Darwin too controversial for Turkish science magazine

In the US, creationism is a menace that can do real harm to science. But at least the US is not a Muslim country.

In the latest news about creation and evolution from Turkey, it appears that the leading, government-supported popular science magazine in Turkey has been prevented from running a cover story on the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth. Ömer Cebeci, a high official in the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (who incidentally is an engineering Ph.D. from Iowa State University), intervened at the last minute to change the cover story and delete the 15 pages of Darwinian material.

From the news I’ve read, I’m having trouble reading between the lines to figure out what must have happened behind the scenes. Perhaps Cebeci is a creationist. Creationism is not uncommon among engineers, quite common among Muslim engineers, and very common indeed among Turkish officialdom under the current Islamist ruling party. On the other hand, it may just be an attempt to protect the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey from being associated with “controversial” ideas such as evolution, which may draw unwanted attention, or worse, budget cuts, from the Islamists.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University