Creationist amorality

Here’s a gorgeous educational site, The Virtual Fossil Museum. It has a nicely organized set of fossil galleries, all intended for use by the education community, and all appropriately credited. This is the way it is supposed to be done.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way creationists do it. Here’s a case of creationists caught red-handed in blatant theft.

The webmaster for the Fossil Museum site just wrote to me with an interesting discovery: here’s another site, called Living Fossils, which also has many beautiful pictures. Unfortunately, at least 50 and maybe many more of those pictures were lifted directly from The Virtual Fossil Museum. There is no attribution. Actually, if you look at the pictures, you’ll see that they all contain a script “H Y” watermark—apparently, Living Fossils doesn’t want other people ripping off “their” images.

Here’s an example. The one on the left is from the Virtual Fossil Museum (where you can see it at much higher resolution—I’ve scaled and cropped it). The one on the right is from Living Fossils, and you can see that it’s the same fly—they’ve just made sure to crop out the Virtual Fossil Museum notice at the bottom, and put the ugly H Y watermark across it.


Hmmm. “H Y”? Look a little deeper, and you discover this is a Muslim creationist site sponsored by Harun Yahya. None of the work illustrated there was actually done by these creationists, but was simply stolen and wrapped up in a lot of dishonest text advocating creationism, without bothering to credit their sources.

Lying, stealing, and misrepresentation are common creationist values, I guess—Allah must endorse theft. They have no intellectual merit that they can contribute, so they have to resort to pilfering from evolutionists. Although, maybe we can justify it by comparing it to a starving man stealing a loaf of bread: creationists are so scientifically impoverished that they have to steal data. Does Shari’a accept that excuse, or is poor Harun Yahya going to have to get a hand lopped off?

I don’t think there’s any risk of amputation here. I have such a low opinion of these contemptible vermin that I don’t think there’s any risk that they will even feel a fleeting sense of shame.


  1. Ichthyic says

    “Seems like Harun Yahya went to the Ann Coulter School of Morals”

    Is that the same school GW used for his “ethics training” after the continuous series of ethical missteps were documented within his staff?

  2. redstripe says

    Interesting–not surprising. They got a short, dirty email message from me via their “contact” link.

  3. rrt says

    In similar cases that I’ve seen in the past, a fairly typical legal nastygram usually deals with the theft. In this guy’s case…I dunno.

    Anyone notice how elaborately self-centered that author’s profile is? Thirteen preening photos…well, twelve if you don’t count the “being arrested” photo, but he looks rather preen-ey in that one, too.

  4. Chance says

    Went and looked at his website. That fellow appears to have several degrees of persecution complex working at the same time.

    Very odd. And he stole the pics. He really needs help.

  5. MYOB says

    “Lying, stealing, and misrepresentation are common creationist values, I guess–Allah must endorse theft.”

    Be careful PZ, I doubt most normal muslims would care you saying this but even the most mainstream muslim has been known to become a raving fundimentalist militant in a matter of seconds when the issue of insulting Allah comes into the picture. You might want to clarify this or at least remove it for something less combative cause I’d hate to hear a news release about a prominant Minnesotan biologist getting killed in a car bomb explosion cause chances are the fundy christians would probably consider it the one case of of a muslim murder of an American they would and could consider tolerating.


  6. MYOB says

    After reading the link I see that Adnan Oktar is yet another antisemite with belief in the ‘jewish conspiracy’ to take over the world. I think this alone has got to put Mr. Oktar in the ‘crackpot’ category just as much as does his rantings on the ‘fact’ of creation.


  7. says

    So Harun Yahya copied an image without permission or attribution, cropped it to file off the serial numbers, as it were, then added his own stamp to prevent someone else from copying it? The mind reels.

    In a textual analogue to his graphic dishonesty, I note that Yahya has copied a passage from On the Origin of Species, and headed it “An Admission.”
    The quoted passage is this:

    But in the intermediate region, having intermediate conditions of life, why do we not now find closely-linking intermediate varieties? This difficulty for a long time quite confounded me.

    Just as he’s cropped the image, Yahya has cropped the text. In fact, the entire chapter, titled “DIFFICULTIES ON THEORY”, from which it was taken, is a case study in scientific honesty. Darwin lists a number of possible objections to the theory of descent with modification, stating each as fairly and sympathetically as possible, then discusses arguments that might be made for either position. There could hardly be a sharper contrast between the beautiful honesty of Darwin and the ethical vacuum that is Harun “The Weasel” Yahya.

  8. evo-front says

    Do not be funny, guys. I’m fron Turkey, the sad country which spawned that Harun Yahya monstority. His deeds include so many crimes that a little plagiarism can be easily forgiven.

    His real name is Adnan Oktar and he begun using his pen name Harun Yahya after he was sentenced for running a cult. His cult was mainly based on sex, blackmail and religion (a great combination, by the way).

    He changed his name, yet his favorite method of operation is still black mailing. Let me tell you. Harun Yahya / Adnan Oktar loves beautiful women. He also loves hidden cameras. He employs a lot from both. So, this scenario is played often:

    – Harun Yahya opponent / critic meets an incredible, stunning young lady.
    – HY critic spends an incredible night with that dream lady.
    – HY critic receives a very well prepared, great video of the aforementioned night.
    – HY critic decides to pursue other interest, rather than criticising Mr. Yahya.

    So, do not mess with him, Mr. Myers. :) You can be sure that they are also monitoring this blog, along countless others. He runs a very well organised and well funded cult. Unfortunately, his anti-evolutionist propaganda is only fit for grade school children, yet he is quite successful in Turkey.

    Take care… Evo-Front

  9. says

    The author’s intellectual struggle against materialism and Darwinism has frequently been mentioned in such mainly evolutionist publications as National Geographic, Science, New Scientist and NSCE Reports. The English and German editions of the November, 2004, issue of National Geographic referred to the author’s works concerning the Fact of Creation.

    How many of those were possive, pray tell?

    Talk about spin

  10. Michael Hopkins says

    Please read the profile of the author…

    seems to get arrested a bit!

    Not very surprising that he has been arrested. He is from Turkey which has a history of trying to make a secular society in the wrong way: by repressing various types of fundamentalist religious expression. Of course he would like to be involved in repression in the oppose direction and indeed those who oppose creationist anti-science have been silenced people by the fundamentalists via intimidation.

    Looking at that page one has got to wonder if he (or his followers enjoy) his image just a little too much. At least they could replace a few with him in a different outfit.

    Hey look at this partial paragraph:

    The 22 April 2000 issue of New Scientist called Mr. Oktar an “international hero” for communicating the fact of creation over the fallacy of evolution.

    That simply must be out of context.

  11. rrt says

    – Harun Yahya opponent / critic meets an incredible, stunning young lady.
    – HY critic spends an incredible night with that dream lady.
    – HY critic receives a very well prepared, great video of the aforementioned night.
    – HY critic decides to pursue other interest, rather than criticising Mr. Yahya.

    So, do not mess with him, Mr. Myers. :)

    Are you KIDDING?! Dude, talk about motivation!

    Well, half-jokings aside, I would be willing to publicize such an affair/video if it meant taking down someone like Yahya for blackmail. I suppose his residency would make that more difficult, though.

  12. evo-front says

    Michael Hopkins, you are speaking without knowing any little bit about the situation. A. Oktar never got arrested for preaching Islam etc. Adnan Oktar got arrested for blackmailing, secretly videotaping people, hate-mongering against Jews and Freemasons, running a cult etc. As expected, their own web page portrays him as a freedom fighter who gets oppressed for his beliefs, and you swallow that hook, line and sinker.

  13. says

    rrt wrote: Are you KIDDING?! Dude, talk about motivation!

    Dude. I am so down with blackmail attempts, if that’s the prize you get for being on the receiving end.

  14. James Orpin says

    “His cult was mainly based on sex, blackmail and religion (a great combination, by the way).”

    Sounds like Catholicism or any other cult you care to name.

  15. p1gnone says

    A bit of humor:
    Looking Adnan Oktar’s site, the page aout the author: there were 13 images of him on a page where he describes himself as ‘selfless’

    Typical persecution complex. His mom told he was the best but no one else seems to be listening…

  16. lt.kizhe says

    From the HY site:
    This site has been prepared in order to put an end to the mentality that causes these fossils, that represent a complete response to Darwinism, to be hidden away, and that prevents them from being placed before the public.

    …this, from someone who plagiarized a bunch of the images from a virtual museum that was set up to place these fossils “before the public”? That loud popping you hear is the sound of net-connected irony meters exploding all over the world. What a complete liar.

  17. says

    The NewScientist cite is bogus. I just searched the entire site, and the listed issue, and none of his four names is to be found. He’s probably relying in the fact that the archives have a paywall.

    Oh, and I see an old usenet fellow poster here – Jim Lippard (of Dean Kenyon posting days). Hope you’re doing well.

  18. Attila says

    Don’t take Adnan Oktar seriously. He is a well known charlatan in Turkey. He was arrested not because of his beliefs but because of his Blackmails and other crimes. However he was released after he proved his insanity with a doctor report.

    Unfortunately because of under educated peoples of islamic world this man gains credit from people. Also his Internet presence is immense and I really wonder the funding resource of this presence.

  19. Zee says

    Can someone give more links/info related to HY blackmails and scandals….I am also interested to know his funding resources..