Thursday, February 26, 2009

The evolution of Harun Yahya's "Atlas of Creation"

Harun Yahya may not accept evolution but his Atlas of Creation is certainly evolving. The process is not natural selection nor is there much intelligence at work here. We are left with a newly discovered process that we may call the Harunian omission (Yahyan omission - just doesn't have the correct pazzaz to it). Harunian omission is the mechanism by which ignorant mistakes are omitted in the hopes that no one will notice the change. It works on individual or groups of claims - but all of this has to take place while sounding belligerent towards those pointing out the mistakes. The key is never to admit that there was ever a mistake in the first place.

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,
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?
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.

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:
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!
Lets look at the picture of the famed hook-fly first:

The picture above shows a metal hook under the fly.

Now, I know that Harun Yahya and his people can't be that inept to have not even noticed that it's a fishing lure with the hook clearly visible. After my utter refusal to believe in this level of incompetence, I went to the electronic version of the 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.


Robin Lloyd said...

Good one -- I like the reporting/comparison in here. The Harunian omission, in the electronic book, of the hooked insect (plastic?)/fishing lure suggests indeed that the specimen is a hoax. Why replace it otherwise? However, I still wonder (and why I give the benefit of doubt here, who can know) if maybe the hook was just the mount approach of choice for some preparator? Probably not. Ultimately, with so much doubt and falsity elsewhere in the book, I cannot trust or learn from this 'specimen.'

Salman Hameed said...

I think the hook was just too obvious. But this was not the only fake-insect. Here is a link to the guy who makes these fake insects - and Yahya's book has fallen for several of these:
Graham Owen Gallery

But still - the hook is a hoot.

Anonymous said...

Well, to bend over backwards to be fair, having a hook through it DOESN'T neccessarily mean that it's not a real insect. Live insects are sometimes threaded over a hook for bait just like worms.

Anonymous said...

Of course, even if caddis flies or eels haven't changed significantly in eons, it still does not disprove evolution. It just shows that those organisms are very successful the way they are. There seems to be this confusion among lay people that every creature must or should be evolving toward becoming human, ignoring that humanity is not the goal of evolution. Survival and reproduction are the goals.

uzza said...

Hmmm. Shouldn't Dawkins be added in as co-author, logically, or get royalties or something?

David said...

Hey, if he posts enough comments on the mistakes, won't the entire book disapear?

Anonymous said...

Hey, other anonymous: Even if that were the case and even if that were an excuse, the pictures were taken without permission (!) from Graham Owen's site, which is all about fly tying. It's hard to miss the fact that the insects are artificial. Either the picture turned up in an image search and Yahya stupidly just took it and included it in his "Atlas", or he deliberately took it from the site knowing full well that he was looking at artificial bait flies -- in which case, why use the picture?

Andy said...

To make matters worse, they carefully cut around the hook when they deep-etched the original pic.

Maybe their graphic artist has a sense of humour.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is that it was just another clear example of DISHONESTY from the workshops of the evolution deniers.

Anonymous said...

Does he still have a picture of the landspeeder from Star Wars Episode 4 in it?

Unknown said...

The following may be of interest:

Darwin meets fresh teen in Pakistan on The South Asian Idea

Anonymous said...

Nice write up. Mr. Yahya should stop preaching anti-evolution agenda and get some education first.

Awais Aftab said...

Harun Yahya is deceiving countless young mind with his propaganda.

Brilliant post!

Anonymous said...

What a propaganda machine of evolutionist preachers! You want to say that Harun Yahya's book is fake which contains thousands of images? You can find faults even in published papers in well reputed journals. Scientific theory or models are always evolving. Why don't you accept any logics or argument against evolutionary theory? You scientists have to be open minded and please don't behave like like extremists.

Anonymous said...

Darwinian preachers like Mr. Dawkin preaches many bad things about Adnan Okter's personal characters in order to poison the readers. Irony, all those allegations turned to be lies. I feel very sad that all those highly educated people alleged someone without any proof. This is the old tricks used by village people in order to cover up the truth.

Anonymous said...

To the two idiotic anonymous posters above...

"Why don't you accept any logics or argument against evolutionary theory? You scientists have to be open minded and please don't behave like like extremists."

You're expecting us not to laugh at blatant lies and coverups, when they're all creationists have to show for evidence? And you accuse us of being extremists?

You're projecting a bit there. Get a fucking clue.

"I feel very sad that all those highly educated people alleged someone without any proof."

Says the person defending creationism when it lacks hard, testable evidence. And you're not even using the word 'alleged' here properly.

Please, both of you (or if you're the same person doubleposting), go commit suicide. You'll be doing humanity a favour.

Anonymous said...

Your comments bear the signature of extremism!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous translation: 'OHNOES MY FEELINGS HURT'

Suck it up. I'm not the one who's a cesspool of stupidity devoted purely to being a waste of oxygen.

Shap said...

Dear anonymous @ 3:28 and 3:38, thank you for being so honest and truthful and sharing your thoughts. Your logics are incredible and you speak and type the english language with much good. Why does evil scientistz continue to pretend like Charles Darwin did not present his ideas to Adolf Hitler and the holocaust genocide that occured. Richard Dawkins and Saddam Hussein are bad guys who make the world bad and should just open their minds to Christ and God and stuff. If evolution is so true, then how come there are PYGMIES + DWARVES!!???! Also, I have a banana that fits in my hand, which is proof that god made bananas for primates to enjoy, except that HUMANS are NOT PRIMATES, and my granpaw wasn't no danged monkey!!!!!11!!

Anonymous said...

Well, science-minded folk who claim that creationists don't listen to scientific evidence are clearly wrong in this case!

Harun Yahya clearly has only wants high quality misinformation in his dunderbook.

Yazbec said...

Anonymous said: "This is the old tricks used by village people in order to cover up the truth."

So, wait. The Village People we evolutionists, covering up the truth?

This explains why so many creationists also hate gay people! The Village People and their lying, evolutionist ways are the common thread!

Anonymous said...

Much thanks to the original poster for a lovely editorial on the dishonesty and revisionism so rampant in propaganda, of of all types, in the age of electronic publication.

Also, I laughed my ass off.

The comments are just icing on the cake. It really made my day.

Anonymous said...

you are irritated by Harunyahya's work because your way of thinking about your life contradicts with his work..hahahahaha

Anonymous said...

Richard Dawkin is scared of Harunyahya...hahahahahah

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous: "You can find faults even in published papers in well reputed journals." Yeah well maybe in the local papers not in (work that aspires to be) scientific hardcovers. And then tries and cover it up with no shame what so ever. This is laughable!

Anonymous said...

What a desperate action on evolutionist. Why keep beeping on the fish hook? every book has it typos error. Beside thats is not the point. The point is that fossil is the same as today animal, and that insect in the hook is made to resemble today animal. SO it means they resemble. GOT IT? NO? How sad... Why keep trying to make HY reputation bad? Why don't you evolutionist just attack his argument, not he as person! Are you all scare or what?

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Shakeel said...

so you found atleast 2 pages to talk about from the book containing 795 other pages ? even if few are true only its enough to understand that Evolution never happen because there is no single fossil which tells the opposite. so my evolutionist, blind and deaf friends if you want cure for your blindness and deafness please look on the other 700+ pages and i have no trouble in accepting that mistake should be omited as soon as found. thanks for original poster that i found such a nice book and such a nice website (harunyaha/

Milo said...

Fishing lure is a bait and some "naive" darwinists including Richard Dawkins took the bait.

Plastic or not, that insect does exist. The point there that insect havent change for millions of year, its fossil and its living sample are exactly the same.

come to your senses please

Anonymous said...

"Richard Dawkin is scared of Harunyahya...hahahahahah"

Is that why Harun Yahya tried to ban Dawkins website from Turkey?
Adnan Oktar is running scared of ALL of science. And it will only get worse for Oktar as more and more evidence for evolution is uncovered.

Ken Allston

Anonymous said...

JAMSHED MOIDU drooled...
"you are irritated by Harunyahya's work because your way of thinking about your life contradicts with his work..hahahahaha"

It is hard for any rational person, that isn't a gullible uneducated fool not to be irritated by Harloon Yahoo's dunderheaded idiot mush, as it contradicts reality. Are you irritated when Your prophet is shown to be an ignorant buffoon then Jamshed? Hahahahahahaaaaa!

Donna Kebab.

Responder! said...


Presenter:Richard Dawkins, speaking to the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, claimed there were a many errors in the Atlas, including the incorrect identification of a sea snake as an eel. Do you concede any of his points? Do you have a second edition planned to correct these errors?

Harun Yahya[Adnan Oktar]: I personally find it rather odd the way these are depicted as a major discovery. It is a situation presumably stemming from a lack of information. Note that in his claims Dawkins never says anything about whether or not these life forms have been around for millions of years. He merely makes comments about the technical nature of pictures in the Atlas. But what Dawkins should really be concentrating on is how evolutionists can explain how eels have remained unchanged for tens of millions of years. He is careful to avoid the subject altogether, let alone offer an explanation for it. The same thing applies to the photograph of the caddis fly used in the Atlas and referred to by Dawkins. The fossil amber here is genuine, it is a 25-million-year-old caddis fly in Dominican amber. In order to express the fact that this life form is still living today, one could use a living specimen, or a model or a drawing. What matters is for it to be known that the creature is still alive today. The fact that demolishes evolution here is that the creature has remained unchanged for millions of years, which is a definitive refutation of the theory of evolution. Dawkins has nothing to say about the hundreds of living fossils on just about every page of the thousands of pages in the Atlas of Creation. As with other evolutionists for a long time now, Dawkins is silent in the face of this significant fossil evidence.


Responder! said...

Eric Michael Johnson: Let’s talk about your work for a moment. In Atlas of Creation there are multiple errors that questioned the quality of your research. On page 468 you discussed eels in the order of Anguilliformes and claim to show both the fossil and the modern example. However the photograph is that of a sea snake which is in a total different order. On page 402 there are four fossils of Brittlestars but what one of the modern photos is of a starfish which is in a different class. On three different pages you have pictures labeled as crinoids except that the modern photograph is a sabellid, an animal in an entirely different subkingdom. You also used four photographs that are not animals at all. But fishing lures created by Graham Owen, who did not authorize you to use his photographs. How do you respond critiques about the scientific atrocity of a book that you sent out to thousands of scientists around the world.

Adnan Oktar: Thousands of pieces of evidence clearly reveal and demonstrate the phenomenon. It is cyrstal clear and explicit. I mean just think of a person, he may have a slightly twisted ear, or a bent nose or disheveled hair, but he still is a human. It is apparent with thousands and ten thousands of proofs that he is a human. The books make it clear, with thousands of pieces of evidence, that evolution does not exist. But there is a small error regarding the fossils here. There is a small error just in the corner of the fossil No. 74. These things do not change the big picture. None of these are important. This is just demagoguery. There are 100 million fossils. We just included a very small proportion of those 100 million fossils. That is a really minute proportion. All these 100 million fossils are like the ones in my book, all proving creation. This is very important. Of course there will be minor technical errors in the presentation of 100 million fossils, indistinct errors. Such do not prevent 100 million fossils constituting evidence. This is really unnecessary, desperate, resistant behaviors. There is no need for unnecessary resistance. There is not a single transitional fossil. But on the contrary there are 100 million fossils all proving the fact of creation.


Anonymous said...

Responder!, Richard Dawkins' book The Greatest Show on Earth, and Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne utterly destroy the ignorant fabrications of Adnan Oktar's cult of idiocy.

"Dawkins is silent in the face of this significant fossil evidence."

As I've just mentioned the book where Dawkins demolishes your cult leader's ignorance. You are shown to be wrong yet again. The fossil evidence too is on Dawkins' side and against your masters' idiocy.

Cardinal Fang:)

Edip Yuksel

Anonymous said...

Do u mean to say that 'Harunian omission' is a careless piece of work by a bunch of inexperienced,ignorant people? or do u term it 'willful deception'.i am asking this for 2 reasons..
Firstly,his soft-copy of the book has replaced the folly with genuine specimens and fossils(atleast caddis fly).
secondly,this folly does not prove his reasoning against evolutionary theory wrong.His statement that these fossils haven't changed for millions of years as compared to animals of today still holds good and is established by his images in the soft-copy of the book. Something Dawkin was silent about..

Anonymous said...

Oh no these non-evolutionist are waivering our faith in evolution. We need to find more picture errors, that way we'll demolish their ideolgy....hahaha

CurbYrDogma said...

"His statement that these fossils haven't changed for millions of years as compared to animals of today still holds good" What a mountain of BS. Oktar has pages upon pages of incorrectly identified fossil skulls online, some of the "identifications" inexcusably incompetent. ...For example, look at what he calls a "golden monkey skull" --> Is he blind??? First, that is the skull with the characteristics of a carnivore, not a primate. Second, it doesn't even match the shape of the monkey's head - compare the placements of features. ROTFLMAO

Why doesn't he compare these skulls with photos of recent skulls? Because most of them DON'T MATCH! Only a clueless ignoramus would buy into his claims without checking their validity.

His presentation is so inept that multiple skulls he claims are of a particular species (such as the "tiger" skulls) not only don't match the modern skulls, but don't even match each other!

As for the insect fossils: 1. amber "fossils" that look too fresh and well preserved are usually fakes. 2. Small taxon such as insects don't appear to differ much to the untrained eye. ...Similar to an alien from another planet (or Adnan Oktar) who might not consider the various mammal species that different from each other.

So anyways, which one of these painted fembots are you? ----> HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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