Thank You, Switzerland!
Harun Yahya, whose real name is Adnan Oktar, is pretty much the Kent Hovind of the muslim world. His book, called the “Atlas of Creation” is an accumulation of pictures – fossils on one page, a living creature of similar shape on the other, and the assertion that life hasn’t changed at all. Therefore of course, Allah is the creator, Muhammad his prophet, and the Quaran his holy word. Two things are interesting about the book: Its enormous production cost (over 700 high-gloss color pages) and free distribution (copies were given to huge numbers of schools and universites) and secondly, the incredible incompetence of its author. Throughout the book, he is mistaking blatant mistakes such as mistaking a snake for an eel and fisihng lure for a fly. Oh yeah, he’s been convicted of various crimes, too.
On May 28th he was scheduled to give a talk at the Kongresshaus in Zürich. He didn’t actually give the talk himself, but just sent one of his minions, which totally doesn’t make a difference because just anyone can give a talk on creationism. There’s only a handful of “arguments” that need to be repeated over and over and over and over again.
The talk was heavily advertised, as can be expected from a ministry that is able to produce an enormous number of high-quality, large format picture books in nine languages and give them away for free. What they didn’t know was that the audience consisted in part of an organized, 70-people flash mob who, after a while just got up and left. You can watch the video of the people leaving here, or the complete lecture (part one of eight) here.
It’s interesting to see how the speaker is obviously startled when the first people get up, but then simply goes on and keeps talking. That is the creationists essential tactic: When reality doesn’t conform to your wishes, ignore it.
After being finally interrupted by being told to be ashamed by an audience member, he sees himself forced to react: “This is very undemocratic. Very undemocratic.” He complains, while his security staff are telling the people that are leaving that they should leave.
I’m not so sure about his complaint. I think that, on the contrary, it was very democratic. After all when people start to walk away it is called “voting with one’s feet” for a reason.