Op-Ed: Harun Yahya's Atlas of Creation, a speech by Oxford's Richard Dawkins

Posted Oct 16, 2008 by Bart B. Van Bockstaele
Oxford professor and biologist Richard Dawkins discusses Harun Yahya's Atlas of Creation, at the first international conference on political Islam, Sharia law and civil society, organised by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.
The crocoduck is an imaginary animal many creationists believe disproves the science of evolution. - Sylver
The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is an organization that brings toegether ex-believers in Islam and that, among other things, defends freedom for all.
They organized the first international conference on political Islam, Sharia law and civil society which was held on October 10th, 2008. Professor Dawkins discussed Harun Yahya's (whose real name is Adnan Oktar) book 'Atlas of Creation'. In this book, Harun Yahya claims to show the truth of creation and the falsehood of evolution theory.
However incredible it may sound, Harun Yahya is believed by countless people around the planet, and Richard Dawkins has taken it upon himself to show how obviously flawed Harun Yahya is, and how gullible and undiscerning the people who believe him are.
Adnan Oktar is not a typical young earth creationist, but an old earth creationist. That indicates that he at least understands what fossils are and how old they are. His claim is that, in spite of the age of the fossils, ancient animals have always been the same and have never changed. In his book, he shows examples of fossils next to modern animals or plants and claims that they are still identical.
Prof. Dawkins discusses several examples of this in order to show what he calls the "depth of his zoological erudition." Yahya doesn't seem to know the difference between an eel and a snake, a fossil insect and a well-tied fishing lure complete with hook. Harun Yahya has since changed his book to counter some, but not all, such criticisms. It shows the naive reasoning of the man and of creationists like him.
In defense of creationism, Harun Yahya has offered a prize of ten trillion Turkish lira (4.4 trillion British pounds) to anyone who can produce an intermediate fossil between two species, something creationists like Harun Yahya claim cannot exist. Unfortunately for those who'd like to claim the prize, Harun Yahya has very strange ideas about the nature of such an intermediate fossil.
Although Harun Yahya is an old earth creationist, and hence, quite different from the American Christian fundamentalist movement, he clearly has not a beginning of clue of the nature of the theory of evolution. Caught in the idea that species never change, he wants evolutionists to show him hybrid forms between two modern-day species. A good example of this is the crocoduck which creationists claim does not exist. Well, evolutionists won't disagree with him there, since this is not how evolution works. Species do not evolve from one modern-day species into another by some magical morphing process, rather, they evolve over time.
After his short talk, Richard Dawkins answers questions form the public. This is really a must-see video for people who wonder why so few evolutionists want to have a debate with creationists: creationists are so utterly clueless about science that a debate is not possible. Indeed, should they have any scientific knowledge, they would simply not be creationists. A notable exception to this is Kurt Wise, a potentially brilliant scientist who was so indoctrinated by religion as a child, that he was unable to free himself from it, and chose to believe scripture in spite of the evidence.