Written by AC, 10 March 2010
Harun Yahya is the pen-name of Adnan Oktar, possibly the most influential creationist in the Islamic world. His website harunyahya.com is one of the top sites if you search on Google for "Islamic creationism" or similar. And when I had a discussion with a Muslim creationist during a mosque's open day, this was the website she sent me to.
His website contains hundreds of books readable free online. I'm going to focus on just one: The Skulls that Demolish Darwin. The gist of this book is that there exist fossil skulls which show that many species of mammal that exist today have not changed in tens of millions of years. Thus, evolution is not happening.
The number of such skulls he offers (all beautifully illustrated) is staggering. One finds the skulls of:
These skulls will come as a shock to anyone familiar with the story of mammalian evolution found in textbooks or scientific journals. For example, according to the literature, the earliest known bear is the 38 million year old Parictis, though calling it a bear might be a bit misleading, as its skull was just 3 inches long. Likewise, the literature says that the earliest known seals are Puijila and Enaliarctos, both about 23 million years old, and both rather different from our modern seals.
Worse, if the scientific literature is to be believed, the dog and cat families only split apart 50 to 60 million years ago, which is obviously contradicted by a 120 million year old wolf and a 90 million year old tiger. Why does the scientific literature contain no mention of the skulls which Harun Yahya presents? I can see two possibilities:
I think it's obvious that if Harun Yahya's skulls are genuine, evolution is false. Paleontologists involved in the putative conspiracy must therefore know that God exists, and is the creator of all species on Earth; so their motives are rather mysterious. They're risking the flames of Hell for no good reason.
My money is therefore on option 2. There are no 84 million year old seal skulls in the literature because there are no 84 million year old seal skulls.
The world has many honest creationists: misguided people who genuinely think that the theory of evolution is false, and who offer arguments that they actually believe in. Harun Yahya is not one of them.