In recent times, one ongoing dispute between radical “Christians” and the rest of us has been over the teaching of evolution in schools. Religious groups have been insisting that their theory of “creationism” be taught as an alternative to evolution in school science classes. Even though creationism has no basis in scientific fact, and even though it is by its very nature religious, it has been placed in the curriculum at some public schools. But it may have never occurred to those God-fearing, America-loving “Christians” who are happy with their children learning this nonsense that Christianity isn’t the only religion that endorses the idea of a “creator spirit” of some sort who built the universe in six days.
The science curriculum map for the Youngstown, Ohio School District calls for teachers to use a video titled “Cambrian Fossils and the Creation of Species” as part of the district’s 10th grade science instruction. That video uses a period known as the “Cambrian explosion” to call Darwin’s theory of evolution into question. What makes this video different from the other pseudo-science creationist material that is peddled to kids? As the video opens, displayed on the screen for less than a second, is a message that says, “this film is based on the works of Harun Yahya.”
According to The Daily Beast, Harun Yahya is the pseudonym of Adnan Oktar, a Muslim “creationist cult” leader. In the corner of that frame identifying Yahya/Oktar as the source of the information in the video, is written in Arabic, “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” Wait until the Trump-loving, Muslim-hating, all-American parents of east Ohio find out about this!
Oktar is an Islamic televangelist who owns a Turkish TV channel known as “A9.” On his channel, The Daily Beast reports, “a group of women in tight-fitting designer clothes and dyed blonde hair help him promote Islam and attack evolution, all the while calling him ‘master.'” The anti-evolution guru defends the appearance of the women by saying that he wants to be like King Solomon, and surround himself with beauty. He claims that Islam is all about beauty. The whole thing comes off looking like a Turkish version of the old Playboy After Dark TV show, that starred Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. If you aren’t creeped out enough yet, here’s more: the women who appear with Oktar feature his picture prominently on their Twitter pages.
The video that is part of the creationism curriculum materials permitted for use in the Youngstown schools is just one of many works produced by Oktar. His most ambitious opus is the 800-page Atlas of Creation, in which he says he completely disproves Darwin. Another one, which he has reportedly disavowed is a book titled The Holocaust Deception: The Hidden Story of Nazi-Zionist Collaboration and the Inner Story of the Hoax of “Jewish Holocaust.”
This video is only one of several that is recommended for use by Youngstown science teachers. The bulk of them come from Christian sources. But it opens up the question again about why creationism should be taught in public schools at all, regardless of the source. You simply can’t teach creationism without a nod towards religion — Christianity, Islam or otherwise. And if evolution isn’t taught in churches, why should creationism be taught in taxpayer-funded schools?
When Ohio politicians decided to let creationism into schools, it probably didn’t occur to them that the alternative to evolution could be part of the tenets of non-Christian religions, too. Now that it is plain that teaching creationism means that you might wind up promoting the creationist theories of Islamic cult leaders, it will be interesting to see if those same politicians decide that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Here’s the video in question, via YouTube:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyEHNg1O3QM?rel=0]
Featured image via Twitter