-louisiana-based-ark-park

  22. Don’t forget our computers use the binary and octal counting methods. So 8 is not so strange,

    Actually it is quite “strange” because that is an example of humans having to make a concession to an engineering choice that saved on even more expensive display circuitry, NOT a case where the computer is going along with a human numeric system choice used by everyone. In other words, if not for the engineering advantages in binary computers–which only the humans working with those computers had to adapt–most of society wouldn’t even have known what the word “octal” meant. Society’s choose numeric systems for use general use throughout society. And even the engineers and student who use octal in their work don’t use it when they count items in commerce.

    However, DavidK makes a great point because it reminds us that, even in this, some ancient societies saw the need for alternative base numeric systems in some applications. And some ancient societies who used “exotic bases” also used base 10 in a secondary way or in some special circumstances and by only some people. And just as our computer engineers may still use octal (base 8) in their work while using base 10 otherwise in their lives, there’s evidence that the “priestly caste” in some ancient Native American cultures used base 10–or even other bases [perhaps even a base 7 for lunar calendars]–to do computations of which the rest of the society only cared about the end-results. [I can’t recall whether it was the Mayans or the Incas that had parallels to this sort of situation that DavidK brought up.]

    I remember using base 32 on a supercomputer (back in the early 1970s???) because it allowed more compact display of values but also because they were extremely efficient in special applications. Alphabetic symbols were usually limited to the 26 upper-case letters only and then just six of the digits were used to fill out the base 32 “symbols”. [We didn’t even use BYTES back then. And each mainframe computer from a different manufacturer tended to have its own bits/word/double-word configuration and various character sets to go with them. For example, I did some work for the federal government where the “number-cruncher supercomputer” had a 60-bit word which could be packed with ten 6-bit characters in the one word! And for double-precision arithmetic, you’d allocate the key variables as “double words” of 120 bits. As I said, at some mainframe “shoppes” nobody was talking about bytes because, for addressing purposes as well as data storage, they simply weren’t at issue. We had bits and words…..and 7-bit ASCII and 8-bit EBCDIC character sets, the latter which came with the IBM-360s which the average large corporation had.]

    I think base 32 and NAC codes were used in the space program, especially when satellite’s started gathering all sorts of natural resource and agricultural “mapping/surveying” where they needed a more convenient way to state the “geophysical coordinates.” [It has been a long time so I may have some of the terminology wrong.] I think they called them “NAC codes”, for “Natural Area Codes”, or something like that because they were used for a mapping of the entire earth which was expressed as a two-dimensional “flat map”. However, they extended the NAC codes to have an altitude dimension as well, so it could even be used for expressing the locations of satellites. So instead of using tedious latitude-longitude coordinates expressed as degrees, minutes, and seconds, the NAC code would first identify the “natural area code” location as a Base 30 two-dimensional grid location. [The other two bits of the Base 32 had special applications, if I remember right.]

    The “Natural Area Code” would be expressed as either 8 or 10 characters of the Base 30 code. So you would end up with “square” on the earth that was around a yard wide and two yards long.

    Being able to designate any spot on the earth by just ten characters in a single 60-bit word at a computer’s memory address was a big deal. This may have been created for the International Geophysical Year….1959?? At the time I remember we all thought these projects were such a great example of international cooperation of so many nations working together to study the earth. But sometime in the 1980’s (??) we started hearing rumors that the entire reason for the U.S. proposing the International Geophysical Year to the United Nations was that our Navy needed to use it as a “cover story” to hide the fact that we had located a secret Soviet sub in the Pacific that had imploded and sat on the ocean floor. So the IGY allowed the U.S. to send a bunch of ships to one spot in the Pacific to try to bring up the sub and its secrets but claimed that we were drilling deep into the earth’s “upper mantle” (??) or something like that–and we said that that spot was where it was the most accessible and easiest to drill. I think the name was Project Molehole (???). [Kids working on terms papers should not trust my memory on any of this.]

    Those were truly the “Wild West” days of computer architectures. Even moving a “simple” program between mainframes which were produced by different companies could take a lot of work.

    I suppose DavidK has learned from this that all you have to do is mention some brief observation around an old timer and that will set off a stream of “good ol’ days” stories long enough to put you to sleep–and the old guy as well.

  23. Or maybe the Soviet project was Molehole and the U.S. Navy said they were going to do a similar project. Old brains don’t come with parity bits and error-correction. (Ever hear of “fuzzy logic”? Yeah, it’s actually something different, but I always liked the term.)

  24. cnocspeireag

    The project was ‘Mohole’ and was intended to reach the Mohorovicic discontinuity (I don’t think it did, but can’t be sure).
    As a lifelong pedant,I must point out that most of us evolved to have four fingers on each hand.

  25. docbill1351

    102077 – octal halt instruction for the HP 2116 minicomputer.

    Some things you never forget.

  26. That reminds me of an ACM conference speaker long ago who said that he realized that he was in a room full of “tech geeks” when the punchline of a joke going around was “Interrupt 17!”

  27. !!!