Yavuz Örnek, above, a Turkish academic, has become an international figure of fun for claiming last week that Noah used a mobile phone to call his son shortly before the flood which, according to biblical and quranic mythology, engulfed the planet.
According to this report, speaking on state-run channel TRT 1 on January 6, Örnek, a lecturer at the Marine Sciences Faculty of Istanbul University, said Noah had to communicate with his son via a cell phone as they were a long way from each other.
There were huge 300 to 400-meter high waves and his [the Prophet Noah’s] son was many kilometers away. The Quran says Noah spoke with his son. But how did they manage to communicate? Was it a miracle? It could be. But we believe he communicated with his son via cell phone.
He failed to mention which son received the call. Both Old Testament says Noah had three sons – Shem, Ham and Japheth.
He also claimed that Noah himself built the ship made of steel plates and this ship used nuclear energy.
I am a scientist, I speak for science.
An entire chapter in the Quran is devoted to Noah and the ark myth.
Örnek’s ridiculous claim, according to this report, have attracted widespread attention in Turkey, with some seeing his statements as symptomatic of the increasingly religious, anti-intellectual turn encouraged by the government.
Using the incident as an example, one warned that:
Many studies today highlight the serious brain drain from Turkey towards the West. This is a country where imams close to the government are openly calling on Allah ‘to protect us from the wickedness of the educated’.
Last year, the government introduced a new school curriculum that dropped the teaching of evolution at secondary schools.