Symposium on creationism stirs debate in academia

An anti-evolutionist symposium plan organized by a university student group in Istanbul stirred up debate in Turkish academia between those who supported the conference and those who didn’t.

Marmara Young Vision Club (Marmara Genç Vizyon Kulubü) is organizing a two-day symposium called “Why does science deny inter-species evolution?” for May 16 and 17.

In the symposium’s invitation the program’s mission was defined as providing “objectivity” in a field where scientific methodology was “overrated.” The aim of the symposium was “to show deadlock of evolution theory,” it said.

The Academics Association of the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), however, has said the symposium goes against science, while the vice-rector of Marmara University supports the students’ organizing efforts. Hamza Kandur vice rector of Marmara University says the reactions are far from being scientific.

“As a university, we are supposed to create an environment which will host any scientific debates. The real unscientific approach is the reaction of other universities,” Kandur told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday during a phone interview.

However Aykut Kence from the Middle East Technical University Biology department strongly criticized the symposium and the Marmara University administration.

“This is not science. Creationism is religious, it not scientific. For the last 30 years they have been trying to brainwash students with creationism. They invented something called ‘scientific creationism’ to do that. It is the way to transform the society. There is nothing scientific about this,” Kence told the Daily News yesterday.

Meanwhile, University Councils Association held a press conference yesterday in Istanbul where they condemned the symposium and said it was “a propaganda tool of religion.”





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