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Turkey's Science Research Council Stops Publication of Evolution Books 444

An anonymous reader writes "The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) has put a stop to the publication and sale of all books in its archives that support the theory of evolution, daily Radikal has reported. The books have long been listed as “out of stock” on TÜBTAK's website, but their further publication is now slated to be stopped permanently. Titles by Richard Dawkins, Alan Moorehead, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levontin and James Watson are all included in the list of books that will no longer be available to Turkish readers. In early 2009, a huge uproar occurred when the cover story of a publication by TÜBITAK was pulled, reportedly because it focused on Darwin’s theory of evolution."
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Turkey's Science Research Council Stops Publication of Evolution Books

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  • Ugh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @04:16PM (#42628651)

    I'm an American citizen of Turkish ancestry, and the fact that the US and Turkey come in at 49 and 50 of a list of 50 western nations in terms of percentage of population that believe in evolution upsets me to no end. When Erdogan and his cronies took over the first thing they did was jail all the generals. Why? Because the military always would step in and keep the country from getting too Islamic. Well the US decided to back Erdogan when he did this and now look whats happening, one more slippery step towards Turkey becoming a theocracy.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @04:22PM (#42628697)

    I think they're less enthusiastic about joining than they used to be.

    Turkey's been doing relatively well economically, especially relative to the general economic drain-circling that the EU has been experiencing for the last couple of years and I don't see them as eager to join in the mess that the Euro Zone has become.

    What they seem more interested in is regaining their Ottoman Empire regional standing. I keep waiting for them to say "enough" and intervene in Syria, allowing them to recreate some of the Ottoman empire. Lebanon would fall into that orbit very quickly in the absence of Syrian influence.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @04:29PM (#42628775)

    You are obviously weak and worthless and a lesser person if you do not believe exactly what I believe happened millions and millions of years ago.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @04:31PM (#42628807) Homepage

    "I don't want to live on this planet any more."

    I just don't get it. How are we not animals? How do we not recognize the extreme similarities between us and our animal cousins? The theory of evolution isn't "a fact" but it is a general truth which is evolving and growing as our understanding grows. And frankly, some things are just obvious... painfully obvious. Ever see those growing fetus diagrams where you can't tell if it's human or something else because we ALL start off looking the same?

    Sorry, but just no.

    And when people work so hard to deny, hide and destroy information which is contrary to their beliefs surely don't understand the nature of learning, understanding or of thought. I guarantee you that even if by some bizarre reality, all information about our animal nature and the notion of evolution vanished from the earth in a flash, people would STILL arrive at this obvious conclusion just exactly as people all over the world at different times came to realize that "air" has mass.

  • Re:goodbye future (Score:5, Interesting)

    by similar_name ( 1164087 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @04:32PM (#42628809)
    The really sad part is that they will blame it on secularism. There will be calls for more religion.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @04:47PM (#42628983)

    I'm not sayin religion is bad

    Why not?

  • by jdbuz ( 962721 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @05:20PM (#42629315)
    Turkey is the perfect reflection of the US, only switch Muslim for Christian.

    As a green-eyed American Caucasian, when I started my 6 month consulting gig in Istanbul in 2007-2008 I was kinda scared at first. I saw all these minarets poking up from mosques everywhere, heard the call to prayer a few times each day, and folks back home were pushing a law that would officially say Turkey committed genocide. But then I started working with my technical counter parts and guess what? There was the quiet guy, there was the hilarious guy (we're still friends), there was the unbelievably smart guy (still the best Oracle consultant I've ever worked with), there was the hot girl, there was the guy who talked my ear off about how backwards he thought Muslims were, and there was the kindhearted Muslim guy who made sure I never ate lunch alone. Every archetype that I knew from the US was represented. I found them brilliant and extremely motivated. And I even saw a lot of women in high level jobs wearing fashionable clothes.

    Then I got to know the city, saw some of the music scene, a little of the club scene, and soaked up some of the history. They have their own George Washington named Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who in 1923 established the Republic of Turkey, switched them from Arabic script to Western European (making my job of typing on their keyboards much easier!), and separated Mosque from State.

    But exactly like in the US the religious groups find ways to work their agenda into the secular government. For example, you can't buy pork. Why? Because from political pressure it was found "unhealthy" and one by one the farms were shutdown until there were none. There's lots of these examples, including the article to which we're responding. Once my eyes got adjusted I almost felt as if I were in the US, even the mosques I realized were no more numerous than our churches.

    Their economy is far stronger than Romania, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, and Portugal, all members of the European Union, and the EU would do well to admit them. Turkey is the litmus test for Muslims and Christians. They are us and we are them. If we can make it work there I'm afraid we won't make it together anywhere.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @06:11PM (#42629759)

    Most European countries have similar book bans. []

    The Western perspective dominating Slashdot is that Turkey is banning "truth," while Europe is banning lies, while the Turkish perspective is just the opposite.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @08:59PM (#42631065)

    You mean the countries that helped Charles Darwin investigate the theory of evolution, and even buried him on a specially-honourable spot inside a world-famous church, next to 2 other very well known scientists who both also made parts of the world clear ?

    It wouldn't be fair to say Christianity as a whole is against the theory of evolution, given the support that theory has received from the church, and the support research into it continues to receive from the church today. The vatican probably educates more people into the theory of evolution than any other organisation even today, and they started doing that earlier than most government schools too.

    As to what some congregations think, well, yes.

    Christianity, and especially the vatican, are extremely pro-science compared to other religions.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:21PM (#42631199) Journal

    I think GP's point was that Turkey did have a separation between religion and state, and it actually did wonders - it transformed the country from a rump of the "sick man of Europe" into a rapidly developing country with steadily growing standard of living.

    Unfortunately, it wasn't a grassroots movement, but came from above. So once the leader who pushed it through died, his followers' resolve grew steadily weaker with each passing generation - and now they have surrendered the country to Islamists.

  • Already there (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Demena ( 966987 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:08PM (#42631493)
    I would consider Bhuddism fairly widespread. Paraphrasing the Dali Lama, where science disproves a bhuddist belief then it is Bhuddism that must change not science.
  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @11:31PM (#42631893) Homepage Journal

    This one [] doesn't quite hold science to be a sacrement, but DOES hold that :

    If religious beliefs and opinions are found contrary to the standards of science, they are mere superstitions and imaginations; for the antithesis of knowledge is ignorance, and the child of ignorance is superstition. Unquestionably there must be agreement between true religion and science. If a question be found contrary to reason, faith and belief in it are impossible, and there is no outcome but wavering and vacillation.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.