Field of Science

The Muslim creationists refuse proper education

A second wave of creationists are making trouble, following Christian creationists (who are not done, but seems to be get less media attention these days). Muslim creationists are now walking out of medical lectures because of their beliefs.
Muslim students, including trainee doctors on one of Britain's leading medical courses, are walking out of lectures on evolution claiming it conflicts with creationist ideas established in the Koran.
Would you want to be treated by a physician who skipped classes that mentioned evolution? Microbes that make us sick evolve fast, leading to antibiotic resistance and virulence. Humans have many traits that are shaped by evolution, and the genetic differences among different ethnicities is likewise a subject of evolution. Should we not require that medical doctors know about these topics? Imagine if you weren't sure if your doctor knew enough about some disease because he had walked out on all lectures that mentioned Darwin or evolution. No thanks for me. [Evolutionary medicine.]

The emergence of the schism between Islam and evolution has much to do with Adnan Oktar (aka Harun Yahya). I have written about him before:
Stasis does not falsify evolution
Adnan Oktar repeats challenge ($$$) in a white suit
Creationism in Europe is also bad

Suffice to say that he is the author of the Atlas of Creation, a lush illustrated tome of fishing lures sent free of charge to academics in much of Europe and the US.

As stupid as Christian creationists have proven to be, I fear that will be nothing compared to the zealotry of their Muslim counterparts.


  1. Heh, funny coincidence, I just wrote a blog post where I mentioned Harun Yahya in a totally different context. And making sure I got the spelling of the name correct, I visited the Wikipedia article, which uses this same photo. Weird to close that window and open this one and see the same scary face peering out...

  2. Whether the lecture involves evolution or another topic, I would not want to be treated by a physician who chose to attend some lectures and not others based upon personal beliefs.

    For example, there are people who chose not to 'believe' the germ theory of disease. Can they skip lectures or courses as well?

  3. I think it is worse. Evolution is the study of _the_ process underlying biology. Even development, homeostasis, infection and healing processes follows from that.

    It would be like a physicist not studying mechanics, or an architect refusing to know about building materials.

  4. I do agree of course about the preeminence of evolution in biology, but I wonder if that is important here. It is not that they are denying that life exists or that humans have homeostasis, since those are God-given for those students.

    Again, not that I don't want these students to learn that the mechanisms responsible for human anatomy etc., and for bacterial resistance to antibiotics, is evolution - if they can't handle the lectures, let them fail the courses and see if they can get through an education without them.

  5. While I agree that it is bad for a medical student to walk out of a lecture that conflicts with a particular personal belief (it reminds me of a kid plugging his ears and singing rather than listening to parental instruction)I think it is important to note that MDs are not PhDs. Medical doctors are skilled professionals who are responsible for performing a task, but not for thinking and not for discovering. They need not know and understand the fundamentals of evolution in order to prescribe the correct medication for a particular set of symptoms. Torbjorn says that it's " a physicist not studying mechanics..." Its actually more like a mechanic not studying physics.

  6. Radical Muslims may be hell bent on world destruction with their idea of "Mahdi" but your title is really ass backwards on who needs an education. Look these up if you dare. "Only fools say in their hearts, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!" Fool is translated actually as "wicked" "Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools."
    So we are supposed to believe, "time" plus "chance" plus "nothing" creates LIFE? Life can Only come from Life. "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." I have posted this as anonymous because I am tired and really don't want to spend any more time educating the "uneducated".

  7. Alright, anonymous, you'll get a pass on lecturing.

    I can't quite help commenting nonetheless.

    So we are supposed to believe, "time" plus "chance" plus "nothing" creates LIFE? Life can Only come from Life.

    If by nothing you mean something, then yes, life does come from non-life. Lots of researchers work every day on the topic, and they have learned quite a bit, of not how life de facto originated. Look up Szostak Cech, Ayala, Cleaves, or Joyce if you want to see for yourself.

    But also, your bible-quotes are supposed to do what? Shock and awe?

  8. Anon., you take as a given that belief in God and acceptance of evolution are mutually exclusive. There are many scientists, including, for the greater part of his professional life, Charles Darwin, who accept both. The conflict between Faith and Evolution is a false dichotomy; religion and science can be complimentary as one offers answers the "why" and the other answers the "how." That some scientists are atheist or agnostic speaks to their temperament and not some intrinsic conflict between science and religion.
    Don't assume that acceptance of natural selection preclude faith in God(s). Moreover, regarding atheists, you would do well to remember the sermon on the mount, "Judge not that ye be not judged."

  9. Ben, so a literal reading of the Bible is not required, I presume you mean (otherwise, Genesis 1 is in pretty direct opposition to science, of course). In that case, how does one decide which parts to take seriously?

    Also, which "why" questions does religion answer? Why there are so many species? Why humans feel love? Why humans are moral? (Hint: science can answer all those.)

  10. Bjorn, Thanks for the questions. The Bible is not self-consistent, so you cannot take all of it literally, even if (especially if) you are a literalist. Moreover, if you do believe the bible is revelation from God, then it is, at best, several translations, hundreds of transcriptions and thousands of years removed from the best guess of some old goat herder of what God was trying to say. So, to believers, I would advocate a pick and choose interpretation of the bible, koran, etc., because, subjective as it is, it's as valid as any other interpretation.
    You notice that I am silent on the issue of scientific evidence for the existence of God. That is because there is none. In acknowledging this, I admit that belief in God is subjective. Believers admit this too; it's why they call religion "faith," which cannot be objective.
    Finally, it seems that you and I have a different understanding of the connotations of the question "why." Science tells us not why, but how there came to be so many species. Science doensn't tell us why life evolved on earth at all, just that it did and how it came to be. Why connotes intent. Nature and the universe are neutral and would have been just as happy (or sad, or... neutral) had Earth remained a giant wet rock absent any life. Likewise, science may shed light on the electro-biochemistry, or even the selective advantage behind human emotions; this again is answering the how, and not the why.

  11. Okay, in that limited sense of what a "why" question may be, you are right - science doesn't answer questions of intent.

    But, if you're allowed to pick and choose as you feel, then what answers can possibly come from scripture? Whatever you feel like, which is really neither here nor there in terms of those "why" questions. Also, do note that while science can at least in principle answer nearly all the "how" questions, there are tons of "why" questions about intent that I could ask that I do believe is not dealt with in the Bible (not that that would deter an apologist from making up stuff). For example, why can't animals talk? Why did God not make the Earth the center of the Universe? Why is evolution his tool of choice?

  12. Anyone who is free to think rationally must admit that the Genesis story of man being created from dirt is nonsense. Yet, this notion is still more plausable than the modern scientific explanation of man evolving from dirt all by himself.

  13. I'm not arguing that the bible, koran, etc. is/are exhaustive. I'm not arguing that religion is objective. I'm just arguing that the conflict between science and religion as a whole is illusory. Science has nothing to say about God(s) and religion should stay out of science. Your latest questions are thoughtful and fair, yet they are only tangentially related to my proposition and do nothing to invalidate it.

  14. The solution to the problem of creationist doctors seems obvious to me: Include mandatory questions on evolutionary theory in the final exams.

    Are these creationists going to walk out of their finals? I rather think not - they want to make a statement, not destroy their own careers.

    If they refuse to answer the questions, they fail. If they write a load of creationist tripe, they fail. If they try to answer the question without mentioning evolution, they can't, and they'll fail.

    As a patient, I can't afford to be treated by someone stupid or insane enough to deny the basis of their own field.


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