As scientists around the world celebrate the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's seminal work on evolution, Adnan Oktar, a college dropout turned theorist of Islamic creationism, is working on the fifth volume of a 14-part masterwork that he says will bury Darwinism once and for all.
"Darwin and his theory are dead," says Mr. Oktar, founder and honorary president of the Science Research Foundation, an Istanbul outfit dedicated to debunking the Victorian-era English naturalist. Darwin, says his 52-year-old Turkish scourge, is "Satan's biggest trick on humanity."
Mr. Oktar, who briefly studied interior design, hasn't had much success swaying scientists with the weight of his research. "He is a complete and utter ignoramus," says Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and Oxford University professor.
Now, from a secularist's point of view, it's bad enough that we have nutjob Muslims and Christians taking anti-science views of the development of life. What I thought was particularly noteworthy about Mr. Oktar is the fact that there is so much active censorship of those who disagree with him (banning of websites and so forth). If counterviews cannot be fully expressed, proponents of science and rational thought have a significantly more difficult task.
It just underscores the vital importance of the right of free speech.