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ARCHIVE for Thursday 15th November 2001 - The war about evolution

"Try to see the other person's point of view." That is what they told us at school. I thought of it the other day while passing our local Islamic bookshop. So I went in and was immediately rewarded.

The reward was a book called The Evolution Deceit by Harun Yahya. It says on the back that this is the pen-name of a great Islamic scholar. He has written dozens of books. Some are about the Koran and its teachings, and some are about the conspiracies he sees behind world affairs. Most interesting to me are his books against materialism and Darwin's theory of evolution.

This theory, says Mr Yahya, is one of the great stumbling-blocks in relations between the Muslim and Christian worlds. Children in the West are made to believe in evolution. It is taught in schools, and every authority supports it - even the modern Church. If you do not believe in it you are laughed at. You are called backward and unscientific. You may even be called religious! You can see how Muslims are infuriated by this. Muslims are brought up to see this world as God’s creation. That used to be what we all believed - and many of us do to this day. One reason for this is that the world is far more beautiful than it need be for our survival. It includes everything, together with its opposite, and it all works. It could not have happened by chance, out of nothing.

So how do you explain its existence - and ours? In all ages, learned and initiated people have given the same answer. It looks like the work of a great mind. That is what our physicists are now saying. And the Muslims are saying what they have always said - it is the work of Allah, meaning God the Creator.

I do not know who Harun Yahya is, but he knows all the arguments for evolution. He also knows about their weak points and about the shaky foundation of Darwin’s theory. It is, he points out, deeply racist. Darwin saw the Negro and Aboriginal as nearer to the ape type than is the white man. That meant, according to his theory, that Europeans were superior to the others. It was a common prejudice in Darwin’s time. He was a good man and meant no harm. But just look at the results of that attitude!

I do not think Darwin was wrong in everything. No one ever is. But I agree with Mr Yahya that the influence of Darwin’s theory has been disastrous. Karl Marx welcomed it as an aid to communist materialism. Hitler took it to justify his belief in ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ races. The Muslims see it as encouraging a false view of the world. And they could well be right.

John Michell

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