Couple of months ago I had posted a video of Dawkins picking apart Harun Yahya's Atlas of Creation. He pointed to several examples of clear idiocy in the Atlas. For example, on page 468 of the Atlas, Yahya urges us to look at the picture of a modern eel and compare it with an ancient fossil of an eel-like creature. Based on their resemblance, Yahya claims that this is a clear example where species have not changed - and hence it invalidates evolution. Well - apart from the misunderstanding of how evolution works, the picture in the Atlas was not that of a modern eel - but rather that of a snake. Last July, Dawkins had posted this picture along with his comments under the title, Venomous Snakes, Slippery Eels and Harun Yahya:
Given that the entire message of the book depends upon the alleged resemblance between modern animals and their fossil counterparts, I was amused, when I began flicking through at random, to find page 468 devoted to "eels", one fossil and one modern. The caption says,To my surprise, I received a comment that Dawkins should be more honest about his criticism, as the picture that Dawkins is referring to is simply not in the Atlas of Creation. I immediately downloaded the Atlas of Creation from Yahya's website and sure enough I did not see the picture of sea snake under the section of eels. Was Dawkins lying? How sleazy of him to make false assertions about an honest revolutionary like Harun Yahya. What better can you expect from an atheist like Dawkins? Of course, with my mistrust of Dawkins at all time high, I wanted to double-check with the physical Atlas of Creation - that I happen to have (courtesy of Laurie Godfrey of UMass-anthropology). To my surprise, I found Dawkins' sea snake prominently displayed as Dawkins had claimed (see the picture below). Now I know that Harun Yahya - the author of hundreds of pamphlet-like books - cannot possibly be wrong. I am left with only one possible conclusion: this must be Harunian omission at work!! It almost feels like a miracle.There are more than 400 species of eels in the order Anguilliformes. That they have not undergone any change in millions of years once again reveals the invalidity of the theory of evolution.The fossil eel shown may well be an eel, I cannot tell. But the modern "eel" that Yahya pictures (see left) is undoubtedly not an eel but a sea snake, probably of the highly venomous genus Laticauda (an eel is, of course, not a snake at all but a teleost fish). I have not scanned the book for other inaccuracies of this kind. But given that this was almost the first page I looked at . . . what price the main thesis of the book that modern animals are unchanged since the time of their fossil counterparts?
Harunian omission at work: (left) Sea-snake included as an eel in the print version of Atlas of Creation (p 468). After Dawkins pointed out the obvious, the electronic version (right) replaced the snake with an eel. Now some people think that Dawkins was lying. Instead, it is the miracle of Harunian Omission.
Now we come to the more famous example of caddis flies and fishing lures. The rumor was that the picture used by Yahya in the Atlas was stolen from another website - and that the picture was not a real caddis fly, but rather a fishing lure. In fact, the infamous PZ Myers claimed that the people who have produced the Atlas of Creation are so inept that they did not even notice the hook quite easily visible in the actual image. Dawkins of course parroted these claims on his website:
Finally, PZ has already called attention to this on Pharyngula, but I include a picture for completeness. On page 244, Yahya wishes to say that caddis flies have not changed since some 25-million-year-old insects preserved in amber. Once again, the caption:Lets look at the picture of the famed hook-fly first:These living things have survived for millions of years without the slightest change in their structures. The fact that these insects never changed is a sign that they never evolved.By now, we have come to expect something pretty good when we look at the photograph of the modern animal. What will the modern 'caddis fly' be? A minnow, perhaps? A garden slug? A king prawn? No, in a way is better than any of these: A fishing lure, complete with prominent steel hook!
Atlas of Creation. I was again vindicated, as I did not see the image of any hook-fly. I did see pictures of flies - but the metal hook was not visible in any of the images. Of course, to look for Harunian omission in action, I also checked the hard-copy of the Atlas, and what do you know, the hook-fly image was prominently displayed on page 244.
Harunian omission at work again: (left) Fly with a metal-hook visible in the hard copy of the Atlas of Creation, but removed from the electronic version (right).
What have we learned from all this? Harun Yahya has clearly shown that facts and logic should not stand in the way of making claims. Even having basic knowledge is unnecessary. And if such ignorance is exposed, Harunian omission usually kicks in to cover up the tracks. Second, the Atlas can potentially become more than a door-stopper if Dawkins can go through and point out mistakes page-by-page.
But who knew that the Atlas of Creation will end up evolving itself.