Turkish creationists are creepy


The big kahuna of Turkish creationism is Adnan Oktar, better known as Harun Yahya…in fact, he seems to be the only major player in Turkish creationism. He’s a known con man, and a bit of a playboy, and his organization is more cult-like than any other creationist group I know of. He also is using an unusual ploy: he uses sex and a group of heavily dolled-up young women to promote Islamic creationism. Only in Turkey!

On one recent day, as he often does, Oktar was talking about one of his many exhibitions of fossils that he says disproves evolution.

Oktar and his cult-like organization have been in the Turkish media space for decades. But only last year did he deploy his new weapon in the battle against Darwinism: A flock of ostensibly attractive, curvy young women.

The “kittens,” as he calls them, call him “master” and generally guffaw at the right moments and nod their heads in agreement with whatever he says.

He’s been up to this for a while. He has a series of youtube videos that feature his Stepford houri droning about the miraculous nature of cell biology. If you have some sick fetish about having Barbie read a biology textbook to you in broken English, here you go.

Comments

  1. says

    This is why you never employ Homer Simpson as your make-up artist. Sure there is cost and time savings in the make-up shotgun, but people always forget to take it off the “hussy” setting.

  2. grumpyoldfart says

    The sad thing is that many Turks will probably watch that show and nod their heads in agreement – and then pass the message on to their children.

  3. Antares42 says

    Wow, that got old quick.

    For a moment I was worried that Oktar might be on to something, marketing-wise (“sex sells” yada yada), but it really didn’t manage to keep my attention.

  4. Sastra says

    I’m actually divided on the “Barbie” accusation. At least the creationist cult-leader is showing women in modern ‘Western’ attire (iow not in a burqua) and having them discuss intellectual/scientific issues for the media. If you ignore what the women are saying — and ignore the fact that they are speaking far, far above their level of expertise — then these spokeswomen could arguably be considered positive role-models in a culture which has its own tendency to want women to shut up their mouths and keep their minds simple. They’re beautiful … and smart. They can be science-y too!

    I personally have no objection to women choosing to use a lot of make-up and be glamorous. Not my taste, but that’s what it is. The implication that the creationist forced them to dress the way they dress and but for him they would be lounging around in comfy old jeans or striding confidently in sober business attire is a little harsh I think on the women in the world who freely choose glamor and glitz.

    That said — yes, it is creepy. I think Oktar is trying heavy-handed marketing strategy, appealing not just to sex (sex sells), but to the idea that creationism is Western and modern. It’s the methodology of ‘faith': choose your belief by deciding what sort of person you want to be. Instead of piety, the appeal is to being free and cool. A very hard sell.

    Will it work? I don’t know. In addition to the message there might be a simpler explanation: from what I can tell, the turkey has an ego larger than Turkey. Oktar might be less concerned with making creationism itself look cool … and more concerned with making himself look cool.

  5. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    There are videos of these women going on for over an hour with that stuff.

    Who the hell is supposed to be the target audience? 16 year old high school boys learing biology maybe? Too deadly boring for that. It’s really beyond me who is supposed to watch this.

  6. No One says

    It’s not just that it’s heavy make-up, it’s very badly done. It has nothing to do with what she is wearing, or her complexion of facial “type”. It’s a bad parody of the “western world”.

  7. says

    As for whether it works, the answer is, probably not as well as the campaign of gangster-style thinly-veiled intimidation and bullying that seems to have got nearly all references to evolution purged from college curricula.

  8. Bernard Bumner says

    Sastra makes good points.

    Personally, I’m rather uncomfortable with passing judgement about makeup, since it tends to invite the kind of comments we can already see above.

    This in particular:

    …people always forget to take it off the “hussy” setting.

    This is also bullshit:

    It’s not just that it’s heavy make-up, it’s very badly done. It has nothing to do with what she is wearing, or her complexion of facial “type”. It’s a bad parody of the “western world”.

    That person may look exactly as they intended – you’re being extremely patronising, at best.

  9. Dunc says

    At least the creationist cult-leader is showing women in modern ‘Western’ attire (iow not in a burqua)

    Anyone you see in Turkey wearing a burka is almost certainly a visitor. Turkey actually has a law against the veil, although it’s not really enforced. However, even headscarves are controversial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headscarf_controversy_in_Turkey), and probably not in the way you expect – it’s been common for women to be prevented from wearing them, and there are many who regard this as an infringement of their rights.

  10. Greg Amann says

    “If you have some sick fetish about having Barbie read a biology textbook to you in broken English, here you go.”

    Not enough leather or boots or any of the Catwoman stuff I need to fuel my fetishes. ;-)
    And it wouldn’t work anywho: Catwoman’s greatest attraction is her brains and cunning.

  11. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    andrewkiener,
    Thanks for that slate link. An interesting perspective, actually presenting this group of women instead of just assuming what they are supposed to be and mocking it viciously.

  12. foliage says

    I don’t know, I think the cause of atheism could be greatly advanced if we all just dressed up pretty and filmed ourselves having awkward stunted conversations about it in our second languages.

  13. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    Very interesting, that Slate article.

    Am I the only one here to whom this wild mix of conservative islam, feminism, sexiness, creationism, and cult thinking as well as alleged high education infused with ID sillyness, is deeply, deeply confusing?

  14. Archaeopteryx lithographica says

    That is among the most surreal things I’ve ever seen. Occasionally I have to lecture on pancreatic function to my A&P students; I wonder if the technique demonstrated in the video would work better than my dumpy-old-white-guy-in-jeans-and-a-polo-shirt presentation. Those Turkish accents are probably more understandable than my Arkansas drawl. On the other hand, my physiology lectures aren’t given to support some sort of creationist agenda. Did anybody make it to the end? How does your pancreas prove creationism?

  15. Bernard Bumner says

    I’ve finally watched the video, and I’m even more annoyed about the judgements being offered by some of the early commenters here. It is certainly true that their discussion of biochemistry is little more than bland recitation of very old and discredited creationist arguments, but I don’t see anything very remarkable about the appearance of the presenters when compared to UK/US television personalities working on similar formats.

    Contentless propagandising by talking heads is a mainstay of UK and US talk television programming, where the sight of a burqa-clad women is also rare-to-unheard-of.

    All of this talk of appearance from people without the relevant contextual knowledge of is very problematic. Clearly, commentators more informed about Turkish culture have offered very interesting (and probably, surprising) insights into how these women play to the public in the context of tension between secularists and Islamists.

  16. David Marjanović says

    I think Oktar is trying heavy-handed marketing strategy, appealing not just to sex (sex sells), but to the idea that creationism is Western and modern. It’s the methodology of ‘faith’: choose your belief by deciding what sort of person you want to be. Instead of piety, the appeal is to being free and cool.

    *lightbulb moment*

    In addition to the message there might be a simpler explanation: from what I can tell, the turkey has an ego larger than Turkey.

    *LOL moment*

    Am I the only one here to whom this wild mix of conservative islam, feminism, sexiness, creationism, and cult thinking as well as alleged high education infused with ID sillyness, is deeply, deeply confusing?

    I’m a scientist. It’s hardly more confusing than a champsosaur. Or indeed a turtle. :-)

    The most freaky of all mammals: rabbits

  17. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    How does your pancreas prove creationism?

    Ask the Londoners, they have named the train station St. Pancreas, didn’t they…

  18. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    I’m a scientist. It’s hardly more confusing than a champsosaur. Or indeed a turtle. :-)

    Me too, but I’m a physicist. We like our model systems simple.

  19. Tethys says

    16 year old high school boys learing biology maybe?

    I think you meant leering? (excellent typo btw)

    I’m not sure what this video is supposed to prove, but I am finding the multiple comments that reference their looks over their content disturbing.

    Hussy, barbie? I expect better around here.

    Discredit them based on their rhetoric people. Focusing on what they look like, and what they are wearing is one of those common sexist BS moves that needs to die.

  20. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    Tethys,

    I appreciate that one should not reduce them to looks, and I didnt call them hussy or barbie. However, the impression is definitely that they deliberately employ over the top “sexy” styling which is strangely out of sync with the, let’s say, barren content. We can argue whether it is so obvious that it justifies a discussion of their looks. PZ seems to think that this is so, I’m on the fence now, but at first look the styling was so deliberately “sex sells” that it seemed warranted.

  21. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    I think you meant leering? (excellent typo btw)

    haha. erm… of course I did!

  22. Donnie says

    this:

    If you have some sick fetish about having Barbie read a biology textbook to you in broken English, here you go.

    and this:

    Someone shot that poor lass with a makeup gun.

    disturbs me because it makes it sounds like if the speaker had more command of the English language, better understanding of biology and a better make-up artist then the whole spiel would be “acceptable”? The jumping on her straight-out appearance and voice is not helpful. Point out that he is using a “sex sells” approach is one thing, but to provide fashion advice to make the “sex sells” better is not the message I think that we should be sending.

  23. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    here’s another thing –

    are we going to assume that Oktar is basically “dressing them” according to his whim and for his nafarious purposes, or do we think that they are autonomous? Is it sexist to assume the former without knowing the background.

  24. says

    Yeah…these women.

    The aesthetic seems a little off to an American, but they probably don’t see themselves as looking very different from the poof-haired, pink-suited, high heel pumped ladies of US TV. More eyeliner, less mascara. They don’t have our cultural standards for mega church and night club straight.

    The faux conversation where everyone sits around and spouts pious aphorisms and weak biology is a a standard of U.S. TV. It’s just usually not done by people who use English as a second language and need to read their notes from a screen instead of a teleprompter.

    They are talking “Allah obviously” instead of “Jesus obviously” which does seem odd to us Americans, but let’s face it, their part of the world has been confused by the denseness of our missionaries for many a day. “All other religions are OBVIOUSLY wrong” is an amazing blind spot but it’s nothing new.

    It reminds me of those “teen summit” televangelism variants where a bunch of kids with ripped jeans and gel in their hair talk about how you can love Jesus and still be cool. Yes, you can be cool, you just can’t be right.

  25. Tethys says

    Tyrant

    Sorry, I should have put a break in between my observation on your typo, and the comment about the focus on their appearance. I was not referring to you.

    However, the impression is definitely that they deliberately employ over the top “sexy” styling which is strangely out of sync with the, let’s say, barren content.

    I think a previous comment was correct when they observed that these woman are trying to present themselves as “cool, modern, TV celebrity” more than sexy.
    Regardless of their content, why so much focus on the sexy and the make-up?
    It seems to play into tropes such as pretty = dumb. Only a hussy wears that much make-up..etc..

    It’s sad to listen to people discredit her based on something that washes off. At it’s heart, its saying that women cannot be taken seriously if you wear the wrong clothes and make-up. You cannot be a respected scientist and present as feminine.

  26. andrewpang says

    Anyone else not notice the hypocrisy of a fundiegelical MUSLIM *MAN* using…gasp!…WESTERNIZED women to read his propaganda?

  27. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    I think a previous comment was correct when they observed that these woman are trying to present themselves as “cool, modern, TV celebrity” more than sexy.

    Yes, this shift in perception from cool+modern -> sexy may be entirely due to my being western european. It is common that makeup which is deemed modern by eastern european women is considered as looking “cheap” by people further west.

    Regardless of their content, why so much focus on the sexy and the make-up?

    If it seems to be a tool they use on purpose to sell creationism, then it is noteworthy I think.

    But really, it’s not like women in Turkey are somehow living in the backwoods, completely disconnected with “western”, “modern” fashion and style, this is not Afghanistan…
    Ask a fashion-conscious woman in Istanbul how she would do makeup to look “western” and “modern”. I don’t believe this is what would come out.

    It seems to play into tropes such as pretty = dumb. Only a hussy wears that much make-up..etc..

    It’s sad to listen to people discredit her based on something that washes off. At it’s heart, its saying that women cannot be taken seriously if you wear the wrong clothes and make-up. You cannot be a respected scientist and present as feminine.

    Yes.

  28. Le Chifforobe says

    I think we’ve overlooked the obvious dynamic here:

    The “kittens,” as he calls them, call him “master” and generally guffaw at the right moments and nod their heads in agreement with whatever he says.

    It’s not about selling creationism anymore. Oktar is turning himself into a BOND VILLAIN.

    And what does that make PZ?

  29. Tethys says

    In this weeks episode of Oktar’s Angels, we discuss the pancreas!

    Let me introduce our cast of the usual cardboard cutouts.

    Farrah Fawcett- Played by long blond haired woman who is very sexy, dresses sexy, pursues criminals while wearing full make-up, stilleto heels and designer fashions. She never sweats and her hair remains perfect at all times.

    Jacqueline Smith- Played by a Brunette with long curly hair. She dresses in pantsuits, and is more intelligent than the long haired blonde.

    Kate Jackson- Played by blonde haired woman with the edgy, modern reverse bob hair style.. She is the smartest angel, which is demonstrated by her shorter, less feminine hair.

  30. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Yeah, I’m really, really side-eyeing the commenters here who are making fun of their makeup. I mean, fucking really? I’m gonna assume they look they way they want to look and are happy with the results. And also then WTF at the combination of commodified sexism and creationism. Ohnoes lots of visible makeup, ahem, pales in comparison to the whole “master” thing.

  31. David Marjanović says

    d’oh! HTML how does it fucking work!

    <blockquote> opens a blockquote. </blockquote> closes it. HTML tags are generally closed with slashes.

  32. David Marjanović says

    It’s not about selling creationism anymore. Oktar is turning himself into a BOND VILLAIN.

    Bingo.

  33. Azuma Hazuki says

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry or scream. And most of what I read online and experience day to day causes that reaction. Can we please either poison people like this and/or leave the planet for one of those nice earth-like exospheres we’re supposed to discover with the TPF Real Soon Now (TM)?

  34. David Marjanović says

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry or scream.

    Just wait for the next elections. Turkey not being the USA, I’m sure there’ll be early elections soon, resulting in a less religious government.

    BTW, I’ve replied in the “reality constrains the possibilities” thread.

  35. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    resulting in a less religious government.

    May your optimism not be misguided. please. Pretty please.

  36. Bernard Bumner says

    Anyone else not notice the hypocrisy of a fundiegelical MUSLIM *MAN* using…gasp!…WESTERNIZED women to read his propaganda?

    You seem not to have grasped the fact that Turkey is a modern, secular nation. Or that Western is not an antonym of Muslim. Or that Westernized is too often employed chauvinistically by people who are surprised that others don’t live in mountain caves or wear burqas.

  37. johnharshman says

    Not Barbie. She would never wear that much makeup. Tammy Fay Bakker.

  38. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    johnharshman @ #46: thank you, for that demonstration that you are, in fact, part of the problem.

  39. timothya1956 says

    Imagine two people watching this video. Both people are scientifically and culturally literate, but unfamiliar with the context – they know nothing about Adnan Oktar, Turkish creationism or the people participating in the event.

    The first person is blind and listens to the video. The second person is deaf (and cannot speak English or lip-read) and watches the video.

    Imagine both people then make an account of what they thought the video was about. Would the two accounts have anything in common?

    I suspect not. The recitation of science in the speech and the glossy appearance in the vision both play the same role: to distract the audience from the false dichotomies, non sequiturs and straw-stacking required to get to the “because god” conclusions.

  40. says

    So…this isn’t a discussion about creationism or creationist tactics. It’s a recitation of nasty remarks about women and cosmetics.
     
    Guys, don’t do that.

  41. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I hate this thread. I’m sorry I have nothing more constructive to add, but the whole thread has been a waste anyway and I can at least console myself with the knowledge that I can’t possibly contribute any less than everyone who has been generous enough to give us an assessment of these women’s styling choices.

  42. Bernard Bumner says

    The OP wasn’t particularly up to standard, but the state of the comments is much, much worse. Very little criticism of Adnan Oktar, but plenty of men telling us exactly how much makeup on a woman is too much.

    Very grubby stuff, really. Who are the creepy ones?

  43. says

    Beatrice:

    I can at least console myself with the knowledge that I can’t possibly contribute any less than everyone who has been generous enough to give us an assessment of these women’s styling choices.

    Word. What bothers me more is the “Master and Kitten” bit. Being an old person, that’s reminiscent to me of the whole “Hef and his Bunnies” business. (Playboy.) I have no doubt that Oktar is happily hamming it up on that score, in a pathetic attempt to gull people into paying attention to his brand of belief. It’s not as though the world isn’t stuffed full of lonely, vulnerable and often gullible people who would find this all attractive enough on several different levels.

  44. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    I know, when I want to know about makeup and its application, I go to a random assortment of skeptical dudes who in all likelihood know fuck-all about makeup (and likely can’t tell when someone is wearing it most of the time) and who apparently think that eyeliner that does not please their penises is worse than creationism.

  45. auraboy says

    It’s fairly well known that if you work in the middle east, all these extremely committed Muslim males will want prostitutes of a ‘western pop princess’ variety. It all adds to the line of thought that most religious extremists don’t believe a word of their ‘strict’ religion and just see it as yet another pathway to power in whatever guise.

    It’s like the Saudi royals who donate fortunes to religious police but then pay for gold plated brothels with imported women to service their ‘private’ desires.

  46. says

    Is there another Turkish creationist other than this guy?

    Seems to me that he’s got a lock on the Turkish creationist market.

    I wonder what the day rate is for actresses in Turkey. Cuz that’s what this looks like. He hired some actresses to play this particularly idiotic role. And times being what they are — a gig is a gig.

    Where do these guys get their money from? That’s the real question.

  47. brianpansky says

    not gonna read alll the comments, but i do want to voice my denouncement of the “they are so bad at english!” and “i really don’t like their makeup!” comments.

  48. auraboy says

    Not sure anyone should laugh at either their makeup choices or english ability (my makeup skills are somewhat minimal other than guy-liner and my Turkish is definitely worse than their english). I think it’s just further proof that actors will do anything for a paid gig…

  49. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Bernard (and after refreshing, Caine),

    Yeah, PZ could have done much better too. Slate article linked above gives interesting background. Even without that further research, PZ could have started this conversation on a much better path: think of “booth babes”. They are hypersexualized to sell products, but we would kick ass of anyone mocking them instead of disparaging the sexism of the whole industry.
    While this was the first comparison that came to mind (if we assumed that they are styling themselves for the job), this situation probably resembles Caine’s example more. The master/kittens relationship definitely sounds disturbing. I neither like what he’s selling, nor how he’s using his employees and/or followers to do it.

  50. Bernard Bumner says

    Now we have Turkey being glibly compared to Saudi, as though Middle East is sufficiently useful to describe this notional monolith. Television presenters being pejoratively compared to prostitutes. The intelligence of the women is being questioned, rather than their comprehension or honesty. This is horrible.

    Sexism. Chauvinism. Ethnocentrism. Anti-muslim prejudice.

    A very, very ignorant and poor quality thread. For shame!

  51. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Exactly, Beatrice, that’s what I was trying to get across as well.

  52. Bernard Bumner says

    Beatrice, Caine – I agree with your assessment of the master/kitten thing, but I think this thread has been irredeemably soiled for sensible discussions. Sorry.

  53. auraboy says

    @59 Bernard Bumner – perhaps you are correct – my description of actresses employed as ‘booth babes’ being aligned with ‘prostitutes’ was lazy. But then having known both booth babe models and prostitutes I don’t really look down on either – it’s simply a ‘gig’ to either. The same is can be said of male models of which I’ve had experience, but we look down on society on prostitution – apologies if this offended anyone – I was simply expressing an opinion from the ground knowing the women involved who are simply looking for employment and couldn’t care less about the ideology (much as I {sadly}) probablyn wouldn’t care if I was well paid.)

  54. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    I don’t know, auraboy, the language (“master” “kitten” …) and so on goes a bit too far for “just another gig”, and the Slate text suggests that either they really are have (unhealthy sounding) closer ties with this cult and the person oktar – otherwise the stuff reported on in Slate would really be a very thorough, long running setup.

  55. timanthony says

    Wow. I never knew I had THAT sick fetish till now. Thanks for the human specimen, PZ. Gonna go dig out my old high school biology text book now. Or was that junior high?

  56. says

    auraboy:

    I was simply expressing an opinion from the ground knowing the women involved who are simply looking for employment

    Except for that pesky little problem that you don’t actually know that at all. You’re assuming, based on your own experiences and biases. As for you being lazy? Yes, you are, and that’s the mildest of reproofs which could be stated, given your own idiocy in this thread. So, stop being lazy, stop assuming, and most of all, stop attempting to push your world weary pose.

  57. says

    Bernard:

    Beatrice, Caine – I agree with your assessment of the master/kitten thing, but I think this thread has been irredeemably soiled for sensible discussions. Sorry.

    No apology necessary, I agree. The rats’ playstations need cleaning, and right now that seems a much better use of my time.

  58. auraboy says

    @65 Caine – again my apologies if laziness and my experience has overcome the reality. I will try to do better in future.

  59. imthegenieicandoanything says

    “If you have some sick fetish about having Barbie read a biology textbook to you in broken English, here you go.”

    You may laugh, but there are MILLIONS of us!

  60. says

    So…this isn’t a discussion about creationism or creationist tactics. It’s a recitation of nasty remarks about women and cosmetics.

    Guys, don’t do that.

    this.

    I hate this thread. I’m sorry I have nothing more constructive to add, but the whole thread has been a waste anyway and I can at least console myself with the knowledge that I can’t possibly contribute any less than everyone who has been generous enough to give us an assessment of these women’s styling choices.

    this too.

    The OP wasn’t particularly up to standard, but the state of the comments is much, much worse. Very little criticism of Adnan Oktar, but plenty of men telling us exactly how much makeup on a woman is too much.

    Very grubby stuff, really. Who are the creepy ones?

    and this.

    fuck this thread sucks.

  61. jeanettegarcia says

    “It is like sci fi movie,” except I was falling asleep watching this video.

  62. Ragutis says

    The shorter haired blond looks like a “punk rocker” from an 80’s movie or music video. No, really, like I swear I’ve seen her dopplganger on MTV or a late night movie. Chewing gum open mouthed and disdainfully. Someone please help me find her, or it’ll drive me nuts all night.

    It’s not Pat Benetar’s Love is a Battlefield, I checked.

  63. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    A lot of people are mocking her “broken English”, albeit gently. I would love to see any of those people give a lesson on the biology of the human digestive tract in something other than their first language.

  64. Bernard Bumner says

    PZ screwed that up in the OP as well. As a whole, this thread is a catalogue of prejudice.

    I would be pleased to see PZ shut it down and perhaps acknowledge the faults with the OP. It is not consistent with the values of the PZ I read and respect.

  65. Tyrant says

    PZ screwed that up in the OP as well. As a whole, this thread is a catalogue of prejudice.

    I would be pleased to see PZ shut it down and perhaps acknowledge the faults with the OP. It is not consistent with the values of the PZ I read and respect.

    I agree and I’m sorry to have been in it. There were legitimate points to discuss, but it got tangled up in thoughtless crap, including from myself, too bad.

  66. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Also, while it’s probable that the “sex sells” methodology is being used here, is that the fault of the women who’ve been told “dress up pretty and go read this speech”, or is it the fault of the man cynically using her sexuality in order to sell a product?

  67. Tyrant says

    Also, while it’s probable that the “sex sells” methodology is being used here, is that the fault of the women who’ve been told “dress up pretty and go read this speech”, or is it the fault of the man cynically using her sexuality in order to sell a product?

    Your question is inadequate in several ways – first it’s not clear what the thing is that is supposed to be “someones fault”, what do you mean. Also, the phrasing
    “is that the fault of the women who’ve been told “dress up pretty and go read this speech””
    contains a patronizing assumption of their complete incompetence. If they are in some kind of cult following of Adnan Oktar, the line between autonomous action and “being hired” is very blurry. The issue is more complicated, and it is possible that they are exploited by Oktar. Or they do it out of their own conviction, then they can be blamed for spreading bad science, not for bad makeup, as has been pointed out to us above.

    Their appearance figures into this issue somehow, but it turns out I’m too ignorant to discuss it adequately.

  68. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Tyrant

    I was under the impression that these women were followers of Oktar, doing this out of a belief in his message and under his direction; i.e. I thought they were being exploited by Oktar. If I’ve got that wrong then I apologise, but my point was that people are moaning about them using sex to sell creationism as if it’s somehow the women’s fault that a) they’ve been directed to do such a thing or b) that such tactics work.

    I dunno, maybe I should stay out of this. I think I may be too ignorant to discuss it adequately, too.

  69. Tyrant says

    @Thumper
    Yes I see…
    somehow it’s become unclear to me what this discussion is about anyways.

    @janfebmar
    The Atlas of Creation works in quite mysterious ways. Somehow, fishing equipment also disproves evolution. It’s all very subtle.

  70. Tethys says

    Ragutis

    The shorter haired blond looks like a “punk rocker” from an 80′s movie or music video. No, really, like I swear I’ve seen her dopplganger on MTV or a late night movie. Chewing gum open mouthed and disdainfully. Someone please help me find her, or it’ll drive me nuts all night.

    She does remind me of Mary Stuart Mastersons character Watts in “Some Kind of Wonderful”.

    Or possibly Kim Wilde?

  71. Tethys says

    Or possibly Roxette?

    I had forgotten them, so thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Ah, I miss the eighties. Look at those clothes, and the awesome gender bending hairstyles! Look at Marie Fredriksson and her habit of performing barefoot.

  72. David Marjanović says

    May your optimism not be misguided. please. Pretty please.

    There’s no way Turkey can get a government more religious than the current one. Not even violence – every time the government gets too religious for the strictly Kemalist military’s taste, which has already happened twice, they make a coup!

  73. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    every time the government gets too religious for the strictly Kemalist military’s taste, which has already happened twice, they make a coup!

    I’m not so sure about every. Daron Acemoglou, only yesterday:

    In 1997, the military toppled a government led by the A.K.P.’s predecessor, the Welfare Party, which was subsequently shut down by the constitutional court. It similarly threatened the A.K.P. in 2007, with the Constitutional Court again following at its coattails and threatening to ban the party because its religious outlook violated the Turkish Constitution.

    [… But] the military failed and the A.K.P. withstood the challenge. Turkey has become more democratic in the sense that the previously disenfranchised have become empowered. But it has not taken many steps toward liberal democracy. On the contrary, Turkish society has become more polarized between supporters of secular orthodoxy and the A.K.P., which, under Mr. Erdogan’s leadership, has used its newly acquired power to exact revenge on the military, secular elites and its other critics with increasingly authoritarian certitude.

  74. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Urgh. Acemoglu. (Or Acemoğlu.)

  75. janfebmar says

    While we’re on the subject, is anyone a moderator (or does anyone know a moderator) for RationalWiki? I cannot seem to create an account due to maybe using an outdated browser, but I wanted to point out what needs to be edited in the Harun Yahya entry.

    The article discusses his collection of mammal skull photos (“The Skulls that Demolish Darwin”) and concludes with the speculation that these are simply “modern skulls” with “made-up dates”. The author apparently didn’t do that much more research than Oktar, because if you actually research what the skulls of these modern species look like, the vast majority of them are not a match to the “fossil skull” photographs. …So in other words, Oktar has misidentified most of the skulls.

    Other photos *do* look like modern skulls (glossy white tooth enamel is a giveaway) that have been given an “antique” treatment, yet are still misidentified (for example, what he claims is a “panda” skull still does not look like a real panda skull).

    Also of note is the information that most of them originate from China. If this is true, then one must take note that: 1. real fossils from China officially belong to the government, so any obtained through a seller have been obtained illegally and quite possibly with dubious information (for example, all the examples of alleged “tiger” skulls). 2. According to legitimate fossil buyers, China is notorious for selling “faked” fossils using modern skulls that have been altered to look “old”.