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← [UPDATED] Richard Dawkins on Harun Yahya's Atlas of Creation

[UPDATED] Richard Dawkins on Harun Yahya's Atlas of Creation - Comments

Elli's Avatar Comment 1 by Elli

I can't believe the valuable time of Prof. Dawkins has to be wasted refuting this rubbish author.

btw - loved the "balls" comment!

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 21:09:00 UTC | #251036

black wolf's Avatar Comment 2 by black wolf

I don't agree with Richard that Oktar is naive. He presents his materials to the naive to sell better, so whenever he thinks he can seize the opportunity to promote his cause, he adopts a language he (probably rightfully) thinks they will easily swallow.
His attempted and so far marginally successful attempts at manipulating the Turkish jurisdiction to execute his will may have been naive in matters of law, but quite likely he's merely testing out how far he can take it. It's no secret that the common cause of all religious fundamentalists of the world is to bend and change the laws of their countries to fit their holy texts (or their selective readings thereof). They believe that they are the frontline in a battle of humanity against the force of evil. Or at least they find that making a fortune selling the battlecry is a worthwile endeavour. And it is as worthwile to them to carry on generation by generation - in the Christian case conveniently compartmentalized away from the fact that the same generations were all waiting for the return of their savior and disappointed; the Muslim world awaiting the arrival of the Mahdi.

I'm extremely grateful that today our countries provide a haven of freedom for brave apostates to openly form councils such as this one. They are not yet removed from danger as individuals, but the torch will not be extinguished. Call a spade a spade and an ignoramus an ignoramus, a liar a liar and a fascist a fascist, and words will take fruit.

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 21:25:00 UTC | #251040

tvictor's Avatar Comment 3 by tvictor

Watchout James Randi, he has a bigger prize than yours haha

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 21:34:00 UTC | #251044

Roy_H's Avatar Comment 4 by Roy_H

Wonderful lecture Richard, as always.

Dear Mr.Yahya...."Tiktaalik"? "Diarthrognathus broomi"?

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 21:59:00 UTC | #251048

Greybishop's Avatar Comment 5 by Greybishop

I'd like to throttle the camera man for not panning to the screen behind Dr. Dawkins so we can all share the various visual additions to the lecture.

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 22:07:00 UTC | #251051

quasarsphere's Avatar Comment 6 by quasarsphere

Greybishop, your avatar is just too unutterably brilliant for words!

Anyway, on topic now, who's worse, Yahya or Hovind? Yahya has personally offended me by using Tangerine Dream's music in his videos.

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 23:14:00 UTC | #251058

FrederickK's Avatar Comment 7 by FrederickK

Speaking behind somebody's back is not "honest" or "brave" Why not face to him on TV?

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 23:28:00 UTC | #251063

Oromasdes1978's Avatar Comment 8 by Oromasdes1978


Harun is currently unavailable for TV interview as he is currently serving a 3 year prison sentence.

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 23:30:00 UTC | #251065

FrederickK's Avatar Comment 10 by FrederickK

Checkout his press statement:

The public will be aware that access to the web sites and has been blocked by court rulings.
Following the blocking of access in the light of these rulings, several misleading reports and articles on the subject have appeared in various press organs.
It has been claimed in these reports that the reason for the legal measures taken against the web sites in question stems supposedly from criticism of my client's book the Atlas of Creation, and they have gone even further in making false imputations regarding my client, such as "hostility towards science," "opposing freedom of ideas," and "engaging in censorship."
These totally unrealistic allegations and imputations, intended to defame my client, have made it essential to issue this press statement in order that the public be correctly informed on the matter.

FIRST, the claim in the publications in question that prevention of access was requested because my client's book the Atlas of Creation had been criticized on those sites is completely untrue and fabricated. The sole reason for the applications made on behalf of my client, Mr. Adnan Oktar, is that severe insults and untruthful imputations directly aimed against my client's good name appeared on these sites. Indeed, the courts considering the matter accepted our application for that legitimate reason, considered the content of the publications in question to be unlawful and blocked access to the relevant sites.
It will be appreciated that if a publication had criticized my client's book without attacking his personal rights, the courts would obviously have borne in mind the rights to freedom of thought and expression and turned down our applications. The publications in question are evidently of a derogatory and false nature towards the courts deciding on the issue, and represent unlawful, improper behavior incompatible with press ethical principles.

SECOND, our legal petitions concerning the unlawful texts on these sites and the rulings issued regarding these are all contained in the court files. Examination of these documents shows that the injunction to block access to the sites stems from the illegal imputations and defamations directed against my client's personal rights. That being the case, publications imputing my client â€" and indeed the court â€" in a totally unrealistic manner and ignoring these documents, make it clear that those preparing such publications without investigating the truth of the matter actually have ulterior motives. Not only is this behavior a contravention of the law, it is also incompatible with professional press principles.

THIRD, I wish to make it clear that my client Mr. Oktar's views and works are totally grounded in the scientific facts. It is for that reason that world-famous journals such as Science, New Scientist and Scientific American have referred to Mr. Oktar as "an international hero [whose] books have spread everywhere in the Islamic world," and regard the works my client has personally written as the most powerful intellectual movement in the world to reveal the invalidity of evolution. Reuters, one of the world's largest press agencies, has stated that the works of Adnan Oktar "has an influence U.S. creationists could only dream of."
The comments from Turkish and international scientific authorities, one small part of which have been quoted here, about my client's works are the clearest response to the baseless allegations and imputations that my client is "hostile to science."

FOURTH, the allegation in some of the publications that "My client prevented access to Richard Dawkins' web site because he was reluctant to engage in a scientific debate with him" is completely untrue. On the contrary, my client has many times invited Richard Dawkins, both verbally and in written form, to a scientific debate, but he has not accepted, or has been unable to accept, those invitations. No response has been forthcoming to the announcements of "a call to a scientific debate" that my client has issued to Richard Dawkins over the last few months in particular on his web sites and
In the same way that Richard Dawkins did not (or could not) accept my client's calls for a scientific debate, his own web site contained statements contravening the law and violating my client's personal rights and going far beyond the bounds of respect, and which also concerned the site closure application. When these statements were published, we resorted to the use of our legal rights.
By means of this press release, my client once again repeats his "call for a scientific debate," already issued countless times, and particularly calls on the members of the press reporting on the issue to make contact with Richard Dawkins and convince him to accept my client's invitation to a debate.

FIFTH, some of the relevant publications and particularly the web site carried the claim that our legal petitions were issued "without giving the site management any warning." This claim is totally false and untrue. The site managements were warned both verbally and in writing on the subject of removing the text about which we had applied to the court. Indeed, on 17 September 2008, one day before our application to the court, the site management were telephoned and verbally informed of the matter once again. The site representative on the telephone requested the matter be notified in writing, and the request that the unlawful texts in the publication be removed was e-mailed to the site management and they were informed that otherwise we would be forced to resort to legal measures. Sadly, however, despite our warnings, no reply was received and we eventually had to apply for an injunction. It is not a well-intentioned approach to issue untruthful statements that they were not warned and thus criticize the ruling issued by the court. The site management statements on its first page regarding the ruling that the web site be closed contain untrue claims and unlawful declarations (and the publication still continues). We announce by means of this press statement that unless the unlawful terms in the text of that statement are removed we shall have to resort to the appropriate legal measures.

SIXTH, the decision to block access to the web site was lifted, after the removal by the site management of the items violating my client's personal rights, with the ruling issued by the Kadıköy 2nd Court of First Instance. In other words, the grounds for the lifting of the injunction is the removal of the page carrying the unlawful text about my client, Adnan Oktar, by the site management. We many times requested that the page containing the expressions violating my client's personality rights be removed before we made our application, but the site management never responded to these requests. When the closure ruling was issued, the site management removed the unlawful text in order to have their site opened again, the ruling issued in the framework of the injunction was lifted, and access to the site granted.

In summary; the court ruled that access to the site be re-opened because the site management accepted that their publication about my client was unlawful and removed it. However, following the removal by the site officials of the unlawful publication and as soon as the site was opened up, in an effort to supposedly justify themselves, they continued to bring out texts about my client that went beyond the bounds of freedom of expression, and this is a contravention of good intentions and the law.

SEVENTH, my client Adnan Oktar sets out his ideas on a scientific platform in the most powerful and effective manner in his books and web sites. However, he also treats those who think differently with the greatest respect in those publications. Not a single disrespectful word about anyone holding different opinions can be found in any of my client's more than 300 books nor in any of the dozens of web sites based on his opinions.
That is because my client respects freedom of thought and expression and is most tolerant of the expression of views opposed to his. However, it will be appreciated that freedom of the press, or ideas or expression is not the same thing as freedom of defamation. Everyone is free to express and defend his or her opinions on any subject, but they have a responsibility to do so within the bounds of the law, without breaching public order and while respecting the personal rights of others. There can be no question that those who transgress those bounds will not be protected by the judicial authorities. In the event those bounds are transgressed, everyone must respect the rulings issued on the subject by the independent Turkish courts.

Submitted for the public record.
Adnan Oktar's Representative
Ceyhun Gökdoğan (Lawyer)

For any of your questions, please kindly contact:
Ms. Seda Aral (Istanbul, TURKEY)

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 23:37:00 UTC | #251069

GordonYKWong's Avatar Comment 11 by GordonYKWong

Oh Bother, here we go again... joe the troll is back.

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 23:39:00 UTC | #251070

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 12 by Laurie Fraser

Comment #264602 by FrederickK

Hahahaha, Fred - as if good ol' Harun gives a toss about "truth". The guy's a charlatan, has been proven to be so by Richard and others, and is conducting a campaign to clean up his image so that he can continue to fleece the gullible. I say gaol's too good for him - he should be forced to watch Benny Hinn sermons for the rest of his life.

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 23:44:00 UTC | #251071

TalkyMeat's Avatar Comment 13 by TalkyMeat

That was quite magnificent, thank you Richard! I do think that the word "ignoramus" is underused in public discourse, particularly since there are so many of them about.

I do however agree with Greybishop that the footage should have included your slides. No need to throttle the camera operator though, perhaps someone could just edit them into the footage?

Also ... oooooh - a children's book by RD? Can I pre-order NOW? I've been teaching my daughter about evolution since she was five, and I'm sure she would love such a book. What age range were you aiming for?

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 23:49:00 UTC | #251072

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 14 by Quetzalcoatl

Okay everyone, let's begin ignoring FrederickK in 3.....2.....1.....

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 23:54:00 UTC | #251075

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 15 by Laurie Fraser

Come on Quetz, just zap him out of existence, will you?

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 23:56:00 UTC | #251078

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 16 by Quetzalcoatl


You're right. My excuse is that I'm still getting back into the swing of things after my mini-holiday. But I shall definitely do that, promise.

Like the latest stories on your blog, by the way.

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:04:00 UTC | #251079

GordonYKWong's Avatar Comment 17 by GordonYKWong

BTW, the pakistani professor/rationalist that was mentioned in the Q&A is this gentleman (I think):

Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy

I first heard of him when he wrote a short retort to the Templeton Foundation's website on the question of "Does science make belief in God obsolete?"

It is the best and funniest answer among all the answers, including Hitchens and Pinker.

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:08:00 UTC | #251080

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 18 by Laurie Fraser

Gordon - excellent!

Quetz - saw your barnyard photos - very good (that'll get 'em thinking) :)

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:11:00 UTC | #251083

epeeist's Avatar Comment 19 by epeeist

Comment #264603 by GordonYKWong

Oh Bother, here we go again... joe the troll is back.
I don't think it is Joe. I do occasionally see him posting elsewhere. I usually add a coda pointing out that he is simply copying material from Oktar's sites.

His favourite thing at the moment is to cut and paste a claim that they have challenged RD to a debate and that Richard is too scared to take it up. Not too different to FrederickK in that respect.

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:14:00 UTC | #251084

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 20 by Ivan The Not So Bad

As any bookmaker will tell you, the size of the payout on offer is always in inverse proportion to the likelyhood of it being won.

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:22:00 UTC | #251086

AfraidToDie's Avatar Comment 21 by AfraidToDie

"Ex-muslim"? It is great to hear such a society exists. For the world's sake, let's hope it's membership expands rapidly. For those of us raised with the fear of eternal damnation after death, keeping the seeds of doubt was not that difficult. For muslims, the fear of execution rapidly sending you to eternal damnation has to be nearly impossible to overcome.

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:24:00 UTC | #251088

Lisa Bauer's Avatar Comment 23 by Lisa Bauer

A very amusing and direct, to-the-point speech. Also, don't miss the panel discussion with Dawkins and several others on the "Video footage of the conference" link, right under RD's speech, though all the videos are good.

When the camera was panning over the audience, I couldn't help but wonder if some of the attendees had reason to fear that this exposure, however limited, could possibly be life-threatening...not a pleasant thought.

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:29:00 UTC | #251090

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 22 by Laurie Fraser

epeeist - did I get this all wrong, or do you go trawling around looking for Joe's contributions to cyberspace? I'm worried, mate, intensely worried....

Actually, I think it's rather wonderful for loonies such as Joe, Oktar etc are so freaked by Richard's devastation of their tiny world that they try this on. And I hope Richard continues to ignore them. I, on the other hand, will happily engage them. I'll be in Turkey next June, so could easily slot a debating engagement into my schedule. I expect 5 star accommodation, of course.

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:29:00 UTC | #251089

Greyman's Avatar Comment 24 by Greyman

5. Comment #264584 by Greybishop   on October 14, 2008 at 11:07 pm

I'd like to throttle the camera man for not panning to the screen behind Dr. Dawkins so we can all share the various visual additions to the lecture.

Agreed.  It was most frustrating.  What was she thinking?

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:33:00 UTC | #251091

epeeist's Avatar Comment 25 by epeeist

Comment #264622 by Laurie Fraser

epeeist - did I get this all wrong, or do you go trawling around looking for Joe's contributions to cyberspace? I'm worried, mate, intensely worried....
Go out looking for Joe? Nah, I already have a gardener.

I do occasionally follow what is happening in the lunatic world of Harun Yahya and you can usually find Joe posting his challenge on whatever blogs he can find.

Billy Sands, Lee and I have been entertaining ourselves posting on recently. Amazing how often they press the reset button when they have no answers (which is fairly often).

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:35:00 UTC | #251092

ridelo's Avatar Comment 26 by ridelo

Ex-Muslims? Brave people, I say. Being an ex-Christian is a lot easier. Like Richard said: "May they be the nucleus of a much larger movement."
And may those who have the money realize what an utter fool (Sagan's Bozo The Clown comes to mind) that Harun Yahyah is.

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:40:00 UTC | #251093

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 27 by Quetzalcoatl


Billy Sands, Lee and I have been entertaining ourselves posting on recently. Amazing how often they press the reset button when they have no answers (which is fairly often).

I recently left a comment on her "Biblical Inerrancy" post highlighting the soon-to-be-digitised old Bible which has two extra books and is missing key verses about the Resurrection. The existence of this book would seem to be a bit of a problem for anyone who wants to claim that the modern Bible is literally inerrant.

To my shock and bewilderment, my comment hasn't appeared.

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:41:00 UTC | #251094

Secularist's Avatar Comment 28 by Secularist

I can't believe the valuable time of Prof. Dawkins has to be wasted refuting this rubbish author.

btw - loved the "balls" comment!

it is not waste time because many Muslims believe this idiot.
It is important that Richard will debunk him.
Even if Adnan is stupid,and he is.

So now all the Muslims can see that Richard has not ignored from this idiot.

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:50:00 UTC | #251096

Wosret's Avatar Comment 29 by Wosret

10. Comment #264602 by FrederickK

Why aren't the specific things that brought about these charges quoted? Why is their existence merely eluded to?

That massive letter -- from what I can see -- is just a lot of hand waving, and doesn't actually offer any information.

I am not saying that such "defamations" do not exist, but they seem noticeably vacant from that rather large, and uninformative letter.

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 00:52:00 UTC | #251097

epeeist's Avatar Comment 30 by epeeist

Comment #264627 by Quetzalcoatl

To my shock and bewilderment, my comment hasn't appeared.
To be fair they seem to be having some personal problems with the illness of a relative. However, they do seem to lose posts. Strangely enough these always seem to be the tricky ones that they can't refute, or at least can't find some that approximates on AiG.

The fun of the exercise is in framing questions that don't have easy answers in AiG. They either press the reset button or run around in headless chicken mode.

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 01:00:00 UTC | #251100