Tuesday, 30 September 2008
The A of Creation
Really, I've no excuse not to be blogging when I've been sitting on this little beaut.
Several notable persons in our office have recently been sent a copy of The Atlas of Creation by Global Publishing of Istanbul (interestingly, they appear to have picked on directors mostly - perhaps they think they're more easily swayed in the way of rubbish islamic creationist zealotry). The book purports to undermine evolution theory, comparing fossils to - supposedly identical - living species, obviously ignoring some of the very basic precepts of the argument for evolution and in the process making a number of factual errors:
"The fossil record is perhaps the most important evidence that demolishes the theory of evolution's claims. Fossils reveal that life forms on Earth have never undergone even the slightest change and have never developed into one another. Examining the fossil record, we see that living things are exactly the same today as they were hundreds of millions of years ago—in other words, that they never underwent evolution. Even during the most ancient periods, life forms emerged suddenly with all their complex structures–with the perfect and superior features, just as do their counterparts today."
It is a stonker of a tome - weighing in at 12lb (I weighed it on a friend's bathroom scales after it actually broke the handles of the bag usually holding my gym kit) - all glossy paper and hologramatic cover. The cost of postage alone boggles the mind, especially when you bare in mind that this book has been sent to tens of thousands of universities, schools and research facilities all over Europe (although, why they sent it to us is anyone's guess - the UK's largest regional business publisher doesn't have much of a religious agenda, even though we do like holograms).
Obviously the fact of its existence isn't that shocking, you only need to read the news to discover that creationism is on not only on the upsurge but also being backed by some serious financial weight. The question we are left with is how to deal with this?
The "author" of the Atlas of Creation is a convicted sex-offender with a history of anti-Semitic writing and he clearly has a lot of money behind him. He managed to get the Turkish government to block Richard Dawkin's website and has issued countless libel suits against news websites in the middle east. Is it appropriate to ignore it? Is it really enough to laugh at the silliness of his anti-evolutionary claims?
I'm not pre-supposing an answer here. I, for one, certainly don't know one - blogging to a small group of like-minded liberals is hardly a protest and (I'm ashamed to admit) I'm slightly scared even writing this.
Anyway, the Atlas of Creation has solved one problem for me - I'm sure my geneticist friends will appreciate a bit of humour in their Christmas stockings.